Kiwi picked as ICANN chairman

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The Board of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has selected Peter Dengate Thrush, a New Zealand lawyer long active on internet addressing policies; over Roberto Gaetano of Italy to replace Vint Cerf.

Gaetano will still be ICANN’s vice chairman.

The selection comes after ICANN are doing trials of domains using other languages like Chinese and Japanese, which do not have a Latin based alphabet. This also can blunt some criticism that ICANN is US-centric – given that it’s based in California and the US Department of Commerce has veto power over it.

ICANN, however has an Australian Chief Executive, along with board members from the six populated continents. The United States, who funded much of the Internet early development, hold 3 out of the 15 seats.

Mr. Thrush previous experience comes from InternetNZ, who controls the .nz domain, where he was a legal adviser and chairman. He inherits a corporation that has roughly 100 employees that are paid out of a $US41.6 million budget, according to AustralianIT.