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A compodium of my published aritcles, features, etc. on technology, IT and everything else; sourced from CyberMedia publications, Financial Express, Free Press Journal,, etc……

Posts Tagged ‘Peter Dengate Thrushm

Interview: Peter Dengate Thrush (ICANN)

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As it is, interviewing a lawyer is a tough task and if the lawyer heads an organization that is often embroiled in controversies, the task becomes even more onerous. This was my dilemma, as I started my interaction with Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the board, ICANN. The Kiwi Barrister had come down to India for an ICANN event and I met up with him at a seminar he was attending in Mumbai. He is one of the rare people, who genuinely was eager to attend all the sessions at the seminar. Thus, I had to time the conversation between two sessions and he sat down with a cup of coffee.

Now, ICANN as an institution over the past decade has been involved in lot many controversies, some of its making and a majority of them not. Thus, as I would put forth those questions, Thrush would thrash them away in his characteristic ‘lawyerly’ way. Certain questions, he would make me repeat, then a few times he would ask me to elaborate and sometimes he would just dismiss them altogerther. Everytime he was ready with his defense and ready it to back it up. As the interview proceeded, he softened a bit and that is when the conversation,in a sort of way, took off. While researching on Thursh, I had come across this very tragic incident in his life, wherein he lost his father, wife and brother in a car accident. I wanted to ask him about the foundation that he has set up in the memory of his wife and family, but then I let it be. I really didn’t wish to remind him of those traumatic days
So here is barrister Thrush defending ICANN on all the diiferent issues that I could think of. Believe me, he did a jolly well job of it.



‘US is not controlling Net Resources’

It has been nearly a decade since Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) came into being at Marina Del Rey, California. Set up as a non-profit corporation to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the US Government by other organizations. The chief task of ICANN is to manage the assignment of domain names (over 145 million domain names) and IP addresses, popularly referred to as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function. Yet, over the years, ICANN has been embroiled in controversies, be it political or technical in nature. The main grouse many seem to have with ICANN, is that it seems to be a trifle more conscious to the whims and fancies of the US Government.

In the past few years, there has also been an increasing chorus asking for either ICANN to be freed from its obligations to the US Government, or all together stripped of the role it plays. Nonetheless, the ICANN boat seems sail quite merrily, recently it launched the .Asia domain name with much fanfare and also announced the shift to IPV6 from IPV4. In midst of all this jumble-tumble, there was also a change of guard at ICANN, Internet pioneer Vincent Cerf was replaced by barrister Peter Dengate Thrush as the chairman of the board. It has been a significant move, as many argue that by appointing a New Zealander the Board is trying to play down its association with the US Government. Whatever be the reasons or compulsions, one thing is for sure, Thrush is completely in control with the developments at ICANN. It is almost impossible to pin down this suave barrister, he seems to be ready at all times with facts, figures and arguments to prove his contention.

Recently, Thrush had come down to India to attend the 33rd ICANN conference held in India. Taking some time out, Thrush spoke at length to Dataquest on the different controversies that surround ICANN and what he feels about the coming years. Excerpts.

How does it feel about fitting into Vincent Cerf’s shoes?
It is a big honor really, to follow someone who is such a pioneer and rightly rewarded for his work. I remember mentioning in my speech that he was ranked at number 11 in the list of 40 most influential technologists. I was elected unamiously by the Board, thus I have got the confidence of the rest of the Board. I have been on the Board for years, and know what the expectations are and how it functions. SO I have to just press on and execute the responsibilities that I have been given. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat DC

March 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm