International Domain Names Meeting Press Release

WITSA Endorses Leading Proposal for ICANN's Domain Names Supporting Organization

February 5, 1999

For More Information Contact:
Bob Cohen
(703) 284-5333

Tinabeth Burton
(703) 284-5305

Arlington, VA -- The World Information Technology Services Alliance (WITSA) today joined eight other international organizations to submit an application to the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) laying out an organizational structure to be recognized as ICANN's Domain Names Supporting Organization (DNSO). At least one other known group has formed and is expected to submit an application.

WITSA was one of the principle organizers of the January 22nd Washington, DC international meeting on domain names, which was an effort to bring together all interested parties to craft a compromise proposal to submit to ICANN.

"We believe our proposal not only creates a viable, transparent DNSO that will make sound policy recommendations to the ICANN, but also that our compromise best represents the worldwide interests that have a stake in the future of the DNSO," said Harris Miller, WITSA President. "The groups supporting the proposal have worked together to craft this compromise application, but we simply ran out of time before the February 5 deadline to thoroughly complete the process. There is room here for further modifications," Miller added.

A key point of the proposal is the formation of a representative democracy-style Names Council which would have the capacity to vote and make recommendations on behalf of the many constituencies to ICANN. Six major constituencies would have representation initially, with potential for modifications over time. The constituencies represented under the proposal would be Commercial and business, Non-commercial, ISP and connectivity providers, Registrars, Registries, and Trademark and anti-counterfeiting interests. Additionally under the proposal, representatives must be geographically diverse to represent all regions of the globe, and would serve two year terms. For the complete proposal see

Joining WITSA in the application are: Electronic Commerce Europe (ECE); European ISP Association (EuroISPA); Information Technology Association of America (ITAA); International Chamber of Commerce (ICC); International Council of Registrars (CORE); International Trademark Association (INTA); Internet Society (ISOC); and the Policy Oversight Committee (POC).

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit corporation that was formed to take over responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions. In a December 21, 1998 press release, the ICANN Board called for the creation of the Domain Names Supporting Organization.

WITSA is a consortium of 35 information technology (IT) industry associations from economies around the world. As the global voice of the IT industry, WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance the industry's growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in IT products and services; strengthening WITSA's national industry associations through the sharing of knowledge, experience, and critical information; providing members with a vast network of contacts in nearly every geographic region of the world; and hosting the World Congress on IT, the only industry sponsored global IT event. Founded in 1978 and originally known as the World Computing Services Industry Association, WITSA has increasingly assumed an active advocacy role in international public policy issues affecting the creation of a robust global information infrastructure.

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