Governments, Privatization and 'Privatization': ICANN and the GAC
Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 189, 2011
30 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 1 Mar 2012
Date Written: February 21, 2011
This paper examines the changing relationship between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and national governments. ICANN was born out of a self-contradictory attempt to “privatize” domain name governance; its relationship with national governments has been fraught ever since. Notwithstanding that national governments, over the past five years, have been increasingly well-organized and involved in ICANN processes, ICANN’s relationship with them today is incoherent, ill-functioning, and unstable. The paper tries to explain why. It roots the problem in an institutional structure carried over from ICANN’s formation, when it was thought that (non-U.S.) world governments should play a role only at the final stages of the privatized regulatory process.
Keywords: ICANN, GAC
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