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Domain Names / Most Commented

Report on Reaction to FOISA

On February 4, 2004, United States Congress held a hearing on a new proposed bill called the Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act (FOISA). This bill will increase prison sentences by up to seven years in criminal cases if a domain owner provides "material and misleading false contact information to a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority." What follows is a collection of commentaries made in response to this proposed bill. more

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part II

This is the second part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. This part discusses the congressional concerns regarding ICANN's governance of the Internet. "Since 1999 Congress has repeatedly expressed serious concerns regarding ICANN's governance of the internet. Congress has substantial responsibility for overseeing the key aspects of internet governance. Among its specific responsibilities, Congress has the duty to oversee implementation of the Department of Commerce's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and contract with ICANN." more

New Instance of DNS Root Server Makes Internet History

For the first time in Internet history the number of instances of DNS root servers outside the United States has overtaken the number within. The balance was tipped by the recent launch in Frankfurt of an anycast instance of the RIPE NCC operated K-root server. The K-root server is one of the 13 DNS root servers that resolve lookups for domain names all over the world and form a critical part of the global Internet infrastructure. The K-root server has been operated by the RIPE NCC since 1997 when the first server was installed at the London Internet Exchange (LINX) in London, UK. more

ALAC on New Domain Registry Services

This is a preliminary input for the current policy-development process on "new registry services" that was prepared by ALAC members; Jonathan Weinberg has provided input and comments in response to earlier drafts. The ALAC is currently soliciting comments on this text. Comments can be submitted either to CircleID (see comment section), or to the ALAC's public comment address at forum@alac.icann.org. ..."In the present document, we will focus on substantive criteria to be used by ICANN in evaluating requests to review proposed changes to the architecture or operation of a gTLD registry. We are, however, not stating any opinion about the kinds of requests that ICANN currently has the authority (or obligation) to consider." more

Report on Distribution Analysis of Internationalized Domain Names

In December 2003, the testing phase of Multilingual domains also known as Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), went live with the addition of over 350,000 multilingual domains to the .com and .net registries. As of 1st January 2004, the .com registry contained 300,409 IDN's, whereas the .net registry had 79,630 IDN's, representing around 1.25% of the total .com and .net domains. WebHosting.Info has analyzed these 380,039 IDN domains that are now live, and provided a detailed insight on trends and patterns across these domains. more

Future of Internet Navigation and DNS: The NAS Study

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has been studying the issue of Internet navigation and the DNS. The study was undertaken at the request of Congress to "provide analysis and advice for consideration by agencies of the U.S. Government, interested international institutions, and other stakeholders." In addition to examining technological issues, the study is also considering "relevant legal, economic, political, and social issues...because technologies related to the DNS and Internet navigation do not operate in isolation, but must be deployed within a complex and challenging national and international context."  more

The Debate Continues: Geist Replies to CENTR Response

While this may be better suited as a comment to the CENTR posting, I thought that its length might warrant a separate submission. Many thanks to CircleID for hosting this interesting discussion. Below is the full text of a comment I forwarded to CENTR earlier today in reply to its commentary on my recent study on national governments and ccTLDs. ...I should also preface my remarks by noting that I speak for myself -- not the ITU (see below), nor CIRA, (a CENTR member ) on which I serve on the board of directors, nor the Public Interest Registry, which manages the dot-org domain and on which I serve on the Global Advisory Council. more

What the Net Did Next

During this slow and long lull of domain name policy and ICANN related news stories, I thought it would be a good time to bring an article by BBC News Online technology correspondent Mark Ward to the attention of the CircleID community. In it, ICANN Chairman of the Board Vint Cerf reflects on the history of the Internet and his involvement as somewhat of a "midwife," rather than the "father" title he doesn't like. He also looks to the future and identifies two key, fundamental changes that will shape the next stage of the Internet. As he puts it, they are VoIP and ENUM. more

ICANN and the Virtues of Deliberative Policymaking - Part II

In the second part of this two-part series article (part one here), Andrew McLaughlin concludes his critical look at the recently reported study, Public Participation in ICANN, by John Palfrey, Clifford Chen, Sam Hwang, and Noah Eisenkraft at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School... "ICANN has never attempted to be -- and was never designed to be -- 'representative' of the worldwide Internet community in any mathematically precise way. In view of the vast size of the global population of Internet users, and the specialized technical focus of ICANN's policy-making responsibilities, it would be a hopeless task to try to achieve truly representative statistical proportionality among ICANN's participants, committees, task forces, or Board members. Rather, here's how the U.S. government's foundational 1998 DNS policy statement described the core principle of 'representation'." more

A Study on Public Participation in ICANN

The following is an executive summary from the preliminary study by John Palfrey, Clifford Chen, Sam Hwang, and Noah Eisenkraft at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. This study considers to what extent the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has achieved its stated goal of a "representative" and "open" decision-making process. more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part I

This is the first part of a two-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Milton Mueller discussing ICANN, World Summit on the Information Society, and the escalating debates over Internet Governance. Read the second part of this Interview here. Geert Lovink: "Would it make sense to analyse ICANN (and its predecessors) as a test model for some sort of secretive 'world government' that is run by self appointed experts? Could you explain why governments are seen as incapable of running the Internet? This all comes close to a conspiracy theory. I am not at all a fan of such reductionist easy-to-understand explanations. However, the discontent with 'global governance' discourse is widespread and it seems that the International Relations experts have little understanding how the Internet is actually run. Where do you think theorization of Internet governance should start?" more

Report on Survey of Domain Registration Services

Numerous competitive registrars offer diverse domain registration services to individuals, companies, and organizations. This study attempts to index and analyze their service offerings, facilitating analysis by other researchers and in preparation for additional analysis by the author.  more

Registrar Market Share: An Alternative Perspective

In the past, most measurements of registrar market share have tracked overall registrar shares -- number of domains registered by a registrar divided by number of domains registered by all registrars. In this article, I propose some alternatives -- particular subsets of domains in which to measure registrar market shares, providing a basis for comparison with overall market shares. Results vary dramatically across these subsets, with implications on the future customer retention rates of the corresponding registrars.  more

What is WSIS Getting At?

Attacks on ICANN are coming from several different directions, and the list of concerns includes "cybercrime and protection of intellectual property rights."... First, it's not apparent to me that any government can "control" the internet -- and it's even less likely that that control can happen through the DNS. The most that governments will do will be to build walls between nations, requiring their ISPs to point only to approved sites. (China is well on its way to doing this already.) That's not controlling the Internet, that's creating different, national Internets. more

Court Denies Preliminary Restriction of WLS

In a strongly worded ruling, a U.S. Federal Court Judge has ruled in ICANN's favor and denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Dotster and two other ICANN accredited registrars had asked the court for an order prohibiting ICANN from finalizing approval of VeriSign's proposed new "Wait Listing Service" (WLS). Plaintiffs alleged that WLS is "anti-competitive" and that ICANN breached its obligations under the registrar accreditation agreement (RAA) when ICANN gave preliminary approval to WLS last year. The court disagreed, ruling [PDF] as follows: more