ICANN CERTIFIES "AT-LARGE STRUCTURES"
Involvement of Individual User Community Increasing in ICANN
16 December 2003 - In an important step towards fulfilling the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN's) objective to have informed, structured participation of the individual Internet user community ("At-Large"), six organizations in three geographic regions have received "At-Large Structure" certification. Certification recognizes that the following groups meet ICANN's criteria for involving individual Internet users at the local or issue level in ICANN activities and for promoting individuals' understanding of, and participation in, ICANN:
- Societa' Internet (Region: Europe)
- Arab Knowledge Management Society (AKMS) (Region: Asia/Australia/Pacific)
- Alfa-Redi (Region: Latin America/Caribbean Islands)
- Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft e.V (FITUG) (Region: Europe)
- Internet Society (ISOC) Luxembourg A.S.B.L. (Region: Europe)
- Internet Society Bulgaria (Region: Europe)
"These groups will engage geographically and professionally diverse communities of individual Internet users in ICANN activities that affect people's use of the Internet," said Vittorio Bertola, ICANN Interim At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) Chair. "We invite other interested groups to follow their lead and support user involvement in ICANN. ICANN policies on such matters as implementation of internationalized domain names and privacy of personal Whois data need to reflect the needs and opinions of the global civil society."
ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) is responsible for certifying these organizations and has been encouraging interested, qualified groups in all geographic regions to become At-Large Structures. Any group (either existing organizations or newly formed for this purpose) that enables informed participation by individual Internet users in issues addressed by ICANN can apply for At-Large Structure certification. Interested groups complete and submit to the ALAC a short application form, and groups that meet the minimum requirements are certified. At-Large Structures have a recognized role in the development of ICANN policies. Their members receive information on, and are asked to share their views on, ICANN's work and Internet developments, and they have opportunities to participate in ICANN policy-making groups at the regional and international levels.
"This is a critical step that will involve the At-Large community in ICANN deliberations," said Paul Twomey, ICANN President and CEO. "Groups participating as At-Large Structures will help ensure that the voice of different sectors of the Internet community will be more distinctly heard and their views will be effectively taken into account when ICANN takes action on issues of interest to the user community."
A variety of civil society organizations have expressed interest in participating in ICANN as At-Large Structures, including community networking groups, professional societies, consumer advocacy groups, and academic organizations. As of this date, At-Large Structure applications from six additional groups are pending with the ALAC (see http://www.alac.icann.org/applications/ for a complete list of applications and their status).
"We are looking forward to working with these and other organizations on decisions ICANN makes about technical management of the Internet," said Bertola, "We want the Internet to grow and evolve to meet the needs of all of the world's Internet users, and participating as an At-Large Structure will help ensure ICANN's consensus-development efforts reflect users' interests."
ABOUT THE INTERIM AT-LARGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The ALAC is an Advisory Committee to ICANN's Board charged with providing advice on activities of ICANN that relate to the interests of individual Internet users, and helping to organize At-Large groups throughout the world for structured involvement and informed participation in ICANN of the individual Internet user community. The Board appointed a 10 member Interim ALAC in January 2003, and ICANN's Nominating Committee added additional members in June 2003: 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, Wendy Seltzer, and Ken Hamma. Biographies of these individuals, and information on the ALAC, can be found at <http://www.atlarge.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 <http://www.icann.org>.
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