African policy makers attending the on going training on Internet Governance (IG) at the United Nations Conference Center (UNCC) in Addis Ababa have been cautioned to think about content on the internet to resolve the governance of public policy.

In explaining the role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Policy Analyst Anne-Rachel Inne said ICANN does not control content and data transmitted over the internet and therefore could not control troublesome or illegal content such as Spam, phishing, copyright protected material and child pornography.

Inne gave an example of how ICANN has ensured that pornographic sites are not given the freedom to operate under dot XXX domain name as some opposing governments made sure their voices are well articulated under Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

ICANN is facilitating the introduction of IPv6, a new IP address protocol that vastly expands the number of available IP address; the current system (IPv4) was estimated to have enough numbers until 2020.

The introduction of competition by ICANN into the registration of domain names, has reduced the cost of registering domain names by 80 percent since 1998 when the organisation introduced the domain names system and made it accessible to a wider community.

Inne explained that the ICANN board has included representatives from 19 countries and that currently there are members from 13 countries with two members from Africa. African members are Mouhamet Diop from Senegal and Njeri Rionge from Kenya.

ICANN has been facilitating the adoption Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) so that countries can use their own languages and alphabets in internet domain systems, and has also supported the ongoing work of regional organisations (Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) to manage the allocation of internet numbers of which AfriNIC is now the fifth and manages IP address distribution for Africa.

ICANN plans to have representation in other regions as it has offices in the United States of America and Europe, and ICANN's bottom up consensus based policy enables the participation of the Internet community worldwide in the development of policy regarding the internet?s unique identifiers. Participation in ICANN's policy formulation is open to all who have an interest in global Internet policy as it relates to ICANN?s mission of technical coordination.

ICANN oversees the internet's unique identifiers including the name and number addressing systems globally and ensures their stability and security so that the internet can operate in a seamless way regardless of where you are in the world.

ICANN was founded as a not for profit organisation in 1998 in response to the growing international nature of the internet. It was formed to carry out the development policy for the operation of the Domain Name System and for the allocation and assignment of Internet address space. In its role as the operator of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, IANA, ICANN is responsible for accurate recording of tables of unique parameters needed for the successful operation of the wide range of protocols that make up the TCP/IP suite.

Highway Africa News Agency