Three times a year, the Internet Domain Name System’s de-facto regulator ICANN holds public meetings around the world. In keeping with ICANN’s uniquely open governance model, in which everyone can participate, these meetings are free and open to all.
Anyone can register, either online beforehand or directly onsite. Once registered, participants can then attend the week-long meetings and enjoy the endless debates on domain name policy, the extremely high quality wifi connections and the interactions between the representatives of governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, the technical community and Internet users that are all ICANN meeting regulars.
As the Internet’s naming system becomes an ever more crucial issue, so has interest around ICANN grown. Its meetings also, some stretching to 3,000 attendees.
As the ICANN community once again prepares to congregate for its first meeting of 2016, to be held in Marrakech in March, the organisation is revamping its security measures to ensure that it is prepared should it start attracting the wrong kind of attention.
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé outlined the measures during an ICANN community leaders teleconference this week. Explaining that he’s had frequent discussions with Morocco’s government in recent weeks, he assured the teleconference participants that security measures were being stepped up.
“The world is now a very different place and security concerns are a feature in every country we travel to,” he said. “So we’re strongly upping our security management, not only for Marrakech, but for all our meetings going forwards. These are steps that any global organisation, not just ICANN, simply must take due to the terror situation globally.”
Chehadé and ICANN’s Vice President of meetings Nicholas Tomasso then went on to outline some of the new measures.
These include direct collaboration with a security consultancy firm, constant risk assessment updates on ICANN meeting venues, social media monitoring for any indication ICANN might be a target, requiring government issue IDs for registration, bag and attendee check at meeting venue entrances and even a crisis response plan in case one does occur.
A few days after Chehadé’s briefing to community leaders, Tomasso confirmed the new measures in a blog post.