Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

After my blog post about joining ICANN and protecting the Internet from the ITU, I received several essays and arguments about how I didn't understand the ITU. I promise to study the ITU more and enter the dialog with an open mind. The previous post is based on my understanding which is admittedly not first hand maybe a bit shallow. It was based on discussions with people whose opinion I respect highly so I am still fairly convinced that ICANN is better than ITU, but if anyone has anything that they think I should read to understand the ITU and why THEY should take over ICANN's role, please send me email or drop a comment here and I will read it. I'll post again when I'm a bit more educated from more first hand sources.


Instead of saying why ITU should take over ICANN role, why not look at ways they can collobrate and not compete?

ITU is intergovernmental. They have governments trusts and hence political power. They have 130yrs of governmental experience dealing with all sort of difficult problems among governments.

ICANN is a young organization. Despite all its problems, it has support from the community (over ITU). It has support from developed countries (developing countries needs to come onboard but they havent). It has done okay for a young organization in a difficult field (not perfect, but okay).

So look at ICANN structure; Look at ways ITU can complement ICANN and vice versa. The obvious place to start is GAC. The next is getting governments, registries, registrars, engineers and general-assembly involved, not just as an advisor/supporting role but as part of the decision making process. (At this moment, ICANN needs more public consultation on decisions its makes)

ps; A funny conversation at WTSA when I was sitting with US delegates when one drew an analogy of grandfather (ITU) and young child (ICANN); both will have difference culture from different background; both will not see eye to eye on a lot of issue; and if child misbehave, the reaction is to lock up the child; ... etc (pretty funny joke :-)

However, IMO, both can also learn to love each another; or at least, live in harmony in the same house.

I'm very impressed that even in a situation where you could arbitrarily make a decision and not really be held accountable for it (ICANN vs ITU is a controversial enough topic that few can honestly judge you based on which side you are on) you still have the sense of honor and self-respect to be sure that you believe in what you are doing. It isn't often that I see an influential person strive to make the right decisions, and I respect you for it.

You can study the ITU and ICANN all you want. You will likely
find they are very similar. They are cut from the same cloth
as people like Esther Dyson. The gene pool does not get much
shallower than that.

While you are studying the ITU and wasting your time with ICANN,
the network market in the .USA will progress. It will progress
much faster and more smoothly without the ITU and ICANN. The
elected government leaders and business leaders in the .USA
understand that fact. That is one of the reasons they choose
to be in the .USA. That is one of the only places in the world
where people can FREELY ignore the ITU and ICANN. Freedom comes
at a price. People compete. Some win and some lose. People
like Esther Dyson think they can decide what the market wants.
Her selection of the .COOP TLD was a real gem, along with .PRO
and .AERO and some others.

The .USA TLD will succeed, despite people like Dyson.