Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts

Joined on February 18, 2006
Total Post Views: 110,917


Michael M. Roberts is a policy consultant in the field of Internet technology, services and product development, with a specialization in research and education.

Most recently, he was the first President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), serving from its inception in 1998 until March 2001. ICANN is a non-profit corporation which was formed at the request of the United States Government to serve as the means for privatizing, managing and protecting the stability of the Domain Name and Address systems of the Internet.

From 1986-96, he was Vice President at EDUCOM, a consortium of 600 universities and colleges with interests in information technology, where he was responsible for networking and telecommunications programs, including the development of public policy positions in information technology on behalf of EDUCOM members. He was for a number of years staff director of the EDUCOM Networking and Telecommunications Task Force, a group of sixty universities and corporations with common networking interests.

In 1996-97, he was a founder and the first director of Internet2, a project of more than two hundred American universities to plan, integrate and deploy an advanced broadband network and applications for research and education.

In 1990-92, he was a Co-founder, Trustee and the first Executive Director (seconded from EDUCOM) of the Internet Society, whose purpose is to promote the use of the Internet and guide its further development for both public interest and private enterprise purposes

Prior to joining EDUCOM, he was at Stanford University where he was Deputy Director of Information Technology Services, with executive responsibilities in Stanford’s computing, communications, and information systems programs. During 1983-86, he directed the university’s telecommunications modernization project, which provided a comprehensive campuswide fiber optic based network and digital voice facilities.

Mr. Roberts is a liberal arts graduate of Stanford and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has been a consultant and advisor to many institutions of higher education, to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, and to the Navy Department. He is a retired Captain in the United States Naval Reserve. He is a member and has been an officer of a number of professional societies and organizations in computing and communications, including ACM and IEEE

He is author, co-author and editor of numerous publications on networking and wrote the Introduction to “Campus Networking Strategies”. He has presented testimony to the U.S. Congress on several occasions dealing with aspects of the Internet, the National Research and Education Network (NREN), and ICANN.

Except where otherwise noted, all postings by Michael Roberts on CircleID are licensed under a Creative Commons License.


2020 - Feb 21 on ISOC and the PIR Sale: Lessons Being Learned
2019 - Jul 16 on How the Internet Can Be Enormously Accelerated Without Fiber-Optic Cables or LEO Satellites
2017 - Oct 18 on The Darkening Web: Is there Light at the end of the Tunnel?
2016 - Feb 24 on ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade is Misleading the US Senate, Says Sen. Cruz
2015 - Apr 02 on Freedom of Expression Chilled by ICANN's Addition of Speech Restrictions in DNS
2015 - Mar 26 on Consumers Are the Serfs of the Feudal Internet Companies
2015 - Mar 08 on ICANN Should Not Ululate Over "Booking.com" IRP Outcome: Decision Exposes Failure of Accountability
2015 - Mar 07 on ICANN Should Not Ululate Over "Booking.com" IRP Outcome: Decision Exposes Failure of Accountability
2014 - Nov 12 on Accountability Group Charter Sets the Bar Too Low
2014 - Oct 09 on Internet Regulation: Section 706 vs Title II
2014 - Aug 21 on Quelle Suprise! ICANN's Accountability Plan Gives ICANN Board Total Control
2012 - Jul 03 on Towards a More Fully Accountable and Transparent ICANN
2012 - Jun 26 on A History of Holding ICANN to Account
2011 - Aug 26 on Underneath the Hood: Ownership vs. Stewardship of the Internet
2011 - Jun 14 on Pre-Registrations of .NYC Domain Names and the Shattered Dream
2011 - Mar 16 on GAC New gTLD No Fly Zone
2011 - Jan 21 on Domains and the Freedom to Speak
2010 - Sep 12 on MOPO - The Latest Speed Bump on ICANN's New gTLD Superhighway
2010 - Sep 12 on MOPO - The Latest Speed Bump on ICANN's New gTLD Superhighway
2010 - Jul 24 on FCC's McDowell Warns of "Irreversible International Regulation"
2010 - Jun 03 on For ICANN, a New Path Toward an Old Goal
2010 - May 09 on The Real Issue About ICANN and .XXX
2010 - Feb 23 on XXX Saga Continues
2010 - Feb 20 on XXX Saga Continues
2009 - Jun 08 on Carlton: ICANN TLD Expansion to "Increase Output, Lower Price and Increase Innovation"
2009 - May 18 on Will Obama Re-Nationalize ICANN?
2009 - May 06 on A "G12" to Oversee ICANN? Not Likely
2009 - Jan 13 on Spam Fighting: Lessons from Jack Bauer?
2008 - Nov 19 on Old New Telco Thinking
2008 - Sep 29 on Comcast is Right, the FCC is Wrong
2008 - Jul 25 on Vint Cerf Caught Off Guard, Nevertheless Says What Needs to Be Said About Our Misguided Policy
2008 - Jul 09 on Consequences of Opt-in Better Than Best Efforts Internet Routing

Topic Interests

DNSDomain NamesPolicy & RegulationRegional RegistriesRegistry ServicesICANNNew TLDsCensorshipDNS SecurityCybersecurityInternet GovernanceMultilinguismLawBroadbandAccess ProvidersNet NeutralityTelecomP2PMalwareVoIPSpamCyberattackCybercrimeEmailThreat IntelligenceDomain ManagementPrivacyWebInternet ProtocolNetworks

Recent Blogs

ICANN’s Rocky Beginning - When Friends Were Scarce

The ICANN Accountability End Game

Title II and ICANN

ICANN’s “Unelected” Crisis

The New ICANN Emerges in Seoul

Popular Posts

The Villain in the ICANN-VeriSign Struggle is the U.S. Government

The Real Problem with dot-XXX

ICANN’s “Unelected” Crisis

The New ICANN Emerges in Seoul

The ICANN Accountability End Game