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Radical Shift of Power Proposed at ICANN Putting Govts in Primary Decision Making Role

Robin Gross ICANN has proposed a major change to its bylaws that would require the organization to adopt all policy "advice" issued by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) unless 2/3 of ICANN's non-conflicted board members vote to oppose the adoption of that governmental rule. This draconian proposal to change ICANN's bylaws would fundamentally transform ICANN away from being a "bottom-up" and "private-sector-led" organization and into a governmental regulatory agency... more»

Accountability and Redress

David Maher In ICANN circles these days, accountability is the buzz word. Nearly everybody is talking about it. Generally everybody is in favor of it, but that's where the agreement ends. This paper urges action by ICANN to provide a means for redress of grievances as an essential element of accountability. I would like to review the ICM case (the delegation of the .xxx domain), and the role of ICANN's Independent Review Panel (the IRP). As you will recall, the ICANN Board had originally awarded .xxx to ICM, but in a subsequent reconsideration had reversed the award. more»

ICANN Community Issues Unprecedented Letter Questioning ICANN's Proposed Accountability Process

Philip S. Corwin In another unpredicted development the entire community of ICANN stakeholders has sent a joint letter to CEO Fadi Chehade and the ICANN Board that strongly questions the "Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance - Process and Next Steps" document published by ICANN staff on August 14th over widespread community objections. Signatories to the August 26th letter include the GNSO Council and all of the GNSO's stakeholder groups and constituencies, the Country Code Name Supporting Organization, the At-Large Advisory Committee, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee - and, most surprisingly, the Governmental Advisory Committee. more»

The ANA and Hand-Wringing

Mason Cole The Association of National Advertisers is at it again, this time spelling the death of new gTLDs barely after they emerge from the gate. In 1982, at the dawn of the video age, Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti infamously told Congress, with more than one unfortunate reference to various types of violent crime, that the advent of the VCR would spell immediate and irrevocable doom to the motion picture industry, and that the device should certainly be thrown to the scrap heap even before its arrival. more»

African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Streaming Live This Week From Dakar, Senegal

Dan York The 5th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) gets underway today, August 26, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal, with a packed agenda full of sessions focused on the future of peering and interconnection in Africa. There are sessions targeted at Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), infrastructure providers, content creators and policy makers and regulators. The event goes through Thursday, August 28, 2014. more»

A New Way to Value Registry Business

Antony Van Couvering There's a new site on the web - nTLDstats.com - that has a ton of valuable information about the new gTLD program. It shows numbers of registrations by registry, registrar, registry service provides - all the "Rs" in the domain name industry. It has quickly become the place where people go to measure how the industry, and the competitors in it, are doing. There's only one problem - not all domain registrations are created equal. more»

Telecoms - Where Will the Money Come From?

Paul Budde With the arrival of mobile saturation stagnation is occurring in telecoms revenue growth in most developed telecoms markets. Voice traffic is increasingly moving onto IP-based systems, which are either free or at very low cost to its users. This is taking place on both the fixed and mobile networks. While in the case of corporate and government organisations nearly all fixed voice traffic has moved to IP-based systems, in the SME and consumer market this has not been the case. more»

IGF Call for Public Comments on the Definition of Multistakeholder Participation Mechanisms

Konstantinos Komaitis Over the past weeks, communities gathering experts from government, business, Civil Society, and the academic and technical communities, have been working through open mailing lists and online virtual meetings on IGF Best Practices. The discussion was documented by independent experts that will feed into five 90 minute Forums in Istanbul and that will in turn report into a Best Practices Main Session. more»

Do You .RUN?

