New ICANN head is former US national cyber security chief

The global Internet domain name rule-making body has appointed former U.S. National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) director Rod Beckstrom as its new CEO.

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The global Internet domain name rule-making body has appointed former U.S. National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC) director Rod Beckstrom as its new CEO.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), whose officials have been meeting in Sydney all this week, made the announcement that Beckstrom will replace the retiring Paul Twomey.

In March Beckstrom resigned as US cybersecurity chief in what appears to be a turf war with the National Security Agency (NSA).

ICANN's Board Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush, said in a statement: "Rod Beckstrom has exactly the sort of strong personal and technical background that ICANN needs, as we enter a period of unprecedented growth and change for the Internet."

"In addition to his cyber security expertise, he's been a successful CEO of a global enterprise, done NGO work and volunteer work and a bestselling author. It's an extreme understatement to say we are enthused."

The announcement of Beckstrom as CEO has been praised by leading Internet figures including Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the "Internet's father" Vint Cerf.

"Rod Beckstrom is strikingly well-prepared to undertake a new role as CEO of ICANN. His experience in industry and government equip him for this global and very challenging job," Cerf said.

Beckstrom stressed the importance of the Internet as a free-flowing source of information, and said the recent use of the Internet to highlight the plight of Iranians shows the power of human expression through a free and open Net.

"The Internet has changed the way the world communicates and conducts commerce," Beckstrom said in a statement.

"And in no small way, this multi-stakeholder, bottom-up organisation has been and will continue to be at the core of the Internet's on-going evolution. Quite simply, the proof that ICANN works, is that the Internet works."

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