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Despite endless criticism since its founding in 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) remains responsible for ensuring the global Internet's operational stability and security.
Jonathan Koppell, director of the School of Public Affairs and dean of the College of Public Programs, recently detailed out the factors that allow ICANN to persist over its tumultuous 14-year history in a Future Tense article on Slate.
In "You Got a Better Idea?," Koppell explains how ICANN’s general acceptance, relatively limited powers and adaptability all contribute to its persistence. Additionally, the fear of anything new keeps policymakers, business leaders and government officials from actively pursuing an ICANN alternative.
Koppell’s article was released in conjunction to a Future Tense event Who Should Govern the Internet? in Washington, D.C. Koppell participated as both a moderator and panelist at the event, which discussed the pending United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union summit that could (unlikely) result in a treaty granting a U.N. agency jurisdiction, and control, over the online universe.
Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, the New America Foundation, and Slate magazine that explores how emerging technologies affect policy and society.