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[bc-gnso] Former U.S. cybersecurity chief Rod Beckstrom is top candidate to head ICANN, sources say

  • To: "BC List" <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [bc-gnso] Former U.S. cybersecurity chief Rod Beckstrom is top candidate to head ICANN, sources say
  • From: "Rick Anderson" <RAnderson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 08:40:46 -0600

This may be of interest to those who have not seen it already.


Rick Anderson
EVP, InterBorder Holdings Ltd.

cell: (403) 830-1798


Former U.S. cybersecurity chief is top candidate to head Internet
oversight agency, sources say
Wed Jun 24 2009 
NEW YORK - Rod Beckstrom, the former U.S. cybersecurity chief who
resigned in March amid persistent turf battles, is the leading candidate
to run an international organization with oversight of the monikers
behind every website and email address, The Associated Press has
Beckstrom's approval as chief executive of the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers could come with a board vote Friday as ICANN
caps weeklong meetings in Sydney, Australia, according to two people
with knowledge of the discussions. They spoke on condition of anonymity
because an official announcement has yet to be made, and negotiations
could still fall through. 
Beckstrom has been attending some public sessions and meeting privately
with board members this week. 
If approved, he would replace Paul Twomey, ICANN's third and
longest-serving chief executive. Twomey, an Australian who became CEO in
March 2003, plans to stay with the organization until the end of the
year to help with the transition. 
The U.S. government, which funded much of the Internet's early
development, selected ICANN in 1998 to oversee policies on domain names
_ the ``.com'' and other suffixes that define zones on the Internet. 
The organization is in the midst of revamping procedures for adding
domain name suffixes, a move likely to spawn hundreds or thousands of
new Internet addresses in the coming years. 
ICANN had wanted to start taking applications for new names early this
year, but that timetable proved too ambitious as objections were raised
over such issues as whether trademark owners could wind up having to buy
thousands of new domain names simply to protect their
intellectual-property rights. 
A launch next year is more likely, under the new chief's tenure. 
ICANN also is close to allowing entire Internet addresses to be in
languages besides English for the first time. That could begin as early
as year's end. 
In recent years, ICANN also has expanded its role to tackle security
issues, given the importance of domain names in allowing computers to
find websites and route email. Minute changes in the directories of
domain names could lead users to a fake Facebook site or even make all
websites under country-specific domain name unreachable. ICANN has been
working with other technology groups to promote ways to authenticate
Beckstrom brings security experience, having served as the first
director of the Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity
Center, which was formed in 2008. 
This past March, less than a year after taking the job, Beckstrom
complained in a blunt resignation letter about a shortage of money for
the centre and a clash over whether the National Security Agency should
control Internet-security efforts. The role of the NSA in protecting
domestic computer networks has triggered debate, particularly among
privacy and civil-liberties groups that oppose giving such control to
U.S. spy agencies. 
Previously, Beckstrom served as chairman of Privada Inc., a company that
developed Internet privacy technology. He also co-founded software
companies and has co-authored four books. 
Beckstrom's service with the U.S. government could help him navigate
upcoming negotiations with the Department of Commerce over the future
role of ICANN. Commerce retains oversight of ICANN under an agreement
that expires Sept. 30; some parties, including governments abroad, have
pushed for independence. 
An executive search firm hired by ICANN, Egon Zehnder International, had
received more than 100 applications and approached hundreds of others.
ICANN's board interviewed eight finalists before settling on Beckstrom,
according to the people with knowledge of the talks. 

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