On “The Affirmation of Commitments”
There was big news in the ICANN world today with the announcement of the “Affirmation of Commitments”. This is the document which will now govern the relationship between ICANN and the US government (“USG”) as well as the rest of the world (“ROW”).
This is an important step in ICANN’s evolution in two respects. It signifies a significant move away from formal USG control of ICANN and it further solidifies ICANN’s role in governing the Internet and that governance being global in nature, NOT controlled by the national governments of the world.
Remember that ICANN was created in 1999 and has had three different types of documents governing its relationship with the USG. We have gone from a “Memorandum of Understanding” to a “Joint Project Agreement” to now an “Affirmation of Commitments” (AoC). To quote Bret Fausett, in this ever lightening chain of commitments, what is the next step? Facebook Friends?
Seriously, this removes a serious problem for ICANN. Since its inception ROW has been troubled by the exclusive oversight that the USG had over ICANN. The Internet is global, so should the oversight be. This has led from time to time for calls for the UN, the ITU or some other quango to take over from the USG. The AoC addresses this and gives the ROW a large say in appointing the group that provides oversight to ICANN. This is a HUGE step forward.
Notice I did not say that the ROW has a say in oversight, just in appointing the group that provides oversight. This is equally important. The terms of this oversight are laid out in the AoC and what happens if ICANN does not abide by these terms is also spelled out, the AoC fails and we are back to where we were to try again. This is a fantastic way to allow ICANN to flourish independently and to keep ICANN a global, not international organization. Think of this as a trust and those appointed as trustees. They will determine whether the terms of the trust have been abided by. If there have not been complied with then ICANN reverts to its previous state of USG control and we start again.
In its day to day operations this will not make a lot of difference. There were VERY few circumstances where the USG had a heavy hand. The dis-allowance of .xxx and the occasional burst of input when big IP interests would complain about domain names and copyright are the few exceptions. The USG deserves a thanks for its role to date.
It is also very important that we (and by “we” I mean “we the Internet”) have avoided the UN or the ITU. Either would have been disastrous for ICANN in my view.
All in all a good day and another positive development in the young regime of Rod Beckstrom as ICANN CEO. Now let’s see if he can thread a needle on new gTLDs!
A Look back at One Web Day 2009
The 3rd annual One Web Day celebration was a great success. We were proud to be a sponsor and celebrate both at our headquarters in Toronto, and later in the day with with the larger Toronto Internet community at an evening social event.
Our computer drive for Little Geeks was quite successful as well with donations received from Tucows employees and from the local community as well. We delivered the donated computers, scanners and laptops to the Little Geeks team to be refurbished and, eventually, to be delivered to kids who need them. You can still help out by making an online cash donation to Little Geeks.
Check out some of the photo highlights:
- View photos from OneWebDay events around the world on Flickr
- See photos of Tucows employees who joined in the OWD poster wave.
We also asked some One Web Day questions of our staff
What types of things do you think the Internet can change?
- The way we do business
- makes the world smaller
- makes politics cleaner
- makes companies honest
- enables ideas to reach remote locations
- Add yours in the comments…
What does the Internet mean to you?
- work, entertainment, learning, life, love, shopping, easy reference, banking, free stuff, selling stuff, marketing stuff, convenience, dating, fragging, add yours in the comments…
Next year, OWD Toronto’s event is expected to build on the great vibe created. We will invite you to join us in the celebrations. Save the date: September 22, 2010.
One Web Day Is Today!
One Web Day is here! Join us in celebrating this year’s theme: One Web. For All. Tucows believes: “The Internet is the greatest agent for positive change the world has ever seen.”
Tucows Supports Little Geeks and Internet Access
This is our second year celebrating One Web Day. Our focus is on Little Geeks and helping provide Internet access and computers to those who don’t have computers. Through Little Geeks we aim to provide computers to those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford them. Tucows is a strong supporter of Little Geeks which was founded by Andy Walker who runs Butterscotch.com, an online video network that is a part of Tucows Inc.
We are opening our doors this afternoon to take donations from the general public. More information on the kinds of systems that we’re interested in can be found on the Little Geeks website. In general, Little Geeks is seeking Pentium IIIs or G3 Macs or better. System parts also welcome. Tax receipts will be issued for computer donations. Cash donations for Little Geeks are also welcome.
What: Drop off your used computer systems to be refurbished and given to those in need right here in the Greater Toronto Area. Cash donations are also welcome.
When: September 22, 2009 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Where: Tucows Head Office, 96 Mowat Ave., Toronto, M6K 3M1 (view on Google maps)
One Web Day Toronto Evening event
Leading up to One Web Day there were a number of creative projects including the
“I Love the Web Poster-and-Picture-Fest“. The idea was to grab a poster and take some pictures with it to celebrate. See all the great pictures on Flickr. We have an event later today at the Tucows head office and will be taking photos with posters too. Join us by taking pictures with your organizations.
One Web Day Toronto Evening event
Here’s a great OWD video that includes posters and pictures:
We hope that you can donate or celebrate in your community. Happy One Web Day!