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Affirmation of Commitments: Reaction

On 30 September 2009, ICANN announced it has signed a new Affirmation of Commitments. In response, a wide range of groups and individuals sent responses and messages of support. We published these on the official announcement webpage until the list became too long. In order to retain the community's reaction to the Affirmation, we have therefore set up this webpage to act as an archive and a repository.

"The Affirmation of Commitments by ICANN and DOC fulfills a long-standing objective of the original formation of ICANN: to create an organization that can serve the world's interest in a robust, reliable and interoperable Internet."

Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet

"VeriSign commends the Internet Corporation on Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Department of Commerce the ten years of work by both parties towards the evolution of governance around the Domain Name Addressing System.  We are encouraged that the new proposed agreement by ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce will allow for more international participation in the policy creation at ICANN and expand ICANN’s efforts as technical coordinator of the domain name addressing system to ensure a robust and secure Internet."

Mark McLaughlin, President and CEO of VeriSign

"The Affirmation of Commitments establishes a new, permanent mechanism for accountability and transparency, which provides the necessary stability to ensure continued security and reliability to the Internet addressing system. It also is a recognition and endorsement of the private sector-led model, which is an essential element to the continued growth and health of the global Internet."

Olympia J. Snowe, Senior member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, United States Senate

"The Affirmation of Commitments elevates the level of transparency and accountability within ICANN's organizational management and practices. CIRA is reassured that Canadians, and indeed the global Internet community will benefit from this evolution toward a more independent Internet governance model."

Byron Holland, President and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

"I'm impressed by how this new accountability framework found what's been missing at ICANN: a balanced way to bring all governments into the oversight process alongside private sector stakeholders, with a sharpened focus on security and serving global internet users."

Steve DelBianco, Executive Director of NetChoice

"The long awaited step by the US Government is yet another proof that the US Administration has a new policy of 'reset' of relation - this time with the world Internet community.

"With the end of the JPA, there are new perspectives for ICANN as the key body for governing the domain name system,  in particular further development of its basic principles - transparency, accountability, and reporting to all interested parties - governments, internet community, business."

Michael Yakushev, Chairman of the Board of dot-ru ccTLD

"This is a welcome endorsement of bottom-up multi-stakeholder technical policy processes. This approach is one that Africa should 'take home' and adopt to make more robust it's national ICT policy developments. I look forward to more African government participation in GAC of ICANN."

Nii Quaynor, former DNSO chair, first African member of ICANN Board and recipient of the Postel Award 2007

"I welcome the new Affirmation of Commitments, and as someone who knows personally some of the members of the Board of ICANN, I congratulate them, and through them all the other directors and the ICANN staff, who - with their committed and devoted work - made possible the end of the old Joint Project Agreement."

Ivailo Kalfin, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Bulgaria

"This Affirmation of Commitments open the doors to the future of ICANN, with new and more liberties, and with new responsibilities with the Global Internet Community. Congratulations to ICANN and the US Government for this milestone. We trust in the bottom-up and multistakeholder process like the best way to the Internet development."

LACTLD (Latin American and Caribbean ccTLD association)
Board of Directors
Erick Iriarte Ahon, General Manager - LACTLD (Latin American and Caribbean ccTLD association)

"This is the dawn of a new era and should be celebrated. The full responsibility is now squarely on ICANN's shoulders. The manner and timeliness in which the Affirmation of Commitments are undertaken vis-à-vis IDNs and IDN gTLDs and how fairly, equitably and transparently ICANN's leadership and its multistakeholder model prioritizes them on behalf of the next 4 billion non-English speaking Netizens' needs and interests will be ICANN's biggest challenge and success yet. I remain optimistic."

Khaled Fattal Group Chairman, The Multilingual Internet Group Live Multilingual Translator, MINC, WebSynergys Inc.

بیانیه تعهدات جدید به نحوی شایسته تمامی جوانب مدیریت اینترنت را پوشش داده است و از سوی دیگر روند حاکمیت بین المللی بر اینترنت را تسهیل نموده است. شاید بتوان این تاریخ را « روز استقلال اینترنت» از دیدگاههای سیاسی و دولتی نامید.

"It's time to say that Internet is finally free from political/governmental views. The Affirmation of Commitments widely covers all the aspects of Internet governance in an impressive way so that we can call this era, 'The Independence Day of Internet.'"

Shahram Soboutipour, Iranian ICT Guild Organization (IranNSR)

"JPNICは、JPAからAoCへの移行を歓迎する。ICANNが今後もAoCに示された精神 を尊重しながら民間主導の実をあげ、更に発展することを期待する。"

JPNIC執行理事を代表して 丸山直昌

"JPNIC welcomes the transition of the JPA to the Affirmation of Commitment. We hope that ICANN will work productively with its private sector leadership respecting principles featured in the AoC, and evolve further."

