ICANN Sees Healthy Response to Open Membership

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (03/01/2000) - ICANN, the non-profit organization that has been charged with developing and overseeing policy for some of the Internet's key technical issues, has seen a healthy response to a project launched last week to broaden its membership.

Since opening its membership web site on February 25, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has received 2,599 applications from users in North America, 656 from Europe, 315 from the Asia Pacific region, 66 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 38 from Africa, said Pindar Wong, Chairman of the Asia & Pacific Internet Association and a member of the ICANN board, speaking at the APRICOT regional Internet conference here thisafternoon.

ICANN launched its "at-large" membership scheme last week [See, "ICANN Lets End Users Become Part of the Process," Feb. 26].

The group is aiming for 5,000 at-large members and, should new applications continue at the current pace, is on target to achieve this goal in time for its next meeting in Cairo, Egypt, from March 7 to 10.

The new membership class allows individual Internet users to help shape the organization and thus influence some of the most pressing issues facing the Internet today. Although not getting an individual voice, at large members will be able to collectively vote for directors to be appointed to the ICANN board and receive regular updates on its activities.

The organization was formed in September 1998 to take over various administrative activities associated with the Internet. The group works in three main areas: coordination of the domain name system (DNS), allocation of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses and the management of the root server system.

ICANN, in Marina del Rey, California, can be found online at http://www.icann.org/.

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