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
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
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
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
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