ICANN’s Paul Twomey keynote at Influence Forum 07


At the secret gathering of journalists, freelance writers, vendors and a few bloggers they call Influence Forum 2007 hosted by Media Connect, the CEO of ICANN Paul Twomey, who happens to be Australian, gave a deep insight into what he and his organization thinks of the internet’s current trends and issues over lunch.

DSCN1731At least trying to talk when he could between the occasional down-pour.

ICANN for those who don’t know is not just a personal motivation acronym, in fact it is the non-profit organization which oversees the assigning of internet domain names and IP addresses. However Paul reitterated many times that in fact they do not control the internet. No one controls the internet.

Because I’m not skilled enough to eat and write at the same time, I only took some rough notes of what he said.

  • Paul mentioned and gave some weighting to the network neutrality issue in the United States
  • Australia has made a significant contribution to ICANN, if not the largest contributor per capita.
  • There will be a move from “person-to-person” to “machine-to-machine” internet.
  • Experimental implementations of IP technology involving cars with IP addresses, every component in an aeroplane with IP addresses, washing machines and electricity meters.
  • Geo-location and geo-indexing capabilities, especially in VOIP with emergency services being able to locate where you are.
  • Voice-based access to network, to reduce barriers to technology.
  • Integrating video gaming-like experiences into services. Example he used was Keyhole/Google Earth, how it was almost like a game.
  • Future growth areas: home security; downloading videos, music, books; pre-recorded television content.
  • Device interaction – placing sensors on common objects such as trucks to record environment data (rainfall, temperature).
  • There will be a cold war between attackers on the internet and defenders.
  • Operating systems are a troublesome source of problems.

Paul recommends Australia, commonly perceived as laggards in internet technology, needed to improve in three areas.

  • Universal access, including speed.
  • Resilience against cyber attacks.
  • IPV6 adoption to run in parallel with IPV4 in the foreseeable future.

For 30 minutes, the “internet” was a big topic to cover so I think Paul did extremely well. Duncan Riley has a more in-depth article on Paul’s fascination with virtual worlds and gaming-like experiences on the internet.

One insightful thought

Leave a Reply