In their publication What to do About ICANN: A Proposal for Structural Reform (PDF), the Internet Governance Project suggests some changes to the organization of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The organizations close ties to the US government is in focus. The background is the upcoming WSIS-conference, and the three suggestions are very concrete and certainly both feasible and good.

Three structural reforms are proposed: 1 Create an international oversight body to replace US oversight of ICANN and ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee; 2 restore ICANN’s global Board elections; 3 Give ccTLD managers and Internet Protocol address users a choice of governance arrangements by sharing responsibility for the Internet root zone between ICANN and the ITU.

However, the report does not (specifically) address the difficulties with influence from non-democratic governments. This is a delicate issue. Should repressive governments be given a vote in these issues? Will citizens in countries with limited or no freedom of speech be better or worse off, if control over the Internet is handed to the UN? That’s the real question.

They do however suggest a peer-to-peer model where the International Telecommunications Union is given their own IPv6 address blocks and acts as a parallel registrar to ICANN, in about the same way as many other Western democracies divide power into different branches.