Background on Newest ICANN At-Large Structures: The Internet Society Congo and the Internet Users Network (Tokyo)
The Internet Society Congo & the Internet Users Network (Tokyo)
On 8 September 2004, two more organizations were certified as "At-Large Structures" by ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee: the Internet Society Congo (based in the Democratic Republic of Congo), and the Internet Users Network ( Tokyo) (based in Japan) .
The Internet Society Congo is a non-profit association that provides support and information on a variety of Internet-related issues to “enable users in the Democratic Republic of Congo to achieve their objectives and to promote the Internet in the Congo.” Internationalized domain names, and various issues under consideration by ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), will be a focus for the group. ISOC Congo currently has approximately 200 members and conducts its business in French. More information is available at www.alac.icann.org/africa/applications/isoc-drc.htm.
The Internet Users Network ( Tokyo), recently was established to promote the interests of Internet end-users, and informed, meaningful user participation in ICANN policy development. With approximately 62 initial members, the group will focus on “forming a network of Internet users and contributing to help solve mutual social issues, maintaining and maximizing freedom of using the Net, and participating in global collaboration activities of Internet users.” Internationalized domain names and Internet governance are two priority issues for the group. More information is available at www.alac.icann.org/asia/applications/tokyo-01jun04.html.
The purpose of “At-Large Structure” certification is to recognize that a group meets the necessary criteria to involve individual Internet users (called “At-Large”) at the local or issue level in ICANN activities, and that the group will support their individual members' informed participation in ICANN efforts that affect end-users. Organizations certified as At-Large Structures represent a variety of individual users, and are wholly independent from ICANN. Certification is free, easy, and done via email. For more information and an ALS application form see www.alac.icann.org/applications/.
ICANN At- Large is a valuable and unique voice in the global Internet arena, and the participation of additional organizations is profoundly important. The growing involvement in ICANN of geographically and professionally diverse user groups can help ensure that ICANN's consensus-development efforts best reflect the interests of the global Internet community. At-Large contributes to ICANN's work on such matters as guidance on how internationalized domain names (use of non-ASCII characters to enable “local language” domain names) are implemented, and how additional new top-level domains (i.e. .info, .name, .museum, etc.) are introduced -- to name a few issues of importance to end-users. For more information on issues addressed by At-Large, and on the 18 groups certified as At-Large Structures thus far, see www.alac.icann.org.At-Large Advisory Committee
The At-Large Advisory Committee was created last year to provide advice on activities of ICANN that relate to the interests of individual Internet users, and also to help the At-Large community throughout the world organize for structured involvement and informed participation in ICANN. ALAC members include: Africa -- Pierre Dandjinou, Clement Dzidonu, Sunday Folayan; Asia -- Hong Xue, Izumi Aizu, Toshifumi Matsumoto; Latin America -- Sebastian Ricciardi, Erick Iriarte, Tadao Takahashi; Europe -- Vittorio Bertola, Thomas Roessler, Roberto Gaetano; and North America -- Esther Dyson, and Wendy Seltzer. Biographies of these individuals, and information on the ALAC, can be found at www.alac.icann.org. ALAC members can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ICANN is a non-profit organization responsible for coordinating the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, including the systems of domain names and numeric addresses that are used to reach all computers on the Internet. ICANN's mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of these unique identifier systems, which are vital to the Internet's operation. In addition, ICANN coordinates policy development related to these technical functions. For more information, see www.icann.org.