Naomasa Maruyama, on behalf of JPNIC Executive Board Members

"It is clear this agreement is the product of a great deal of thought and hard work that took into consideration the diverse views of the governments, businesses and global Internet users who rely on a secure and stable DNS.

"As someone who has been involved in the business of the DNS since the inception of ICANN, I believe the Affirmation of Commitments provides a fair and manageable framework for Internet governance."

Paul Stahura, Founder of eNom Inc, and Chief Strategy Officer, Demand Media

"This is a HUGE step forward... [and] a fantastic way to allow ICANN to flourish independently and to keep ICANN a global, not international organization."

Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows

"C'est une marque d'un très bon esprit de collaboration international du fait que le Gouvernement américain reconnaisse le modèle multi acteur de l'ICANN.

"Par ailleurs, le fait de prévoir une série de revues régulières, pas seulement par le Gouvernement américain mais aussi par les composantes, y compris le GAC et pourquoi pas multipartites ouvre la voie à une plus grande transparence dans l'exécution des missions de l'ICANN.

"En somme c'est un tournant décisif que tout le monde doit saisir pour développer Internet Pour Tous."

Ndéye Maimouna Diop Diagne, GAC representative of Senegal

"Google and its users depend every day on a vibrant and expanding Internet; we endorse this Affirmation and applaud the maturing of ICANN's role in the provision of Internet stability."

Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer of Google

"This framework puts the public interest front and center, and it establishes processes for stakeholders around the world to review ICANN's performance."

Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator, United States Department of Commerce

"The expiration of the Joint Project Agreement is an important moment in the process towards the increased internationalisation of ICANN's coordination and management of the Internet DNS."

Statement of the Swedish Presidency of the European Union

"We congratulate the US Government for taking this next step in line with its landmark 1998 Policy on the Management of Internet Names and Addresses. At the same time we salute the efforts of ICANN and its many supporters for their dedication to ensuring the transition of the technical coordination and management of the Internet's domain name system to a public sector led organization."

Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society

"Internet users worldwide can now anticipate that ICANN's decisions on domain names and addresses will be more independent and more accountable, taking into account everyone's interests... If effectively and transparently implemented, this reform can find broad acceptance among civil society, businesses and governments alike."

Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media

"With the end of the JPA, the world Internet community, and Russians in particular, will have the opportunity to have a bigger impact when defining the policies for development of the Internet, while keeping balanced all participating parties' interests."

Andrei Kolesnikov, President of dot-ru ccTLD

"We strongly support the measures outlined in the Affirmation of Commitments... [it] will provide ICANN with a strong framework that will help it serve the international community, the domain industry and more importantly the many governments, organisations and individuals across the world that depend on the effective functioning of the domain name system."

Nominet, dot-uk registry

"The Affirmation of Commitments signals the recognition that the global Internet community is able to find creative solutions to the Internet's needs and problems at all layers. As a long-time contributor to ICANN's processes and improvement, from a non-Anglo country in development, today's recognition is a great pride."

Alejandro Pisanty, ISOC Board member and former ICANN vice-chair

"It's an important step in the commitment to transparency, accountability and stability. We are also encouraged by the positive message this sends to the global Internet community, that international interests are important to ICANN and its community. It's a healthy move for the Internet."

Bob Parsons, CEO of Go Daddy

"This indeed is a historic move. We all worked for it at some point, and should be proud of this Affirmation which now comforts the on going internationalization of the Internet."

Pierre Dandjinou, former Chairman of AfriNIC and Member of the President's Strategy Committee (PSC)

"The decentralized multilayer multiplayer review and oversight mechanism, proposed by the AoC, is a creative step into the still unknown territory of multistakeholder co-governance of the Internet. It is an innovation for multistakeholder diplomacy in the information age. The AoC opens a door for the next steps. More steps has to follow. It is now up to the Internet community to bring life into this concept of enhanced and shared responsibility."

Prof. Wolfgang Kleinwächter, University of Aarhus

"On behalf of .ORG, The Public Interest Registry, I would like to extend my congratulations to Rod Beckstrom and the ICANN community in ushering in a new era. PIR fully supports the Affirmation of Commitments by the United States Department of Commerce and ICANN. We are thrilled to learn that the new agreement continues ICANN's role in serving the public interest, as it is in direct alignment with PIR's core mission from inception, as our company name suggests. "

Alexa A. S. Raad, CEO, .ORG, The Public Interest Registry

"ETNO welcomes the Affirmation of Commitments and congratulates the NTIA for taking this gigantic step, after the MoU and the JPA. ICANN after the AoC looks more independent, while more and better accountability and transparency mechanisms have been set up. We now all have a huge task ahead of us: to make sure that the innovations and mechanisms introduced by the AoC not only work, but provide the appropriate framework to tackle the problems effectively. And for that we, all, need to engage more and better."

Michael Bartholomew, Director, ETNO

"I am excited to see ICANN entering a new stage of its development. The end of the JPA means not only end of one-government-oversight, but the beginning of the true multi stakeholder's model - where each participant is sharing the same importance, and has the opportunity to contribute to the governance of the Internet."

