Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Beckstrom appointed ICANN’s president

FORMER United States’ cybersecurity official, Mr. Rod Beckstrom, is to replace Dr Paul Twomey, as the president and chief executive officer of the global internet coordinating agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), reports REMMY NWEKE & CHARLES OKOH.

ITRealms Online recalls that it was at ICANN’s 34th International Public Meeting in Mexico City, last March that Dr. Twomey state publicly he advised ICANN’s Board of Directors of his intension of not seeking renewal of the contract at the end of 2009.

Twomey was named CEO and President in 2003, after serving for four years as the Chairman of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

Announcing the latest appointment last weekend at the Australian meeting of ICANN, board chairman, Mr. Peter Dengate Thrush, said Mr. Beckstrom has strong personal and technical background that ICANN needs.

Beckstrom, who received his MBA from Stanford University, has served on the boards of several nonprofit groups and written four books, but was notable for his role as the director of U.S. National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) where his impact was reported to have been massively felt.

As head of the federal center, Mr. Beckstrom oversaw a large, disparate agency spanning civilian, military and intelligence communities. He resigned his government role in March after complaining of meddlesomeness from the National Security Agency (NSA) and refused to subjugate NCSC under NSA.

However, Beckstrom’s emergence as a replacement for ICANN’s Paul Twomey has been receiving favorable statements from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders.

Vint Cert, who is considered to be the “father” of the Internet, said in a statement “Rod Beckstrom is strikingly well-prepared to undertake a new role as CEO of ICANN.

His experience in industry and government equip him for this global and very challenging job.”

Beckstrom is an “outstanding choice to head ICANN. He understands people, institutions, and technology.”

The executive director, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Marc Rotenberg, said Beckstrom recognizes both the potential and the challenges of ICANN.

“And has stood up for the civil liberties of Internet users with courage and foresight,” he said.

ICANN has been criticized over the years for a host of reasons, including internal squabbles, the fees it levies, and the perceived shroud of secrecy under which it operates.

Last year, ICANN proposed new rules for Internet names that would expand suffixes beyond the familiar .com, .net, and .org domains. The proposal worried many who thought it would lead to confusion on the Internet.

But Beckstrom’s comments upon his appointment reflected faith in the organization.

“The Internet has changed the way the world communicates and conducts commerce,” Beckstrom said at a press conference in Sydney, stressing that in no small way, the multi-stakeholder, bottom-up organization will continue to be at the core of the Internet’s ongoing evolution.

“Quite simply, the proof that ICANN works, is that the Internet works,” he asserted.

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