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Name and title: John O. Jeffrey, general counsel and board secretary Age: 43 Private and public: The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit corporation that provides technical coordination and operational stability for the Internet. The company was created in 1998, when the U.S. government privatized management of the Internet’s systems of domain names, numeric addresses and root servers. The U.S. Department of Commerce recently issued a new five-year agreement authorizing ICANN to perform functions previously handled by the government’s Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Additionally, ICANN’s function is the subject of a memorandum of understanding now being renegotiated with the government. The company, which has 44 worldwide employees, has main offices in Marina Del Ray, Calif., and Brussels. California company, international function: Although ICANN is in the private sector, and organized under California law, it is an international entity. It develops Internet-management policies with input from numerous international committees, advisory boards and support organizations representing the varying and often divergent interest groups participating in the Internet. ICANN is governed by an internationally diverse board whose members live on five continents. Only two are American. Contracts and litigation: One key part of ICANN’s business is oversight of domain-name distribution. ICANN contracts with other companies, called registrars, which sell the domain names directly to consumers, businesses and others. The groupings of domain names are called registries, examples of which include .com and .net, as well as the 11 new registries ICANN has introduced, such as .aero, .biz, .jobs and .museum. The registrar for both the .net and .com registries is iSign Global Registry Services of California. The .com contract has been tied up in protracted litigation alleging antitrust and other claims, but a proposed settlement and new contract with VeriSign is awaiting Commerce Department review, Jeffrey said. The focus was whether VeriSign could introduce new services in the .com registry. “They introduced what was called a wild card,” Jeffrey said. Search queries that didn’t connect were returned with a page containing suggested links to paid sponsors. “At various layers in the Internet, this created potential instability,” Jeffrey said, as people started creating patches, reworking the software to go around it. ICANN demanded that VeriSign remove the service, which it did, but that didn’t forestall the litigation. The proposed settlement would ensure ICANN review of any new services. The settlement itself is the subject of litigation. A group called the Coalition for ICANN Transparency sued to block both the pact and renewal of the VeriSign contract. That case is pending in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. Complex and controversial: Legal questions at ICANN are as complex as those at a much larger corporation, Jeffrey said, due to the diversity of groups that participate in the Internet, combined with their divergent and sometimes competing interests. “We provide a coordination function and a policy development function for a wide variety of disparate interests,” he said. “Sometimes they align and they create policies that are useful for themselves, and other times that process is very difficult.” Tough decisions sometimes create winners and losers. “That creates litigation,” he said. ICANN’s efforts to manage such conflicts has resulted in antitrust challenges, like the VeriSign case, he said. There is additional litigation including an arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce involving the same issues, but it remains on hold until the U.S. Department of Commerce completes its review of the proposed VeriSign settlement, Jeffrey said. A considerable part of Jeffrey’s job is explaining the American legal system to ICANN’s international board. “They come from a variety of legal and governmental cultures,” he said. Jeffrey, who reports to ICANN President and Chief Executive Paul Twomey, also is company legal liaison to the U.S. government. Legal department and daily duties: When Jeffrey joined ICANN he was the only lawyer, but has since added three more lawyers and has positions open for two others. In California, one attorney manages the litigation and is building a compliance program. Another lawyer, the deputy general counsel, helps in developing policy and relating to constituents and support organizations. A lawyer in Sydney, Australia, deals with issues in the Asia-Pacific region and helps manage country-code registry agreements. Jeffrey hopes to hire a lawyer to handle that same task in Brussels. The other open position is in California, managing internal corporate issues. ICANN’s primary outside firm for litigation and corporate work is Jones Day, which has worked with the company since its founding. Jeffrey would not name the other firms the company uses, but said ICANN gets help with contracts, labor and immigration issues. Route to the top: Jeffrey came to ICANN in September 2003 with a background in technology and entertainment law as well as litigation. He began his career doing civil litigation defense for a variety of Los Angeles law firms. In 1993, he went in-house at Fox Television, where he was on the team that launched Fox’s FX cable network. In 1995, he became vice president for business affairs and general counsel for TCI Interactive, an online media company that developed and produced interactive television. Two years later he joined Discovery Communications Inc., parent of the Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel. In 1999, he became executive vice president and general counsel at the company that launched Live365, an international Internet radio network. ICANN was his next step. Personal: Jeffrey was born in Norfolk, Va., and grew up in Logan, Ohio. He holds a law degree from Southwestern University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Dayton. He coaches his 5-year-old daughter’s soccer team and plays golf with his 9-year-old son every weekend. He and his wife, Jaimi, and their children, Logan and Emilie, live in Glendale, Calif. Last book and movie: Anonymous Lawyer, by Jeremy Blachman, and 0ver the Hedge.

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