Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Press Release: Creative Commons Expands Internationally & Restructures Its Key Management Team

We have just established Creative Commons International based in the UK to provide support internationally. Neeru is stepping in for Glenn who recently left to join Google. Paula Le Dieu, former Project Director for the Creative Archive project at the BBC and Mia Garlick have recently joined the team. Welcome to all of the new team members.

See the press release for the details.

UPDATE: More on Larry's blog here and here.

Sifry's Alerts
Ten Million Blogs Tracked

This weekend Technorati tracked its 10 Millionth Blog. It is a chinese blog, on, and it appears to be a blog talking about glassblowing, with some really cool pictures. Unfortunately I don't read Chinese so I can't tell...

Sorry for horn tooting, but that's a lot of blogs.

ICANN's Nomination Committee has begun their process to nominate more members to various boards, councils and committees of ICANN. This is the process by which I was elected to the board last year. Contrary to what some people may think, these positions should not be taken to try to gain some privilege or power. These are positions of responsibility and require a lot of work for no tangible return except possibly the opportunity to meet other very interesting people. (OK. They MIGHT give you a t-shirt.) I think about my role at ICANN like I would think about jury duty. We have all benefited from the proper functioning of the Internet for the last decade. If you've benefited in the past and care about the future of the Internet, it is a great opportunity to give back to the community by applying for one of these positions. We are at a crucial turning point in Internet governance. Governments and other organizations are seriously questioning the continuing ability for the Internet to be governed in a bottom up, consensus driven and open manner. I believe it is literally "all hands on deck" to keep things running and further improve the process that is currently in place. PLEASE. If you believe you can fulfill one of the critical roles or know someone who can, please contact ICANN and file a submission of interest.

ANNOUNCEMENT: ICANN Call for Submissions of Interest for Leadership
Positions is issued; submission deadline is 15 June 2005.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has posted a call for recommendations and statements of interest for leadership positions on its Board of Directors and its Supporting Organizations. Additional details, including the URL of the complete details and the application form, are contained below.

I encourage you all to read the material below and to consider who might be appropriate and strong candidates for such submissions, and to make recommendations of suitable individuals. Interested individuals may also submit a statement of interest directly.

If any of you have any questions, comments or recommendations that you would like to discuss with me directly please contact me directly.

Please feel free to redistribute this message to any and all relevant individuals and groups. Thank you.


Elliot Noss
Member, ICANN Nominating Committee


The ICANN Nominating Committee invites Recommendations and Statements of Interest from the community as it seeks qualified candidates for the following positions:

- two members of the ICANN Board of Directors;

- two members of the Council of the Generic Names Supporting
Organization (GNSO);

- one member of the Council of the Country-Code Names
Supporting Organization (ccNSO); and

- three members of the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).

Those individuals selected by the Nominating Committee will have a unique opportunity to work with accomplished colleagues from around the globe, address intriguing technical coordination problems and related policy development challenges with diverse functional, cultural, and geographic dimensions, and gain valuable insights and experience from working across these boundaries of knowledge, responsibility and perspective.

Additionally, those selected will gain the satisfaction of making a valuable public service contribution. Placing the broad public interest ahead of any particular interests, they will help ensure the stability and security of the Internet for critically important societal functions.

These voluntary positions are not remunerated, although direct expenses incurred in the course of duty may be reimbursed. These positions may involve significant international travel, including personal presence at periodic ICANN meetings, as well as regular telephone and Internet communications.

Candidates should be women and men with a high level of qualifications and experience with an international outlook including some familiarity with the Internet. They should be prepared to contribute to the collective decision-making process among ICANN's constituencies, supporting organizations and advisory bodies.

Selection criteria, eligibility factors, roles of each position, application procedure, and contacts are posted at:

Applications will be handled confidentially and should be received by 12:00 GMT on 15 June 2005 for full consideration. Selections will be made in October with service beginning in December 2005.

UPDATE: I just remembered it was Elliot Noss who first talked to me about the ICANN board at the Future in Review conference several years ago. I remember laughing at him at the time. ;-) Things have come full circle I guess.

Dan Gillmor has just launched his grassroots journalism site. "Bayosphere ...of, by and for the Bay Area."

Congratulations Dan!

Today was the City of Yokohama Committee for the Protection of Identification Information Committee meeting. I was appointed to this committee in 2003 in the wake of their decision to allow their citizens to opt out of the Japanese Basic Resident Code database. I was reappointed again today. I joined a number of these government committees to try to help protect rights, prevent stupid decisions and change bad laws, but I am increasingly frustrated by the Japanese bureaucracy and the ability to cause any change through these committees. (Although local government committees are clearly more sincere than central government committees.) I think part of it is because I am spending more and more time outside of Japan where board positions or public debate appear to have more direct effect. Generally speaking, Japanese government committees allow you to say what you feel, but it is very unclear exactly what effect what you say has. (One exception was when I think I did permanent damage in a committee to the stupid idea of Japan trying to do a version of the Clipper chip when it was in vogue in the US.)

The meeting today was open to the public and there was one reporter and two citizen observers. The city officials reported on the status of the system. 836,654 or 23.78% of the people are opted out of the system and only 15,503 people have asked to be issued national ID cards. After the report, we were asked to discuss issues generally.

My opinion was that because of all of the commotion that we made around the security issues of the system, the security of the core system itself is fairly good, but the local government networks that it connects to are still a mess. Also, my main concern has always been the risk of the data being collected and abused OUTSIDE of the core network and these issues have not been addressed. There have been some fraudulent cards, but major crimes have not been committed. I warned that this is because barely anyone is using the network. If the government comes up with some useful application for the ID system, I'm sure fraud will increase. I also pointed out that at this level of usage, it can't be making any financial sense for the local governments who have installed and are running the system. Yokohama is one of the largest cities, but in small towns, there are still only dozens of users. I added rather bluntly that considering the cost and the potential risk because of the ill-conceived architecture, I still think they should shut the whole thing down and start from scratch building something useful using modern privacy technology to address specific needs rather than continue to use this expensive and pointless system. The system was basically a product of the e-Japan initiative to make Japan #1 in IT and fuel it with government spending. Of course building a national ID system would be a great way to spend a lot of money. Anyone who has run a business knows, that you shouldn't invest good money after bad. Just because it cost a lot to build doesn't mean we need to keep investing.

I doubt, of course, that my opinion will change anything, but at least it's on the public record.