Jean Guillon I am not such a good runner but I have decided to run early in the morning. It is what I just started to do today and to be honest, I hated it. But it does not matter, I will run again tomorrow morning... So what is the market for .RUN? Do runners communicate on Internet? Do they need to communicate because they are runners? Is .RUN for runners only? more»

Wireless Broadband vs Fixed Broadband - The Story Continues

Paul Budde This never-ending story is used by opportunistic telcos and their lobbyists to confuse the issue in order to gain regulatory or political advantage. The debate is now raging again in the USA. In an attempt to talk down their monopolistic position in the market the three telcos - and this time in particular, Comcast - are claiming that real competition does in fact exist in the American broadband market, citing competition from the mobile 4G LTE services as an example. more»

Prepare for the Worst, But Hope for the Best

Byron Holland A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the importance of the timeline leading up to the September 2015 deadline for the IANA oversight transition proposal. In that post, I explored the nature of U.S. politics and how it can affect the transition if we, as a community, are not diligent in our efforts to meet that deadline. Since then, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) has held its first meeting and a conference call, resulting in some new information that necessitates an update to that post. more»

Quelle Suprise! ICANN's Accountability Plan Gives ICANN Board Total Control

Robin Gross After a long await, ICANN's senior management finally released its plan for "Enhancing Accountability" at the private California corporation that makes global Internet domain name policy. Unfortunately, the accountability deficit crisis created by ICANN's longstanding policy of purely "self-policing" with no meaningful external accountability mechanisms will not be solved by this weak plan for more self-policing. more»

How to Translate a Gov't IPv6 Mandate Into an Action Plan: Guidance for National IPv6 Task Forces

Mukom Akong Tamon Last year, I gave a short talk at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Forum in (Abuja, Nigeria) on this topic and I thought I'd offer more details here. Let's say an African government has realised that IPv4 address exhaustion imposes limits its country's ICT development. Initial investigations indicate that deploying IPv6 is the only sustainable solution. Governments are however not very skilled in the bottom-up approach that is popular in the Internet world. more»

Is racing.com a Half-Million Dollar Mistake for Racing Victoria?

Adrian Kinderis What's a domain name? What business function do they serve? Can a domain name generate ROI? I imagine these were the questions the Board of Racing Victoria asked before signing off on the purchase of racing.com to support a Victorian racing industry joint initiative to establish a digital media and content platform similar to that of the AFL. more»

Net Neutrality Undermining Spreads to Developing Countries

Paul Budde After the USA set the bad example of allowing telcos to start charging different rates for content delivery services, other incumbent telcos elsewhere are only too happy to jump on the bandwagon and use the American example as a reason and an excuse to end net neutrality (NN) in their countries also. As did their American counterparts they too see this as another way to grab some extra monopolistic income. more»

News Briefs

WIPO Taking Screenshots of Filed UDRPs

Michael Berkens reporting in TheDomains.com: "WIPO has been taking Screenshots of whatever is on a domain name as soon as a UDRP Is filed and they have been furnishing the screenshot to the UDRP panel who has been taking the screenshot into account as evidence in making their determination... Mr. Berryhill has been working behind the scenes to confirm that WIPO has in fact has been taking a screenshot of the domain name upon receipt of a UDRP complaint and furnishing it to the panel without the knowledge of the domain holder and of course has been telling WIPO why its just plain wrong." ›››

TCP Stealth Aims to Keep Servers Safe from Mass Port-Scanning Tools

Heise Online – TCP Stealth, an IETF draft authored by Julian Kirsch, Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Holger Kenn, describes an easily-deployed and stealthy port knocking variant. "TCP Stealth embeds the authorization token in the TCP ISN, and enables applications to add payload protections. As a result, TCP Stealth is hard to detect on the network as the traffic is indistinguishable from an ordinary 3-way TCP handshake, and man-in-the-middle attacks as well as replay attacks are mitigated by the payload protections. TCP Stealth works with IPv4 and IPv6."
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Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group Releases Statement on ICANN Staff's Accountability Plan

Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) today released the following statement on ICANN staff's accountability plan... "A number of public comments and discussions in London focused on the inherent conflict of interest behind staff developing its own accountability and transparency mechanisms, so it was surprising to see that input had not been taken into account in the development of this proposal..." ›››

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 276 Million, Increase of Over 19M From Last Year

Five million domain names were added to the Internet in the first quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of registered domain names to 276 million worldwide across all top-level domains (TLDs) as of March 31, 2014, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief from Verisign. ›››

