Conflict-of-Interest Debate Grows at ICANN

A boardroom dispute over ethics has broken out at the organization that maintains the Internet address system after its most important supporter, the United States government, reproached the group for governance standards said to fall short of “requirements requested by the global community.” The Commerce Department said this month that while it was temporarily extending a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to manage the allocation of computers’ Internet protocol addresses -- and the .com and .net names of Web sites associated with them -- it warned the organization that it needed to tighten its rules against conflicts of interest or risk losing a central role.