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Dot SUCKS: The Ultimate Vanity Domain

When last we wrote, trademark lawyers had written an outraged letter to ICANN about the $2500 price to preregister trademark.sucks names, and ICANN, reliably panicking in the face of legal threats, wrote to the US Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs saying please tell us that's illegal so we can shut down this registry with whom we just signed a long-term contract. (The mysterious $1 surcharge turned out to be a weak attempt by ICANN to collect debts that affiliates of registry owner Momentous defaulted on long ago.) more»

Out of .Africa - Process Failures Don't Change the Facts

I've heard a lot of discussion of the .africa controversy of late -- from conspiracy theories to questions about staff competence to concerns about the role of the GAC. And it's hard not to find faults galore in the way this process and the IRP reporting has played out. But before we get too lost in the weeds of procedure or the future of ICANN, lets not lose track of what this debate was first and still is fundamentally about: a string. more»

ICANN 53: Accountability, Brand Policy & New Round of New gTLDs

In June, MarkMonitor joined our colleagues once again at the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 53rd public meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Several high-profile and contentious issues were on the agenda, many of which have significant impact on the interests of intellectual property and brand owners. Among these are the ongoing ICANN Accountability issues and the impending departure of ICANN CEO Fadi ChehadĂ©; registrant information (Whois) transparency, accuracy and accessibility; and the timing of the next round of new gTLD applications/delegation. more»

Digital Economy + Sharing Economy = Networked Economy

A great deal of discussion is taking place about topics such as the digital economy, sharing economy and networked economy. Obviously these are concepts rather than being well-defined, but they are being used by the various players in the market to argue for or against certain developments. For example, in some of the broadband debates around the world, the digital economy is the key reason why national broadband infrastructure gets developed. more»

New Trend: Vanity IPv6 Addresses

It's like a vanity license plate, but for your IP address. Previously under IPv4 DNS registration, users were limited to only using numbers. However, with the height of IPv6 underway users are getting creative with their newfound use of characters. Although you can only use characters A-F, it only takes a little creativity to find ways around this. more»

Are Apps a Passing Phase?

At NetHui last week one of the most interesting sessions was "Is there an app for that?". The issue was that while apps can be easy to use, they are little walled gardens within an app store which is another level of walled garden. The Apple app store or Google play makes it easy to find apps, but it also means that you're limited to apps that your environment's corporate overlords approve and in Apple's case, charge to include. more»

What Does the July 29 Deadline Mean for .brand TLDs?

This is the first post in a series from Corey Grant, Senior Industry Consultant at ARI Registry Services, on what .brand TLDs need to do to get started and make the most of their TLDs... If you are a .brand Top Level Domain (TLD) and have a Registry Agreement from ICANN which you have not yet signed, you need to sign it by July 29, 2015. You're not alone; there are many others in the same boat -- all staring at their Registry Agreement trying to figure out what to do next. more»

ICANN Accountability Deficits Revealed in Panel Ruling on .AFRICA

In an important test of ICANN's primary accountability mechanism, its Independent Review Process (IRP), the organization has been handed a stinging blow over its mishandling of the bid for the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) .AFRICA. At the crux of the issue are two competing applications for the .AFRICA new gTLD and the decision by ICANN's Board to abdicate its responsibility to ensure that ICANN's evaluation and subsequent rewarding of the domain was carried out fairly, transparently, and in accordance with the organization's Bylaws, Articles of Organization, and established policies. more»

The TLD Operator Webinar Transitions to the DNA University

Readers of my posts will have noticed that we've been working over the last two months to launch the TLD Operator Webinar which was held recently. Its purpose was to unite all new TLD applicants and collectively share our experiences in order to build momentum in the industry and support each other in our pursuits. With more than 300 registrations and 40 percent of all new TLDs attending, we were humbled and overjoyed with the success -- validating our 'educated guess' that there was a global appetite for information to assist new TLD applicants. more»

DNA University Launches to Support Domain Name Industry

In pursuit of continued domain name industry success, the Domain Name Association (DNA) is delighted to announce the launch of the next industry resource -- the DNA University. The aim of the DNA University is to establish a dedicated education platform to facilitate the exchange of ideas, best-practice methodologies and continued development of the industry's combined expertise. To this end, the DNA University will offer stakeholders an opportunity to share their experiences, learn from each other and provide a forum to incubate concepts that will advance the domain name industry. more»

Rage Against the ICANN Machine

I'm going to do what no professional journalist should ever do: take a story at face value. So full disclosure: I have not checked the facts behind the story that sparked this little rant I'm about to embark on. But I've known the author for a number of years as being a consummate professional when it comes to reporting facts. And I've known ICANN, the organisation, for even longer. I have therefore seen first hand the organisation's ability to be at times borderline duplicitous in its attempts to reach a desired result.
 more»

Will 2016 Politics Trump Bipartisan Support for the MSM and DOTCOM Act?

The bitter partisan divide that characterizes so many of official Washington's current policy discussions was conspicuous in its absence at the July 8th hearing held on "Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. In opening remarks that asked "What is the multi-stakeholder community, anyway?", Subcommittee Chairman Greg Waldren went on to declare that he and his colleagues "sought to strike the right balance between supporting the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, while still protecting the invaluable tool of communications and commerce the Internet has become". more»

Where Has the Domain Name Growth Gone?

It is pretty common knowledge now that domain name growth started to drop around two years ago and is falling still. At this rate there is every chance that TLDs that have only ever seen growth will start to see a decline sometime in the next few years. What follows is a theory on where that growth has gone. It is widely stated that the greater choice provided by hundreds of new gTLDs means that demand is dissipating across them and that's where the growth has gone. more»

New gTLDs Are Great for Pump-and-Dumps, Phishes and More…

Yesterday, egregious financial truth-tellers (a client of ours at easyDNS) ZeroHedge broke the news that parties unknown, engineered what looks to be a textbook "pump-and-dump" on Twitter's stock by putting up a fake "Bloomberg Financial News" site on the domain bloomberg.market and proceeded to run a story on it about Twitter being acquired. The story spread and shares of Twitter stock promptly spiked on volume, Twitter finishing the day on nearly double the average daily volume. more»

Understanding the Threat Landscape: Basic Methodologies for Tracking Attack Campaigns

The indicators of compromise (IOCs) outlined in my last blog post can be used as a baseline for developing intrusion sets and tracking attack campaigns and threat actors. When launching an attack, threat actors use a variety of vectors and infrastructure, which Verisign iDefense analysts -- as well as analysts across the cybersecurity community -- correlate to group attacks, tracking actors and determining attack methods. more»

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