World Internet body ICANN to discuss cyber security issues at length in Hyderabad

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The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which runs the world wide web, has begun its 57 th annual general meeting in Hyderabad on Thursday. This is the first meeting, second one to be held in India though, after the US Government relinquished its operational authority over the Internet in September last year.

Among other important topics, the conference would discuss the transitional issues of internet governance, which would now be in a multi-stakeholder community mode, related to fixing of accountability through new by-laws for various stake holders besides issues related to domain name system.

The ICANN is also a platform representing the entire ecosystem dependent on the Internet, including internet users, business interests, Intellectual Property organisations, Governments among others. ICANN comprises a host of entities like generic name supporting organisation, country code code name supporting organisation, and address supporting organisation or the ASO that looks after the Internet Protocol IP addresses, in addition to Governmental Advisory committee (GAC), Security Advisory committee among other bodies.

The other major issue that would be debated in the 7-day event would be on ways to address the issues of cyber security, particularly in the light of faster expansion of Internet of Things(IoT), which, experts think is the most vulnerable area for cyber attacks.

"ICANN57 is the Annual General Meeting for all of ICANN; the community, the organisation, and the board of directors. According to the recommendations of the meeting strategy working group, this meeting showcases the work of ICANN. ICANN57 will feature two public forum sessions and eight community-driven high-interest topic sessions as well as outreach and engagement activities. We will also recognise the contributions of our community through two recognition programmes," ICANN chief executive officer Goran Marby said.

Union Ministry of Electronics and Communication, which is hosting the ICANN's ongoing meeting, is pursuing agenda such as the demand for establishing a Root Server that handles the domain name functions in India, and also pushing for the use of Indian language scripts in the Internet domain names. The process of finalising the necessary rule sets for 22 Indian languages identified by the Centre for this purpose is currently underway, according to the officials. ICANN has to facilitate the Universal Acceptance by working with all the downstream applications and systems including the e-mail service providers to start accepting these new addresses.

"We are excited to welcome over 2,000 delegates who have signed up to attend ICANN57, in particular, the 1,000 Indian stakeholders. This is an excellent opportunity for our community to come and learn more about the Internet community. The hosting of this ICANN57 meeting is another milestone for India's participation in the global multistakeholder community," Samiran Gupta, Head of India, ICANN said. Organisers have lined up a total of 355 sessions during the 7-day event on a variety of topics, including internet security, governance among other things, he added.

The event proceeding can also be accessed remotely as the event is being webcast, according to the organisers.

A formal inaugural session is being held on Saturday. Union Minister of Law and Justice and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao are expected to attend the inaugural session.

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