ICANN78 is bringing the domain industry to Hamburg in autumn. In a short interview, Thomas Rickert, Attorney-at-Law, talks about what this involves. Thomas is Director Names & Numbers at eco – Association of the Internet Industry.
What makes the ICANN78 meeting in Hamburg so special?
ICANN meetings are held regularly all over the world. However, the last one in Germany was a long time ago; it took place in Berlin in 1999. That’s why I’m very pleased that there will be an ICANN meeting in Hamburg from 21 to 26 October 2023. As the eco Association, we are proud co-organisers of the ICANN78 Annual General Meeting – together with the City of Hamburg and DENIC. As so-called “local hosts” we will jointly host ICANN78 and welcome around 3,000-4,000 visitors from all over the world. We have planned a number of activities, both in advance of the event, and for the event itself. These will be very exciting for eco member companies.
Why are ICANN meetings so important?
ICANN plays a significant role in everything we do every day on the Internet. Without ICANN, for example, it simply wouldn’t be possible to access an Internet address. Different interest groups develop policies for the Domain Name System within the framework of a bottom-up system, i.e. grassroots democracy. The ICANN community is at the helm, democratically developing rules and policies. This can relate, for example, not only to the data protection-compliant handling of registration data, but also to the transfer of domains.
Who will take part in ICANN78?
In the community, different interest groups will meet in Hamburg and work on current topics. One of the major topics is the introduction of further top-level domains, where the last barriers are currently being removed so that applications for new domain extensions can be submitted once again in 2025. As eco, we are active in the GNSO, the Generic Names Supporting Organisation. In this group, it is not only registries and registrars that are represented, as you might think, but also Internet Service Providers. The ISPs participate in the Internet Service Provider Constituency (ISPCP), on whose behalf I sit on the governing body, the GNSO Council. We are also organising an outreach event that interested ISPs and connectivity providers should attend. So be sure to check international.eco.de for the dates.
Thomas, thank you very much for the interview!