Industry News

IFFOR Hires Former ICANN Staff- How Convenient!

From  – The International Foundation for Online Responsibility — the organization tasked with setting policy for the operation of websites within the dot-xxx domain space — has hired former mainstream journalist Kieren McCarthy to lead its public outreach efforts. Among other things, McCarthy is the author of the authoritative book One Domain, Two Men, Twelve Years and the Brutal Battle for the Jewel in the Internet’s Crown.

Previously, McCarthy served as general manager of public participation at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

As an IFFOR staff member, McCarthy’s tasks will include informing stakeholders of policies under consideration as well as developing the tools through which community members and IFFOR Policy Council members may work toward consensus. He performed similar functions for ICANN, winning acclaim for overhauling the tools and systems employed to involve the public in ICANN’s policy process.

McCarthy said he is “a strong advocate” of the multi-stakeholder model used to determine policies in an increasing number of organizations that serve diverse groups online.

“I look forward to the challenge,” McCarthy said of his new role. “IFFOR will bring together a diverse group with strongly held views on a range of complex and far-reaching issues. The fun part will be finding those workable compromises that everyone can buy into.”

IFFOR Executive Director Joan Irvine indicated McCarthy’s addition to the staff embodies both a blessing and a relief.

“We are delighted to have someone of Kieren’s skills and experience come onboard,” she said. “He has a strong track record of finding ways to involve people and making them feel a part of the process.”

IFFOR Chairman Stuart Lawley added, “It’s great to see another high-caliber individual sign up to IFFOR’s mission. In the Policy Council, we have already managed to bring together international leaders from the adult industry, child protection, privacy and security, and freedom of expression arenas, and now we have someone who is able to make the most of that talent.”

McCarthy is the second high-profile former ICANN insider to move to a private-sector, domain-related organization within the past few months. In June, immediately after his term as ICANN chairman expired, Peter Dengate Thrush was named executive chairman of Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., the UK-based parent company of domain registry service provider Minds + Machines. Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., Minds + Machines consults with registries as they prepare to launch new domain extensions.

The appointment generated controversy, as Dengate Thrush’s self-avowed crowning achievements during his multiple terms with ICANN included the controversial approval of dot-xxx and the creation of a new generic TLD process that may add thousands of domain spaces to the internet. Dengate Thrush’s move to TLDH sparked accusations of conflict of interest and prompted at least one U.S. senator to urge the Department of Commerce to strengthen ethical guidelines in future ICANN contracts.

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