Researcher Propose Faster, Safer Internet by Abandoning TCP/IP Protocol

Network World – Researchers at Aalborg University in Denmark, in association with MIT and Caltech, reckon that the Internet can be made faster, and more secure, by abandoning the whole concept of packets and error correction. Error correction slows down traffic because the chunks of data, in many cases, have to be sent more than once. ›››

ICANN Extends Chehadé's Contract by Two More Years

ICANN today announced that its Board has extended the contract of Fadi Chehadé, President and Chief Executive Officer, by two more years. "I'm glad to be able to expend my energy and passion towards ICANN's noble mission and great public responsibility," said Chehadé. ›››

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Grow 23.1% Year over Year in 2nd Quarter of 2014

The worldwide smartphone market grew 23.1% year over year in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), establishing a new single quarter record of 295.3 million shipments, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. ›››

EURid Compensates Carbon Emissions With Wind Turbines

European TLD registry, EURid has announced that it is the first TLD Registry in Europe to be registered by the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). "EURid has taken an environmentally responsible approach to operating .eu for many years. Our environmental policy is based on the principle of 'reduce, reuse and recycle' and provides a framework for making sustainable choices." ›››

Simple Overview of ICANN and the IANA Transition by Vint Cerf

Google has released a Doodle Video Animation of its VP and Chief Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf, explaining inner workings of the Internet, formation of ICANN and the IANA transition. ›››

Video Interviews Highlighting ICANN 50 in London

ICANN 50 in London wrapped up in late June and proved to be an exciting and eventful conference. Discussion in London included hot topics such as Internet Governance and the IANA Functions Transition, as well as ongoing discussions regarding New gTLDs, ICANN Accountability, and policy development. ›››

Netflix Passes 50M Subscribers Worldwide

The gains announced Monday include an additional 570,000 U.S. subscribers, slightly more than Netflix's management predicted. The quarter is typically the company's slowest of the year, as people spend more time outdoors instead of watching video. Netflix ended June with 36.2 million subscribers in the U.S. and another 13.8 million customers in roughly 40 other countries. The Los Gatos, California, company picked up 1.1 million subscribers outside the U.S. in the second quarter, a figure that also topped management's projections. ›››

China's Internet Users Pass 632 Million, 83 Percent Online Via Mobile

Reuters – The number of China's internet users going online with a mobile device -- such as a smartphone or tablet -- has overtaken those doing so with a personal computer (PC) for the first time, said the official China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Monday. China's total number of internet users crept up 2.3 percent to 632 million by the end of June, from 618 million at the end of 2013, said CNNIC's internet development statistics report. Of those, 527 million -- or 83 percent -- went online via mobile. Those doing so with a PC made up 81 percent the total. ›››

Impartiality of Dot Pharmacy TLD Questioned

Catherine Saez and William New reporting in Intellectual Property Watch: "New generic top-level domain names seem set to be a constant source of discussions and dissension. The domain '.pharmacy' has been awarded to a United States pharmacy association with industry backing, stirring concerns among civil society and others. But the association insists it will work in an impartial manner to ensure safety of online pharmaceutical sales..." ›››

Google Announces Project Zero to Secure the Internet

Google today revealed a new initiative, named Project Zero, with the objective to "significantly reduce the number of people harmed by targeted attacks." To carry out the project, Google is recruiting a team of experienced hackers - "practically-minded security researchers" - to contribute 100% of their time toward improving security across the Internet. ›››

Major Web Companies Reiterate Opposition to Paying ISPs for Fast Lane Access

The Internet Association -- a trade group that represents 36 companies including Google, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, and PayPal -- submitted comments (PDF) to the Federal Communications Commission on Monday to formally oppose a proposal to let Internet service providers charge content providers for priority access in their networks. The FCC is currently weighing a proposal to establish guidelines to protect the open Internet. ›››

Scotland's New TLD .scot Goes Live

The new TLD for Scotland, .scot, has been launched. About 50 sites run by "launch pioneers" are expected to go live on Tuesday. Among those who have signed up for a new domain are the Scottish government, referendum campaigners Yes Scotland and Better Together, WWF Scotland, NHS Scotland and Scouts Scotland. The .scot domain is one of a number of new top-level domains going live this year including .wales, .london, .berlin and .NYC. ›››

