After 21 Years, ICANN Going Back to Germany

For the first time in 21 years, ICANN will hold a public meeting in Germany in October 2020 the global domain name overseer announced at its public meeting in Panama last week.

DENIC, the .de ccTLD registry, and eco, the German Association of the Internet Industry will be joint hosts of ICANN’s 69th public meeting to be held in Hamburg from 17 to 22 October 2020. The previous meeting held in Germany was ICANN’s second, held in Berlin in May 1999.

Back in 1999, the meeting details available on the ICANN website reflect an organisation in the making with issues much different from facing it today, although some remain the same such as budgetary issues. Back then issues discussed were the development of many of the committees and groups that are either still in existence today or were in their infancy and have evolved into other bodies.

“After Berlin in 1999, this is the first time in 20 years that we have brought an ICANN conference to Germany,” says Oliver Süme, Chair of the Board of eco – Association of the Internet Industry. “With eco, DENIC, and the City of Hamburg, strong partners from industry and politics have joined to achieve this goal.”

“An open, free, and secure Internet is a strategic priority for DENIC. The commitment of the German Internet Community has been honoured with the decision to bring the ICANN meeting to Hamburg. This will offer a good opportunity to put the German and European perspectives to the table at an even broader level,” says DENIC Board Member Dr. Jörg Schweiger. DENIC operates Germany‘s top-level domain .DE, which currently – with close to 16.3m domains under management – is the second-largest country-targeted namespace on the Internet.

Alongside the country-targeted ones, there are also generic domain suffixes, including – on offer for several years now – ones with a clear regional focus. The City of Hamburg actively supported the registration of the new top-level domain .hamburg, so that, for example, the Hamburg police website can now be reached at www.polizei.hamburg.

The organisers expect around 2,500 to 3,500 attendees to participate in this conference from academia, the tech community, politics, industry, and civil society: “Hamburg is smart and innovative, and is therefore a suitable setting for such an important conference of the international Internet community,” says Hamburg’s Senator of Economic Affairs, Frank Horch.

The hosting partners had submitted their application to ICANN in November 2016, under the coordination of the Hamburg Convention Bureau.

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