Icann to work on 'substantive issues'

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will be getting together to see how the internet works for the...

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will be getting together to see how the internet works for the first time, said Icann chairman Vint Cerf.

Cerf said that the organisation has been bogged down in organisation issues and is just now able to deal with "substantive issues" such as how to expand the internet and shore up its security.

The body which oversees matters relating to the internet address system has been undergoing an organisational overhaul after coming under criticism for being overly bureaucratic and ineffective.

With some key organisational issues now dealt with, such as a framework put into place for greater public input, Icann 3.0 is now looking to address the technical future of the internet.

The group will be discussing how to expand the internet address system to include different country-specific, top-level domains with greater language support, as well as plans for moving from Internet Protocol (IP) 4 (IPv4) to IPv6, Cerf said.

The move from IPv4, which was introduced in 1978, to IPv6 is critical in order to support the growing number of devices requiring specific IP addresses.

There are expected to be millions of devices including personal digital assistants, mobile phones and home appliances.

"We've quickly discovered that there will be more than one or two devices [requiring IP addresses] per person," he said.

Cerf also said that given how central the domain name system is to applications working on top of it, Icann needs to focus on how to improve its security.

Icann also plans workshops on the Whois name lookup database, and will finalise the top-level domains, Cerf said.

Scarlett Pruitt writes for IDG News Service

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