ICANN 54 comes to Dublin as IEDR calls for greater Irish support

19 Oct 2015

For its 54th meeting, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN) has come to Dublin for the first time and, given its role, the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) is calling on greater levels of Irish internet management and governance.

ICANN 54 will be taking place over five days from 18 to 22 October inclusive, with 1,500 delegates expected to descend on Dublin’s Convention Centre to debate, discuss and take decisions on the essential interoperability and consensus-based management of the internet.

Topics expected to be discussed across the next few days range from the illicit internet pharmacies trade to openness principles online.

However, given its arrival in Ireland, the IEDR has been quick to discuss Ireland’s part in an organisation that effectively guides how the entire internet is orchestrated and run.

With responsibility for assigning domains with the .ie suffix to Irish businesses, the IEDR said it is anticipating difficulties regarding the future of internet governance and is urging Irish internet stakeholders in business, civil society and academia businesses to have their say.

Need to get involved

In particular, the issue of controlling what activities occur online during a time of increased government surveillance and attacks from individuals or groups is also something that is to be discussed at ICANN 54, and is something the IEDR feels is particularly important.

Such activity, the Irish group said, will likely lead to calls for major reforms in how the internet is governed.

“The longer it takes for clear structures to be defined and implemented, the greater the risk of countries attempting to go it alone, with a separate, fractured internet,” said David Curtin, chief executive of the IEDR.

“Businesses would never leave their commercial future to chance, yet they are effectively leaving it to others to define their digital future. ICANN is an ideal platform for the Irish business community’s representative organisations to have their say in determining how the internet will be managed going forward. I would encourage anyone with digital interests to get involved.”

The Convention Centre Dublin image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic