June 5, 2009 – (HOSTSEARCH.COM) – There's nothing more important to most Americans than the nation's security and a strong economy. The key to both -- agree President Barack Obama and Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons -- is a safe and secure Internet. That's why Go Daddy, a global leader in the Internet industry, testified today in front of a Congressional subcommittee about the critical need for a continued relationship between the U. S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Go Daddy's General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Christine N. Jones strongly urged the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet to renew, or at the very least extend, the Joint Partnership Agreement (JPA) between NTIA and ICANN. The JPA is currently scheduled to sunset September 30.
"ICANN is responsible for an important public trust," testified Jones, noting significant concerns about ICANN's lack of transparency and accountability. ICANN was created 12 years ago to administer a globally-acceptable Web address system. While Go Daddy acknowledges ICANN has made progress in achieving some of its original goals, the company feels there is much more to be accomplished before the U.S. Commerce Department recommends ICANN operate independent of NTIA oversight.
A majority of subcommittee members noted their shared concerns about allowing the JPA to sunset.
At one point during the hearing, Counsel Jones was asked by Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona about Go Daddy's transparency concerns of ICANN. Jones noted the lack of open meetings held by the ICANN Board and accused ICANN of "stonewalling" registrars who request board meeting transcripts. ICANN's CEO Paul Tomey, Ph.D, disagreed with Jones' assessment. His retort, however, did not appear to allay the subcommittee's concerns.
The security of the Internet was also a high priority at this hearing, as it is for the current White House administration. President Obama is keenly aware of the extraordinary dangers a compromised Internet would cause to national defense and the world's economy. Those concerns led to his announcement last week of a "cyber-security czar" to help protect the nation's crucial telecom infrastructure and information systems.
As the world's largest domain name registrar and a leader globally in both Web site hosting and eCommerce, Go Daddy worries about many of the same issues. The company believes strongly that, without NTIA oversight, ICANN may be vulnerable to "capture by another government, international organization, or business that does not have a secure and stable Internet as its top priority," declared Jones at today's hearing.
Go Daddy also believes the JPA between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN is a critical ingredient for a safe and secure Internet. "It is essential for both international commerce and the security and stability of the Internet that the relationship between the NTIA and ICANN continue," stated Jones.
This is not the first time Go Daddy has headed for Capitol Hill in defense of a safer and more secure Internet. Just last year, Go Daddy worked tirelessly to help pass two new federal laws -- one protecting children from online sexual predators -- and a second, providing Web companies with much-needed tools to take illegitimate Internet pharmacies offline.
In addition to its work in Washington, Go Daddy donates generously to charity. In 2008, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company gifted $1.7MM to charities which help the less fortunate. Go Daddy employs more than 2100 people and operates offices in Scottsdale, Gilbert and Tempe, Ariz., as well as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Denver, Colo. and Washington, D.C. The Internet giant has more than 6.6MM customers and 35MM domains under management. The company offers 50+ products to enhance Web sites for individuals and online entrepreneurs and is also known for its industry-best 24/7 personalized customer service.