June 26, 2009

Beckstrom Appointed Head Of ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers on Friday appointed former US cybersecurity chief Rod Beckstrom as its new chief executive and president.

The decision was announced one day after ICANN's board met in Sydney, Australia.

Beckstrom will replace current chief Paul Twomey after the end of the year. Twomey took the position in March 2003.

In March, 48-year-old Beckstrom resigned from his position as Director of the National Cybersecurity Center at the Department of Homeland Security, citing a lack of cooperation with the National Security Agency (NSA) and insufficient funding.

Beckstrom told the Associated Press that he hopes his new position will allow him to bring together the expertise of various constituencies.

"Our job at ICANN is to facilitate that dialogue and process," he told the AP. "I don't see myself as being the leading source or expert."

He said his former experience with the National Cybersecurity Center would add valuable insight to his new position.

"A lot of people respect me for speaking the truth and being willing to do what is right, even when it's not easy or popular with all parties," he said.

"Certainly we will face the same challenges here at ICANN as there are so many competing and conflicting demands on the domain names in the world."

"In addition to his cyber security expertise, he's been a successful CEO of a global enterprise, done NGO work and volunteer work and a bestselling author. It's an extreme understatement to say we are enthused," Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of ICANN's board, told The Australian.

Formed in September 1998, ICANN is a non-profit organization that regulates IP address space allocation and domain names. The organization is based in Marina del Rey, California.

Vint Cerf, who is referred to as the father of the Internet, told The Australian that Beckstrom is "well-prepared to undertake a new role as CEO of ICANN. His experience in industry and government equip him for this global and very challenging job."

On Friday, ICANN's board approved a study of uniform requirements for contact information and other data when registering a domain name, according to the AP.


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