In a first step toward giving individual users a voice in how the Internet is run, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved six community user groups in three regions.
The "At-Large" groups aim to engage individual Internet users in ICANN activities at the local or issue level and generally foster a greater understanding of, and participation in, the Net governing process, the Marina del Rey, California, organization said Tuesday.
Certification of the At-Large organizations comes after ICANN's board approved a framework in June for establishing local, regional and global user groups.
Repeating remarks made after the June decision, ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Twomey said in a statement that the groups will ensure that the voice of different sectors of the Internet community will be "more distinctly heard" and their views "more effectively taken into account" when ICANN takes action on issues of interest to the user community.
In Europe, ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee certified four groups: Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft eV, Internet Society Bulgaria, Internet Society Luxembourg A.S.B.L. and Societa' Internet.
Elsewhere, the committee approved the Arab Knowledge Management Society in the Asian-Pacific and Australian region, and Alfa-Redi in the Latin America and Caribbean Island region.
The committee has been encouraging interested, qualified groups in all geographic regions to become certified At-Large members.
Information about At-Large applications is available on the Web at: www.alac.icann.org/applications/