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ITU chief snubs ICANN’s Beckstrom

Kevin Murphy, August 24, 2010, 13:18:40 (UTC), Domain Policy

“If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.”

That’s pretty much the message sent to ICANN chief Rod Beckstrom by the International Telecommunications Union’s secretary general, following his request to attend a top-level ITU policy meeting.

Beckstrom wrote to Hamadoun Toure last month, asking for observer status at October’s ITU Plenipotentiary Conference – the “supreme organ” of ITU policy-making, held every four years.

The idea was that ICANN and the ITU would start to develop a more formal relationship.

In a letter published today, Toure turned him down, noting that the guest-list for the Guadalajara meeting is strictly limited by convention to entities such as national telecoms regulators and UN agencies.

For your information, the Plenipotentiary Conferece, the supreme organ of the ITU, is the highest level of administrative conference for the Union.

I regret to inform you that the ITU is unable to respond positively to your request to attend

Ouch.

ICANN and the ITU have a spiky history. It’s well known that the ITU would prefer internet addressing to be handled from Geneva rather than Marina Del Rey. Over the years, it’s occasionally made the odd attempted power grab.

The fact that Beckstrom has been rebuffed is surely more evidence that, for all its flaws, ICANN is still a better place to manage the DNS.

If the head of ICANN can’t even observe the ITU’s top dogs at work, what chance would the rest of us have of being heard?

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Comments (16)

  1. Very poor form indeed.

  2. .MS says:

    ITU Can’t afford another A4 piece of paper and really had to return a hand written correction and a crossed last name?
    http://icann.org/correspondence/toure-to-beckstrom-16aug10-en.pdf

  3. Actually the more you think about it , this is a smart move by Rod.

    Icann likely knew the ITU would refuse, hence the posting of the original request letter, so it was a good bet to make this request and denial VERY PUBLIC.

    1) ITU cave to the “public” request and allow ICANN to Observe or
    2) They say “No” and ICANN look like open and transparent heroes compared to the closed ITU in the court of Public opinion.

    Brilliant!!!

    Well done Rod.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I must admit, that thought had occurred to me.

      Perhaps I’m just more trusting than you, Stuart. What did ICANN ever do to you?

      :)

  4. FALSE >> “It’s well known that the ITU would prefer internet addressing to be handled from Geneva…” << FALSE

  5. John Berard says:

    Kevin,

    I enjoyed your colloquy with Stuart. But I do not think Beckstrom has the “three moves ahead” thought process that you two employ.

    If he were thinking that far ahead, he would likely be using surrogates to open doors. It is never good to be turned away and better to be invited.

    Cheers,

    John Berard

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I was actually disagreeing with Stuart, in a roundabout kind of way. The thought had occurred to me, but there was no evidence to support the idea so I disregarded it.

  6. […] Conference is open. This came as a surprise to many of us in the audience, given the recently declined request by ICANN president Rod Beckstrom to attend an ITU conference next month. This immediately […]

  7. […] from its political tangles with the International Telecommunications Union, to the recent calls for high-security top-level […]

  8. […] I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that these ITU meetings are closed, and are informed by documents that are secretive. As of yet, I have not been able to access any of the resolutions that have been passed at PP10, including Resolution 101. This resolution, from what I can gather from Twitter, involves Internet governance, and the multi-stakeholder approach. As an active participant with ICANN, and as vice-chair of the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) of ICANN, I find this particularly infuriating.  There are discussions taking place at PP10 about restructuring ICANN, yet a request by ICANN’s President and CEO Rod Beckstrom  to attend the PP10 was declined. […]

  9. […] ITU chief snubs ICANN’s Beckstrom […]

  10. […] it’s a contrast to the ITU’s treatment of former ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom, who was snubbed when he asked for observer status for an ITU Plenipotentiary in […]

  11. […] it’s a contrast to the ITU’s treatment of former ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom, who was snubbed when he asked for observer status for an ITU Plenipotentiary in […]

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