• Governance Ecology - Global Element

last modified January 5, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

Faced with managing a global resource, global society has experimented with a number of governance organizations and processes since the Internet's founding. Here we focus on the ICANN and touch on the IETF, the U.N.'s Internet Governance Forum, the Internet Society, International Telecommunications Union, civil society, and other organizations and developments as they impact the operation of .nyc and more broadly, city-TLDs.

The Internet Governance
Archive Initiative

During the Public Forum at the June 2008 ICANN Paris meeting, Connecting.nyc Inc.'s founder conversed with ICANN's Chair, Peter Dengate Thrush, about creating an archive of the ICANN’s governance experiences, as per the above.  Our goal was to have these resources available for Connecting.nyc Inc.’s continuing effort to create a viable governance structure for the .nyc TLD and for other cities that will be acquiring TLDs in the coming years.­

After some exchanges with ICANN staff,  it was suggested that a post on the ICANN blog might be a way to further scope the effort and move it forward. Here's the transcript of that conversation.

ICANN Forum Conversation
T.Lowenhaupt, Connecting.nyc Inc.
and P.D.Thrush, at ICANN
Paris, June 25, 2008
>>THOMAS LOWENHAUPT: Tom Lowenhaupt on
behalf of dot NYC and good governance
for city TLDs.

I've been an observer and occasional
participant in the Internet governance
process for a little over ten years now.
During that time, I've seen concepts
such as open and transparent,
stakeholder, and multistakeholder
flower here.

The role and responsibilities of civil
society are being shaped by the efforts
to establish a viable governance
structure for the Internet. Today
Internet governance innovations are
seeping into the U.N. via the IGF.

The organization for which I work,
Connecting.nyc Inc., is a New York State
not for profit corporation. As such, it
is bound by our U.S. and New York State
constitutions and by statutes enacted
by a legislature. These guidelines did
not imagine an Internet or a dot NYC TLD.

Much of my time these days is spent
in research and discussions seeking
an effective governance structure for
the dot NYC TLD. New York City is a baby
in terms of global cities, having been
formed a mere 400 years ago, our
governance structure will be shaped by
those years and the unique needs of
merging the Internet into our complex
society. And our governance structure
will be different from that of every
other city TLD.

The ICANN is a treasure of
governance experiences.  From the
decisions that shaped the initial
incorporation under the laws of the
state of California that elected Esther
Dyson as the first chair, to the
process that elected Karl Auerbach
and several others to the board of
directors, to this week's many meetings
which explored its future.

I'd like to request that a new section
be created on ICANN's Web site that
presents ICANN's governance experiences.
This would be of immense help to cities
such as New York, Berlin, Paris, as
they seek their counterparts to ALAC
and NCUC, the constituencies and
advisory boards that will guide those
TLDs' development.  And our pioneering
experiences should be catalogued for
the many cities that will soon
integrate that amazing tool, the
Internet, into their cultures in new and
exciting ways.

Cities are the grass roots, they're
the bottom-up, and will increasingly
play a role in Internet governance.
Please provide some resources to assist
our efforts.

Thank you all very much. And thank you
for sitting, all of you, throughout
this long meeting. [Applause]

you for thanking us. In addition
to what you said we've heard recently
that another multinational organization
has just started adopting ICANN type
governance structures. Your suggestion
that we put some of that experience
available as a resource on the Web
site is an excellent one, and I see
that the manager of public participation
has also heard that and that may be
something we can do for communities
­­such as yours. So thank you for that.

Initial contact with ICANN on this was made in 2010 and follow-up is long overdue.

UN Entities

(Insert Graphic)

  • General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations
  • Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) - a subsidiary of ECOSOC, the Commission provides the General Assembly and ECOSOC with high-level advice on relevant science and technology issues.
  • Conference on Trade and Development is responsible for the substantive servicing of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD).
 Civic Society

Civic Society is a key part of the multi-stakeholder approach to IG (Internet Governance), along with government and industry. The following are some of the organizations and resources that comprise CS.




















































The operation of the .nyc TLD requires interaction with the ICANN during the acquisition phase and with several oversight and coordination entities thereafter. The initial engagement is with the ICANN.


The ICANN's home page indicated on February 25, 2007 that "ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers [Domain Names]. These include domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .UK), as well as the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols. Computers use these identifiers to reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's ongoing security and stability." 

Official ICANN Organization View(s) 

  • Organization Chart, October 2012 - Note addition of a new voting seat on the board, the At-Large seat.


  • Organization Chart, October 2011


  • Organization Chart, August 2008


  • Organization Chart, October 2005

  • Organization Chart, early 2000


How Others View Global Internet Governance

The ISOC-India-Chennai view:


Affirmation of Commitments

On September 30, 2009 a new relationship between ICANN and the U.S.'s NTIA began via an Affirmation of Commitments agreement:


  1. This document constitutes an Affirmation of Commitments (Affirmation) by the United States Department of Commerce ("DOC") and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN"), a not-for-profit corporation. In recognition of the conclusion of the Joint Project Agreement and to institutionalize and memorialize the technical coordination of the Internet's domain name and addressing system (DNS)1, globally by a private sector led organization, the parties agree as follows: More...

The AoC prescribed an evaluation process that included periodic public hearings and reviews. 

AOC Resources

Global Internet Governance Entities

In addition the the ICANN, the following organizations are involved with Internet oversight and governance.

  • United Nations Entities - See sidebar.
  • U.S. NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Agency) - Office of International Affairs
  • U.S. Department of State - On May 13, 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Philip L. Verveer, with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Communications and Information Policy in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Department of State. More...
  • Internet Governance Forum (IGF) - The United Nations exploration into the Internet. 
  • The Internet Society - The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education and policy. There is a New York chapter of ISOC.
  • Internet Governance Caucus - The key civil society contributor to the IGF.
  • International Telecommunications Union - The world's oldest international organization.

Resource Links

  • The New Internet Nation State - A December 14, 2010 proposal by ICANN's CEO Rod Beckstrom calling for the inclusion of the Internet as an independent nation-state.
  • ABC's of ICANN Acronyms
  • History of City-TLD Domain Names - It is said that a discussion on city names took place on the historic "namedroppers" conversation of the early 1980's. A link to that conversation is sought.
  • City TLD Applicants 2012

Related Governance Pages

    Key .nyc Pages