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World Will Change Icann's Future, Ceo Says

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ICANN CEO Paul Twomey

ICANN CEO Paul Twomey

Hardy Wilson / San Francisco Chronicle

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, ICANN president Paul Twomey agreed with European Union commissioner Viviane Reding, who recently called on President Obama to sever ICANN's ties with the U.S. Department of Commerce when the joint agreement between the two organizations expires on Sept. 30. However, he also said ICANN is ready to stand on its own and said Reding's suggestion to create a G12 for the Internet that would govern ICANN is unnecessary.

Twomey, who plans to relinquish his role this year after running the organization for more than six years, says ICANN is busy with the huge task of opening up the Internet to internationalized domains in different languages. He says the work required to do that is similar to going through "a 15-story building that had red brick columns, and changing all those red bricks to multicolored bricks, and doing it in a way that makes certain the door is still open and the windows still work." Twomey says internationalized domains will likely be available sometime in the first quarter of 2010. ICANN also is committed to ensuring that the new top-level domains will be available from anywhere in the world, not just in the region where the language the domain is written in is spoken, Twomey says.

Twomey also discussed the creation of new extensions that use place names or brand names. He says the new system will not be complete chaos because there will be rules to govern issues such as disputes over intellectual property or extensions that could impact morality and public order. "There's still a lot of discussion going on in the community — we'll go through several rounds of discussion on the implementation," Twomey says.

From San Francisco Chronicle
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