Sweden's Goran Marby was named head of the body that manages internet addresses, pledging to uphold checks and balances as it steps out from under US government oversight.
Marby, director-general of the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, will take charge in May of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as the nonprofit transitions to become an independent non-governmental body.
Marby described ICANN as evolving and vowed to keep it on course under what is known as multistakeholder governance, bringing in business and academia as well as government users of the internet. ""The stakeholder model has proven its strength,"" said Marby, who will succeed Fadi Chehade as president and chief executive at ICANN.""It is important for me to continue that evolution. That is the way of going forward right now.""
While the transition will not change how the internet works, it will help reassure users, businesses and governments about its integrity, according to supporters who see it as a symbolic move towards asserting the web's independence.
The multistakeholder model is intended to allow virtually all users, in the public and private sector, to participate in internet governance, as opposed to a multilateral system controlled by governments.
A transition plan being prepared since early 2014 is undergoing final touches before being delivered to the US government, and is on track for completion this year, ICANN says.
""The beauty of the stakeholder model is that it is like the internet,"" Marby said. ""The internet is very distributed, so there are many checks and balances in the system to make sure it works. It is an unusual model, but it is a working model and it is proven.""