ICANN as a new NGO in Geneva?

note2With the recent cyber spying scandals, Internet governance and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) role have been much debated.

In February 2014, ICANN’s President and CEO, Fadi Chehadé, presented the idea of creating a parallel international structure similar to ICANN which would have a non-governmental organization (NGO) status. It was during a trip to France that Fadi Chehadé emphasized the need for ICANN to have an international structure in order to become more open and accepted around the world.

The choice of location in Geneva as a base for this new international structure would award it a more neutral setting and escaping US-centric governance. This would also participate in enhancing ICANN’s global legitimacy.

A new structure in Geneva would bring closer ICANN and the International Telecommunication Union (IUT). For some, IUT would compete with ICANN, therefore creating rivalry. However, IUT’s General Secretary, Hamadoun Touré, stated the Union doesn’t aspire to global Internet governance.


Following Fadi Chehadé’s announcement, on March 14, 2014, ICANN announced its transition from an American governance to a more globalized one. This seems to comfort the idea that ICANN is moving towards becoming a NGO.

ICANN wishes to engage a dialogue between Board members and the Community on this topic, particularly during its meetings.

Dreyfus will be attending the next ICANN meeting in London at the end of June 2014 in order to keep you closely informed of the coming changes.