Dr. Plamen Vatchkov, Chairman of the ITU council, National Cybersecurity Coordinator

"This agreement is a perfect example of how a public-private partnership can work to the advantage of all stakeholders. It will help insure that the Internet remains stable and secure for the people around the world who use it for work, study, entertainment, or to stay in touch with family and friends."

Henry A. Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, United States House of Representatives

"I am pleased that the NTIA and ICANN have decided to enter into a permanent agreement that will ensure the transparency and accountability of ICANN to the benefit of all users of the Internet and that includes periodic reviews of ICANN performance."

Rick Boucher, Chairman of the Communications, Technology, and the Internet Subcommittee, United States House of Representatives

"I congratulate ICANN and the DoC on successfully concluding the JPA. I welcome ICANN's ongoing commitment to transparent, open, community led reviews of various aspects of its structure and operations and look forward to working with ICANN and all community members to further enhance ICANN's internationalisation."

Chris Disspain, CEO of AuDa and Chairman of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)

"The Affirmation of Commitments is a significant step forward for ICANN's accountability and for redefining its relationship with the U.S. Government and the global community.

"The commitments to transparency and accountability are extensive and impressive, and the expanded role for the chair of the Government Advisory Committee helps make oversight of ICANN a truly international effort.

"ICANN's assurances on openness, stability and competition are remarkable, particularly as they are backed up by a strong oversight process that involves the global community.  This is what we needed for moving ahead into the next phase of the internet."

Jim Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies

"We have participated in the work of ICANN since its foundation, with a permanent GAC representative, and for three years a Bulgarian was member of the Board of directors. It is very good that ICANN takes a new road, where it will be accountable not only to the US Government, but to the whole world."

Parvan Rusinov, Deputy-Minister of Transport, Communications, and Information Technologies, Bulgaria

"This is a significant positive move towards a new and more open 'working environment' for ICANN and this document provides a good basis for further improvements of ICANN’s transparency and accountability with the full involvement of and cooperation with all stakeholders, public and private players as well as the civil society."

Åsa Torstensson, Infrastructure Minister of Sweden

"The Affirmation of Commitments recognizes ICANN's accomplishments to date as the global trustee of the Internet's unique identifiers and creates permanent accountability mechanisms in which other governments and the private sector can participate on an equal basis with the U.S. government."

Michael Palage, Adjunct Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation and former ICANN Board Member

"The Affirmation of Commitments is a welcome development. It allows ICANN to become what it should be: a global, stakeholder and private sector driven manager of the Internet domain name system.

"The apparent willingness of the US government to involve other governments in ensuring that ICANN performs its functions effectively and transparently, should be a comfort to many of us who had serious reservations against the JPA... Overall there's a lot of hope now."

Vika Mpisane, Chairman of AfTLD and General Manager of the dot-za registry

"This paves the way for the future - a bright future which is truly global in nature."

Michele Neylon, Managing Director of Blacknight

"This is an important moment for ICANN, the global business community, governments and all other stakeholders. We welcome the spirit of the affirmation of commitments regarding the future evolution and responsibilities of the organization."

Herbert Heitmann, Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Commission on E-business IT and Telecoms and Chief Communications Officer of SAP

"The new framework spelled out in the Affirmation of Commitments is something ICANN has needed for a long time. It reinforces ICANN's charter as a group that works in the public interest; it makes ICANN truly global; it gives ICANN the freedom to operate, and it sets up what we hope will be a sustainable model for government involvement. ICANN's leadership has been given a license to do good, and we in the ICANN community should also redouble our efforts to make good on ICANN's promise. Congratulations to everyone at ICANN and at the Department of Commerce for reaching this historic milestone."

Antony Van Couvering, CEO, Minds + Machines

"This new leap would bring a lot good happenings for Internet stakeholders in the future. A more independent ICANN is what we have been listening from all corners of the world. Congratulation! we have entered into a fresh phase of pivotal Internet resources policy development with more fruitful results through ICANN's bottom-up approach."

Naveed Haq, Assistant Director (ICT), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

"JPRS welcomes the end of JPA and signing of the Affirmation as the milestone of private-sector-led Internet resource management. And we will contribute more than ever to sound evolution of the Internet through participating in ICANN process."

Koki Higashida, President, Japan Registry Services (.jp)


"The Affirmation of Commitments by ICANN and DOC fulfills, let the world see the world in the management of DNS and IP addresses same as ITU: to achieve seamless interchange of globalization, coordination mechanisms, the first principle of public interest, open system advantages gained support . This is the world's Internet 40 years in technology management policy, one of the greatest events."

沈阳 ,千龙网 , 《中国域名经济》主编,中国互联网协会政策与资源工作委员会 Blog 研究组委员

Shen Yang, and Chief Editor of “The Economics of China’s Domain Names”, Committeeman of WG for Blog, Internet Society of China (ISC)

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