ICANN and its leadership, already the target of widespread criticism over a variety of issues including its decisions regarding Top Level Domain names, is now taking heat from the US congress. Vint Cerf, chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, was grilled by members of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications Thursday.
The hearing, called “Is ICANN’s New Generation of Internet Domain Name Selection Process Thwarting Competition?” has provided a forum for critics of the organization. Adding a certain gravity to the meetings is the knowledge that a report by the Congressional General Accounting Office last year asserts that the US Commerce Department, not ICANN, holds the legal power to add new top level domains. The threat of pulling ICANN’s charter is implicit.