Important decisions affecting the future shape of the internet could be made by the organisation that oversees internet governance during a meeting in Dublin this week.

It is the first time that The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has held one of its three annual public meetings in Ireland.

Over 2,000 delegates from around the world are due to attend the five-day event in Dublin, which was officially opened this morning.

Established by the US government 17 years ago, ICANN is a powerful not-for-profit body responsible for the technical management and policy development of the internet.

It ensures the more than 70,000 independent networks that make up the internet can communicate by maintaining consistent standards.

It also manages the structure around website names and addresses.

An unusually democratic organisation, it holds three open meetings around the world each year, which members of the public can attend and contribute to decisions at.

For its 54th such gathering it has come to Dublin for the first time.

Among the pivotal topics for discussion at this week's meeting is the transfer of oversight for ICANN from the US government to a global community.

The organisation that registers domain names in Ireland, IEDR, said businesses and other organisations need to become more involved in issues like data privacy and internet management and so it is encouraging anyone with an interest in internet governance to attend.