September 20, 2002, 4:17 PM — The U.S. Department of Commerce extended its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for a third time Friday, giving the much maligned agency another year to hold rule over the Internet's technical coordination and related policy.
The extension builds upon the original contract the government signed with ICANN in November of 1998, allowing the nonprofit agency to oversee matters such as the Internet name and address system.
Despite the government's nod to proceed, ICANN has had a particularly rough-and-tumble year. After enduring heavy criticism over the organization's ineffective methods and lack of transparency, ICANN President Stuart Lynn called for a complete overhaul of the agency last February. But despite Lynn's admission that ICANN was simply not working as-is, his proposals for reform, including eliminating the public election of board members, met with even greater fire.
Still, the organization has pledged to forge ahead with restructuring efforts.
Responding to the decision to extend the agency's contract for another year, Lynn said "the continued cooperation and support of the Department of Commerce will allow ICANN to complete its ongoing reform process, and resume progress toward its stated goals."
Although the ICANN board approved a proposed reform blueprint in June, the transformation is expected to take some time.