[bc-gnso] Former U.S. cybersecurity chief Rod Beckstrom is top candidate to head ICANN, sources say
This may be of interest to those who have not seen it already. cheers/Rick Rick Anderson EVP, InterBorder Holdings Ltd. randerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx cell: (403) 830-1798 ------ Former U.S. cybersecurity chief is top candidate to head Internet oversight agency, sources say Wed Jun 24 2009 Byline: BY ANICK JESDANUN 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 learned. 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 entries. 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. This e-mail message and any attachments may contain confidential and/or privileged information intended only for the addressee. In the event this e-mail is sent to you in error, sender and sender’s company do not waive confidentiality or privilege, and waiver may not be assumed. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of, or action taken in reliance on, the contents of this e-mail by anyone other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you have been sent this e-mail in error, please destroy all copies and notify sender at the above e-mail address. 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