Registration Open for Upcoming IGF-USA 2014

The IGF-USA 2014 will take place on July 16th, 2014 at George Washington University in Washington, DC. The complete agenda has now been published and registration is open. ›››

Website Usage Trends Among Top-Level Domains

EURid and Leuven Statistics Research Centre have released the results of a study investigating websites under most popular top-level domains. ›››

The Digital Strategy and DotOps Congress (Amsterdam, September 2014)

Momentum has announced that the upcoming Digital Strategy & DotOps Congress will be held in Amsterdam, September 18-19, 2014. The group says that it has completely updated the program agenda for this 5th installment in Momentum's Digital Strategy and gTLD Congress series. ›››

Australians Prefer .au Domain Names, Usage on the Rise

AusRegistry today released survey results of more than 3,000 Australians confirming that .au domain name registrations are on the rise, with 76% of all domain name holders choosing .au, an increase of 2% from last year. The survey also found .au remains Australia's home on the Internet with more than double the level of trust over any other namespace. ›››

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Industry Updates

.Host Announces Top Global Players As Pioneer Partners

Radix The Pioneer lineup includes big international names like MediaTemple, Bluehost, OVH, Arvixe, and the UK2 Group, in addition to regional leaders such as Natro (Turkey) and UOL (Brazil), HostPapa (Canada), Blacknight (Ireland). more»

Public Interest Registry Releases Bi-Annual Report, .Org Domain Registrations Pass 10.4 Million

PIR Public Interest Registry - the not-for-profit operator of the .org domain - today released the results of its bi-annual domain name report, "The Dashboard," detailing the worldwide growth of .org over the past year. more»

Public Interest Registry to Speak About Upcoming Launch of .ngo and .ong Domains for NPOs

PIR With the launch of the .ngo and .ong domains just around the corner, Rebecca Regan-Sachs, a representative of Public Interest Registry, will lend her expertise in online fundraising and brand identity at this year's International Workshop on Resource Mobilisation (IWRM) Southern Africa. more»

Landrush Opens for .Website, .Press and .Host

Radix Radix concluded sunrise for the first batch of its extensions - .website, .press and .host last week. .website alone saw more than 600 orders, making it one of the biggest new gTLD sunrises to date. more»

Afilias Announces General Availability of .BLACK Top-Level Domain

Afilias Global registry services provider Afilias today announced the general availability of its newest generic top level domain (gTLD): .BLACK. more»

Nominum Announces Future Ready DNS

Nominum Nominum today announces Vantio CacheServe 7, a new software architecture coupled with time-proven Vantio technology maximizing the power of server hardware; letting providers think about DNS in new ways. more»

Last Lap of .WEBSITE, .PRESS and .HOST Sunrise

Radix Only 10 days are left before Radix's first three TLDs, .website, .host and .press exit Sunrise on 22nd August '14. Brands registered with the TMCH have the last 10 days left to take advantage of this Sunrise opportunity. more»

DotConnectAfrica Trust Responds to ICANN 50 GAC Advice, Updates on .Africa Application IRP Status

DotConnectAfrica This is the second GAC Advice and a third response by DCA to a GAC Advice that initially was issued during the ICANN GAC Meeting in Beijing China, and prior to that, as a GAC Early Warning. more»

New .ORGANIC Domain Sunrise Begins, Creating Verified Space 
for Organic Products and Services

Afilias The sunrise period allows qualified trademark holders to register names immediately; other members of the organic community can register names beginning September 15. more»

Non-English "IDN Email" Addresses Are Finally Working!

Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website Late this afternoon (Tuesday, August 5th, 2014), Google announced a long-awaited and highly anticipated change that took place today with Gmail, which will surely be remembered as one of the most important milestones in the history of internet email: The "client-side" implementation of non-Latin, character-based Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) email. more»

TLD Registry to Speak at Inaugural World Domain Day India

Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website We are excited to announce that TLD Registry's CEO Arto Isokoski and CMO Simon Cousins will be highlighted guest speakers at India's inaugural World Domain Day.  more»

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