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ICANN appoints London School of Economics to conduct independent review of GNSO

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An expert team of researchers from the Public Policy Group| of LSE has been appointed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as the independent reviewers of the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO).

The GNSO plays a critical role in ICANN's policy development activities, particularly in relation to generic top level domains such as .com, .net, .info, .biz, .museum and, more recently, new top level domains such as .mobi and .travel. The review is an integral part of ICANN's normal operational reviews and is part of its ongoing efforts to ensure maximum organizational transparency and efficiency.

This Review aims to survey awareness of ICANN's worldwide responsibilities and to find out if people, and particular public and private stakeholders, are satisfied with the accountability and transparency of GNSO's procedures. The review will take a number of forms including an online survey and in-depth face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders.

Professor Patrick Dunleavy, professor of political science and chair of the Public Policy Group, will lead the review team. Commenting on LSE's appointment to conduct the review, Professor Dunleavy said: 'We are delighted to have been appointed for this major piece of work which will inform the future direction and strategy of the global Internet community. Our approach will be to ask many people worldwide, through surveys and interviews, their views on the GNSO.'

ICANN is seeking broad participation in the Review, which is seen as critical to its success. 'ICANN and LSE are working closely together to ensure we gather as much relevant material as possible. Those wishing to participate in the review will be able to do so online, and during the upcoming international meeting taking place in Wellington, New Zealand, from 25-31 March,' said Paul Twomey, president and CEO of ICANN.

How to participate

Contact

About the GNSO The GNSO manages policy issues such as selection criteria for new top level domains; competition policy impacts and contractual conditions for top level domain registry agreements. It has been particularly active in discussions about WHOIS and data management, intellectual property protection, registrar conduct and the transfer of domain names. Policies are developed by consensus through the GNSO six constituency groups which includes registrars, registries, intellectual property interests, internet service providers, business and commercial users and non-commercial user interests. The GNSO's policy program is managed by the GNSO Council on which each of the constituencies has elected representatives from ICANN's five different regions.

The GNSO conducts its policy making initiatives through the activities of each of the constituencies at face to face meetings, via regular teleconferences and at special meetings of policy committees or taskforces. The GNSO is currently working on development policy for the introduction of new top level domains, on internationalised domain names and on registry contractual conditions.

About ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organised, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.

3 March 2006

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