The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has published the witness list for this Thursday’s hearing into ICANN’s new gTLD program.
Esther Dyson, the founding chair of ICANN’s board of directors and now a fierce critic of the organization, may turn out to cause the most fireworks.
Kurt Pritz, ICANN’s senior vice president of stakeholder relations and regular new gTLDs go-to guy, will return to Capitol Hill to defend the program.
(We’re likely to see some criticism of CEO Rod Beckstrom as a result of his absence, as we did following the House of Representatives hearing earlier this year, I imagine.)
Fiona Alexander of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, ICANN’s governmental overseer, has also been named as a witness.
Predictably, the Association of National Advertisers has a seat on the panel in the form of Dan Jaffe, its vice president of government relations.
The ANA and its newly formed Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight is believed to have brought about the hearing due to its anti-ICANN lobbying activities.
The witness with the wildcard credentials is Angela Williams, general counsel of the Young Men’s Christian Association of the United States of America.
The YMCA does not appear to have spent a great deal of time contributing to ICANN or the new gTLDs program.
It is however a member of ICANN’s new Not-for-Profit Organizations Constituency (NPOC), which is viewed by some (largely other non-commercial stakeholders) as a shill for intellectual property interests.