The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has been controversial since before its founding. Its acronym, ICANN, is punnable and headline-able. A few years back the tech press, and even mainstream outlets, delighted in detailing the organization's stumbles and interviewing its harshest critics. ICANN's role -- coordinating the allocation and use of IP addresses and domain names -- guarantees that its moves will continue to touch all on the Net.
So why was news of the impending retirement of its CEO and a scaling back by a key vice president treated so perfunctorily? Why did few of the mainstream outlets even notice that a key ICANN lawyer, a power behind the throne, is also rumored to be stepping back from his involvement?
Most everybody who covered the story wrote fewer than 300 words -- about the length of ICANN's press release. Reuters, in a filing picked up by USA Today, CNET, the L.A.Times, and other outlets, at least noted that there had been controversy surrounding the tenure of ICANN CEO M. Stuart Lynn. Nobody reported any of the controversy asscoiated with Chief Policy Officer Andrew McLaughlin and only ComputerWire's piece in The Register so much as mentioned that eminence grise lawyer Joe Sims also intends to withdraw from acting for ICANN.
For deeper background on the story, turn to the Weblogs. Ted Byfield penned a critical summary of Lynn's tenure for IcannWatch after Bret Fausett's ICANN Blog broke the news of the CEO's planned departure. Here's a detail the mainstream missed: Word first came from dissident ICANN director Andy Muller-Maguhn, who wrote a quick note to a European mailing list while on a flight home from an ICANN meeting in New York, forcing ICANN to rush out its own press release. - Keith Dawson
Internet body chief to step down in 2003 (Reuters)
(also CNET, ZDNet, LAT)
ICANN to lose CEO, key staff (ComputerWire)
ICANN Bids Adieu to Lynn and McLaughlin
[icann-europe] news from the icann board retreat
Lynn to Retire in 2003; McLaughlin to Go Half-Time (press relese)
ICANN President and VP announce plans to retire (ComputerWorld)
ICANN President Announces Retirement
Internet-Oversight Body IcannSays CEO Lynn Plans to Resign (Roundup)
(Paid subscription required)