CADNA Supports the Multi-Stakeholder Model of Internet Governance

WASHINGTON, February 29, 2012 –The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) appreciates and supports the U.S. government’s commitment to the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, and to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). CADNA finds disturbing the recent discussion about efforts to undermine ICANN’s authority and to reassign certain ICANN functions to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). ICANN is not perfect and there remains much work to be done to improve the recently implemented New gTLD Program. However, CADNA fundamentally supports ICANN’s mission and role in overseeing the Domain Name System (DNS).

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, in conjunction with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), held the second of what will be a series of meetings with the business community on Monday to hear concerns about ICANN and the New gTLD Program. The meetings, led by NTIA Assistant Secretary Strickling and representatives of the USPTO, are an excellent example of the cooperation between the public and private sectors that is necessary to make the multi-stakeholder system operate effectively. As a result of these meetings, companies are better positioned to understand ICANN’s policies.

“By holding these meetings, the U.S. government is doing double duty,” said Josh Bourne, President of CADNA. “These meetings help the U.S. government better represent U.S. business and consumer interests through ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), but they also help give businesses the tools that they need to work towards Internet policies that protect and promote their companies and consumers. By better understanding how the ICANN model works, companies can better focus their advocacy efforts. Governments, ICANN, and industries all have a role to play, and it is in their proper coordination that the Internet will be a safe and flourishing place for Internet users.”

CADNA believes that improving ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model is a key step in improving Internet governance, and opposes introducing new intergovernmental oversight. In his February 28th remarks before the GMSA Mobile World Congress in Spain, Robert M. McDowell, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, rightly noted that “modification of the multi- stakeholder Internet governance model may be necessary…but we should all work together to ensure no intergovernmental regulatory overlays are placed into this sphere.” He continued to say that, “not only would nations surrender some of their national sovereignty in such a pursuit, they would suffocate their own economies as well, while politically paralyzing engineering and business decisions within a global regulatory body.”

“Recent calls to have the ITU take over the Domain Name System should be taken seriously by ICANN and the United States government,” said Bourne. “Too much is at stake and the U.S. government should take every step available to prepare for what appears to be a serious challenge by the UN body.”

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the systemic domain name abuses that plague the Internet today. For more information, please visit