What follows is the original PDNHA website, as it existed before ICANN prevented individuals from participating in the Domain Name Supporting Organization.  It is published here for historical purposes.

Welcome to the . . .

Personal Domain Name Holders Association

And welcome to Internet Governance.

Over the last couple of years, the Internet has experienced phenomenal and explosive growth.  What was once a small, academic tool, managed by a technical consensus process, is now evolving into a global Internet Governance structure.  The Personal Domain Name Holders Association has been formed to give individuals a say in the legislative branch of this process.

ICANN and Internet Governance

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a new global non-profit corporation formed to oversee the Internet's management and policy functions.  In the past, many of these functions have been handled by the U.S. Government or by its contractors and volunteers.  However, the growing size and international importance of the Internet has necessitated the creation of a management body that is both more formalized in structure and more fully reflective of the geographic diversity of the Internet community.

ICANN currently has a ten-member interim Board of Directors.  It is led by interim chairman Esther Dyson, and has members drawn from Europe, North America, and the Asia/Pacific region. This interim board will ultimately be replaced by board members elected by three different constituency groups based on technical subjects and an at-large membership, collectively representing a broad cross-section of the Internet's technical and user communities around the globe.

The Look of Internet Governance

The new authority for Internet Governance is ruled by its Board of Directors (represented in yellow above).  It will ultimately consist of 19 members, 9 members elected by some type of general membership, 9 members elected by the three Supporting Organizations, and a President/CEO who is selected by the other Board Members.

The Executive Branch

All operational decisions, and many lessor policy decisions, are made by the Executive Branch.  It currently consists of Mike Roberts, the interim President/CEO, and his growing and substantial staff.  Members of his staff include past employees of IANA/ISI and the Harvard Berkman Center, and lawyers from Jones Day..

The Netizen's Branch

In many ways, the Netizen's Branch is the only way most Internet users will have any say in Internet Governance.  Since most of the policy decisions will be initiated in the Legislative Branch, however, this say will be limited to electing 9 out of 19 Board Members.  Also, membership questions have not been finalized.  Some of the proposals would further dilute the effective representation for the average Netizen.  Stay tuned.

The Legislative Branch

Virtually all decisions of substance will be initiated in the Legislative Branch (represented in green above).  Diverse issues like Internet taxation, free speech, privacy, and access will start their process in the supporting organizations.

The DNSO, the Names Council, and the PDNHA

Due to the importance of Domain Names in establishing an Internet identity, and due to their conflicts with Trademarks and Trademark owners, the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) is destined to be one of the most important Legislative bodies in ICANN.  It will likely address issues like free speech, property rights, and Internet taxation.  (ICANN has already taken the first step by applying a $1 tax on every domain name issued through an ICANN approved registrar.)

The DNSO will be controlled by a Names Council.  This body will establish the rules for this SO, and will vote to approve or disapprove initiatives coming from the DNSO membership.  The Names Council will be elected from the officially recognized constituency groups (represented in violet above).

While some felt that domain name holders should be a constituency, many business and trademark interests fought vigorously against giving individuals any say in this process.  After a long battle, ICANN agreed to approve a Non-Commercial Domain Name Holders constituency.

Now, this constituency is in danger of being overrun by non-profit organizations who poorly reflect the stakeholders that we fought so hard to protect.  In response, Iperdome has taken the lead in forming the Personal Domain Name Holders Association. To find out more about the PDNHA, please see About the PDNHA.

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