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United Nations vs. ICANN: One ccTLD At A Time

What happens if ICANN fails? Who will run the DNS then?

Of course to many, ICANN already has failed -- spectacularly so. Critics have long complained that ICANN not only lacks accountability and legitimacy, but also that it is inefficient (at best) and downright destructive (at worst). According to these critics, ICANN's many sins include threatening the stability of the Internet, limiting access by imposing an artificial domain name scarcity, and generally behaving like a petulant dictator. more

Internet Governance: The Proof Is In The Pudding

"ICANN remains the frontier institution and the test case for global governance in the IT sector," writes Zoe Baird in an article in the November-December 2002 issue of "Foreign Affairs". Baird is the President of the Markle Foundation. Her article "Governing the Internet: Engaging Government, Business and Nonprofits" appears in "Foreign Affairs", a magazine usually devoted to the discussion of American foreign policy interests.

The opening line of the article is striking. "The rapid growth of the Internet," Baird writes, "has led to a worldwide crisis of governance." On the surface, a serious problem has been identified. There is the promise of a fruitful discussion to follow. more

Life After Afternic: Exclusive Interview With Roger Collins

In a recent interviewed with Roger Collins, president of ProProject and the new owner of Afternic.com, CircleID investigates the logics behind ProProject's strong belief in the domain name secondary market. Once known as a primary domain name auction site, Register.com had purchased Afteric.com in the September of 2000 for $48 million in cash and stock -- 2 years later the site was shut down as money-losing unit until ProProject came along. more

A Closer Look At The Controversy Over The Internet's Birthday! You Decide

Internet users welcomed the New Year this year with a controversy that reaches to the roots of the Internet itself. January 1, 1983 was the day computer systems on the ARPANET were required to switch over to the TCP/IP protocol. This year marks the 20th anniversary of that event.

Several news stories appeared on the Internet before or on January 1, 2003 heralding January 1, 2003 as the twentieth birthday of the Internet. Other news stories questioned calling this date the birthday of the Internet. To have the date of the Internet's birthday be the subject of a controversy is appropriate, given the nature and history of the Internet. In its early development, the Internet grew and flourished because researchers were encouraged to debate their differences. In this environment, collaborative work thrived. more

Examining Stuart Lynn's Domain Name Plans - Part II

In the last article we examined the language in Stuart Lynn's A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs, and I addressed concerns about specific language in that document. In this article, I will examine several questions of importance that need to be addressed when discussing new gTLD policy; questions that Mr. Lynn leaves unanswered in his proposal... more

Domain Name Theft Part II: Did ICANN Leave Foxes Guarding the Chicken COOP?

When it comes to stealing domain names, I suspect that there are two reasons why so many web bandits appear to be immune from ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers uses the acronym ICANN): the first reason I discussed in my last column on domain name theft (where I described a substantive void in domain name "regulation" as a primary factor for the increasing incidence of domain name theft), the second reason, which is the focus of this column, is the procedural anomaly that currently infuses ICANN's uniform dispute resolution process (UDRP) by providing no administrative forum for domain name registrants who become victims of domain name theft carried out by ICANN's registrars. more

Examining Stuart Lynn's Domain Name Plans - Part I

Last month ICANN began soliciting comments on Stuart Lynn's A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs, which will be one of the Internet governance organization's primary discussion topics at its December meeting in Amsterdam. more

Preventing Future Attacks: Alternatives In DNS Security Management - Part II

In Part I of this article I set the stage for our discussion and overviewed the October 21st DDoS attacks on the Internet's 13 root name servers. In particular, I highlighted that the attacks were different this time, both in size and scope, because the root servers were attacked at the same time. I also highlighted some of the problems associated with the Domain Name System and the vulnerabilities inherent in BIND. Part II of this article takes our discussion to another level by critically looking at alternatives and best practices that can help solve the security problems we've raised. more

Is Whois Data Accuracy Enough?

The Whois Task Force of the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) has been consulting with registrars over the past few months on the Whois accuracy issue for law enforcement. The Task Force has enumerated three primary areas of interest: accuracy, uniformity, and better searching capabilities. When the registrars met with the Task Force in Shanghai, a fourth area of interest was also brought forward and advocated by many of the registrars at the meeting as paramount to the other three areas. This fourth area of interest was privacy. more

Role Of The Government In The Internet Infrastructure Revisited

When thinking about the infrastructure of the Internet, it is important to consider the role of government in this infrastructure.

This is a question that involves two aspects: the role of government, and the role of the computer scientists who are part of the needed government structure or institution. Reviewing the history of the development of the Internet helps to highlight the importance of some role for both government and for computer scientists. more

Preventing Future Attacks: Alternatives In DNS Security Management - Part I

The October 21 DDoS attacks against the 13 root-name servers containing the master domain list for the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), (which reportedly took offline 9 of the 13 servers) remain a clear and daunting reminder of the vulnerabilities associated with online security. Many DNS authorities have named the most recent hit the largest DDoS attack against the root server system. Chris Morrow, network security engineer for UUNET, the service provider for two of the world's 13 root servers, recently told The Washington Post... more

Invalid WHOIS Data: Who Is Responsible?

Suppose you wanted to know who operates a website at a given domain name. Perhaps you suspect that the domain name is pointing to a website that offers illegal content, or you may just want to send a comment to its authors. Conveniently, the Internet provides a so-called "WHOIS" system that ordinarily provides contact information for each registered domain. But in the case of many hundreds of thousands of domains, the WHOIS data just isn't accurate.  more

Privacy Matters: Is It Time To Abolish The WHOIS Database?

Recently, I entered my domain name in a "WHOIS" database query to test the results of the database by using WHOIS on a number of domain name registrar websites. WHOIS is a database service that allows Internet users to look up a number of matters associated with domain names, including the full name of the owner of a domain name, the name of the domain name hosting service, the Internet Protocol or I.P. number(s) corresponding to the domain name, as well as personally identifying information on those who have registered domain names. I was astonished to find... more

ICANN at Large Shanghais The At-Large Conversation

On October 28, as ICANN met in Shanghai, China for its regular board meeting, ICANN at Large held a lengthy meeting to address user concerns, particularly the disenfranchisement of the At-Large by ICANN, and the At-Large's self-organizing in response. The meeting was chaired by YJ Park, one of our Executive Panel Members, and was well attended. Attendees included ... more

A Closed And Secret Process Is Not The Answer To Reform

The recent meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in China demonstrates a serious dilemma for Internet users around the world. In the name of reforming ICANN and making it more responsive, ICANN ended the seats of the At-Large directors on its board. This was the part of the ICANN structure that was supposed to be responsive to Internet users. more

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