Internet Governance Conference: ICANN to Meet at Congress Center Hamburg

Internet Governance Conference: ICANN to Meet at Congress Center Hamburg

Germany hosting the international Internet Community in Hamburg from 21 to 26 October

From 21 to 26 October, Hamburg will be the centre of the Internet community: the 78th conference of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will be held at the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH). ICANN coordinates the allocation of names and addresses on the Internet. Around 3,000 international participants from technology, business, politics, research and civil society are due to attend the conference. Among the topics to be discussed will be the further development of the open, free and secure Internet, the technical coordination of the Internet and new top-level domains. Those interested can register and attend the conference free of charge. The conference in Hamburg also marks the 25th anniversary of the non-profit organisation, which was founded in the USA in 1998 and is headquartered in Los Angeles.

The conference will be hosted not only by the City of Hamburg, but also by eco – Association of the Internet Industry and DENIC. It will be held in Hamburg for the first time, with the welcome ceremony taking part on 23 October 2023.

FLTR: Andreas Musielak - DENIC eG, Oliver Süme - eco e.V., Dr. Carsten Brosda - Senat for Culture and Media, Sally Costerton - ICANN, Peter Ulrich Meyer - State Press Conference

Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media: “Entering the name of a website in the browser and shortly afterwards finding the information you are looking for on exactly the right page – that is something we take for granted when surfing the Internet. For this to work well and securely, a lot of coordination and organisation is needed in the background. This is what ICANN has been doing for 25 years, ensuring that we can surf safely through an independent and stable Internet. The conference in Hamburg will set the course for the development of the Internet in the coming years. As an established media city with a sense of innovation, Hamburg is the ideal place for the next meeting of the international Internet community.”

Dr. Melanie Leonhard, Senator for Economic Affairs and Innovation: “I am very pleased that we have succeeded in bringing the 78th ICANN Conference to Hamburg. This is a great signal for Hamburg as a congress location, where a modernised CCH offers outstanding conditions for international conferences, and for the city as a forward-looking location for technology- and knowledge-based companies in the IT sector.”

Sally Costerton, Interim President and CEO, ICANN: “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary in Hamburg, I want to thank our German hosts for warmly welcoming us to the city. We are excited to be here for the ICANN78 Annual General Meeting. This pivotal meeting signifies more than a milestone for ICANN; it represents our collective journey toward a unified Internet. Our aspiration is that this landmark event fosters global interest and collaboration to achieve our vision of 'One World, One Internet’.”

Oliver Süme, Chair of the Board of eco – Association of the Internet Industry: “In October in Hamburg, the governance of the Internet will be in the hands of the people who freely and democratically drive important decision-making processes to ensure an independent Internet today and in the future. I am very pleased that, after Berlin in 1999, we were able to bring an ICANN conference to Germany for the first time in over 20 years, and to my home city of Hamburg.”

Andreas Musielak, DENIC Board: “ICANN is one of the few global organisations that, since its inception, has been driving decision-making using the multi-stakeholder approach, involving all relevant decision-makers from politics, civil society and the private sector. While in the early years, this consensus principle addressed technical issues, the current focus, including in the coming days, is on the ‘rules of the game’ for the further development of the Internet and digitalisation. We are delighted that DENIC, as (co-)host of the ICANN meeting, will contribute to setting the course for the future.”

Every year, three ICANN conferences take place on different continents. The Hamburg conference is the first to take place in Germany since 1999 and the first ever in the Hanseatic city. This conference will primarily deal with the application procedure for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which are expected to be released in 2026. The rules and regulations for this application process are to be adopted at this conference. Additional topics include the further development of the open, free and secure Internet, the technical coordination of the Internet, the establishment of rules and practices related to domain name management – for example, the handling of registration data in compliance with data protection – and the regulations for the use of additional, non-western characters in top-level domains. It is important to reach a consensus to ensure that the Internet can continue to be used safely by everyone, according to clear rules.

More information and the conference programme can be found here:

ICANN is an acronym for “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers”. ICANN’s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

About eco
With approximately 1,000 member companies, eco is the leading association of the Internet industry in Europe. Since 1995, eco has been highly instrumental in shaping the Internet, fostering new technologies, forming framework conditions, and representing the interests of its members in politics and international forums. eco has offices based in Cologne, Berlin and Brussels. In its work, eco primarily advocates for a high-performance, reliable and trustworthy ecosystem of digital infrastructures and services.

With its top-level domain .de, DENIC eG administers the German namespace on the Internet. With more than 17.6 million domains, it is one of the Top 3 international Internet registries. The privately organised, non-profit cooperative society is also committed to a free, open and secure Internet.