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Bringing Order to Chaos

If we were to apply themes to Internet governance world, the narrative for 2014-15 is definitely 'change'. The governance ecosystem is knee deep in the IANA transition, with a few meetings and teleconferences of the IANA Transition Coordinating Group behind us, and a ramping up of activity around ICANN accountability and governance. While the IANA transition and ICANN accountability processes are being conducted in parallel and independently, it's important to note that not only are they related, they are dependent on one another. more»

The Coding of Online Brand Protection

Moore's law postulates that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit will double every two years. That law has given us smartphones and other devices with astonishingly diverse capabilities at ever lower costs. However, while it does not encompass online brand infringement, many trademark managers feel that their task is likewise expanding at exponential speed and imposing escalating costs. Potential cybersquatting based in the more than one thousand new generic top level domains is only one new source of anxiety. While the jury is still out on the level of harmful cybersquatting and the efficacy of the new Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs, that ICANN program is hardly the only challenge. more»

ICANN Board Appoints 2015 NomCom Chair

During its September 9, 2014 meeting, the ICANN Board selected the Chair of the 2015 Nominating Committee (NomCom). The 2015 NomCom will begin its work In Los Angeles, immediately after the close of ICANN's 51st International Meeting due to be held in mid-October. ICANN's Nominating Committee is charged with identifying, recruiting and selecting nominees of the highest possible quality for key leadership positions at ICANN. more»

Success Factors for New gTLDs Program

The success of the new gTLDs program depends on the actions of the winning registries and on ICANN's allocation policies for the second round of applications. A successful landscape would be dominated by only a few registries but would be less confusing for users. The major players: businesses and Internet users who drive the demand for the gTLDs; the registries who own and run the gTLDs; and ICANN, which sets the rules for determining a winner for each new gTLD. more»

ICANN's Comment Period on Accountability Process Seeks Scope Limitations

Bowing to unprecedented community pressure in the form of a unanimous letter questioning its staff-developed Accountability Process, as well as a reconsideration request filed with the Board, on September 5th ICANN issued a notice titled "Public Comment Invited: Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process". The notice opens a 21-day public comment period on that staff proposal. However, ICANN staff apparently cannot resist asserting some form of top-down control even what that very conduct is at issue, and the notice and accompanying explanation contain attempts to restrict and unduly channel the scope of community comment. more»

DCA Trust Strongly Urges ICANN Board Not to Adopt the Proposed Amendment to Its Bylaw

ICANN has been busy in managing several parallel processes that are also closely tied together in one way or the other. The processes include the new gTLD process, the IANA transition and most currently and important action yet that would act as the synergizing factor is the accountability process. ICANN has also posted for public comment proposed Bylaws revisions that would incorporate a higher voting threshold for the Board to determine not to follow the advice of the Governmental Advisory Committee. more»

Stress Test: Accountability Reconsideration Request Filed with ICANN Board

In a rapid follow-up to the unprecedented joint letter sent on August 26th by all members of the ICANN community questioning the proposed Accountability Process imposed by ICANN staff, three of the groups that signed that letter have now submitted a formal Reconsideration Request (RR) to the ICANN Board. The August 29th RR -- submitted jointly by the Business Constituency, Registry Stakeholders Group, and Non-Commercial Stakeholders group -- requests that ICANN "confer with the community as soon as possible to address these concerns and amend its plan in such a way that the community input is taken into account as the plan goes forward.  more»

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

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

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

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»

Prepare for the Worst, But Hope for the Best

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

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»

Call for ICANN to Educate and Not Mislead GAC

I read with interest the recent blog written by Theresa Swinehart a Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy. She wrote: "The most critical element of this [ICANN Transition] process is trust and alignment. To ensure success on this accountability track, we must as a community work closely together to make sure that the final process is meaningful. There is plenty of work to be done in an ambitious period of time." more»

Constituencies Coalesce on IANA Transition and Enhanced ICANN Accountability Principles

It is now being broadly acknowledged that, as expressed unanimously by all GNSO constituencies at the recent ICANN London meeting, "as part of the IANA transition, the multi-stakeholder community has the opportunity and responsibility to propose meaningful accountability structures that go beyond just the IANA-specific accountability issues". In a July 22nd Keynote Address at the American Enterprise Institute, NTIA head Lawrence Strickling - whose agency must approve any IANA transition plan developed by Internet stakeholders - made this linkage an explicit element of U.S. government policy... more»

Video Interviews of IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) Members

Want to know more about what is going on with the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG)? ICANN recently published a set of video interviews with members of the ICG. Here, for instance is the interview with Alissa Cooper who represents the IETF on the ICG... While this is certainly not the complete list of ICG members, it is a good sampling of the variety of people involved with the ICG and does provide a range of different viewpoints into what is going on within the ICG process. more»

News Briefs

Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group Releases Statement on ICANN Staff's Accountability Plan

ICANN Extends Chehadé's Contract by Two More Years

Simple Overview of ICANN and the IANA Transition by Vint Cerf

Video Interviews Highlighting ICANN 50 in London

France Protesting ICANN Over Approval of .Wine TLD

ICANN Publishes Final Process to Be Used for Development of IANA Stewardship Transition Plan

Comment Period for ICANN Accountability Process Enhancement Extended

DCA Receives an Injunction It Requested in Its IRP Proceedings

ICANN Releases Call for Public Input for NTIA's Stewardship Transition of IANA

Lawrence Strickling on US Backing Away from Direct Involvement in Running the Internet

US House Hearing Scheduled on Internet Stability, IANA Transition

US Ambassador and US Commerce Dept Assistant Secretary Defend Transition of IANA Oversight

U.S. Government Announces Intent to Transition DNS Functions to Global Community

Proposal Aims to End US Control of ICANN

3rd Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress

Spam-Friendly Registrar 'Dynamic Dolphin' Shuttered by ICANN

Former ICANN Executive Kurt Pritz Joins Domain Name Association as Executive Director

High-Level Panel Formed on the Future of Internet Governance

Upcoming Latin America and Caribbean DNS Forum

John Crain Named ICANN's New Chief Security, Stability and Resiliency Officer

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Industry Updates

DotConnectAfrica Contributes at the 9th IGF in Istanbul, Turkey

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

ICANN London Recap Webinar

Victorian Government & ARI Agree to Long-Term .melbourne Partnership

Afilias Chairman Appointed to Domain Name Association Board

SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Singapore

DotConnectAfrica Statement Regarding NTIA's Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Function

Afilias Joins Internet Technical Leaders in Welcoming IANA Globalization Progress

SPECIAL: Video Interviews from NamesCon 2014 in Las Vegas

DotConnectAfrica Trust Takes Its Case With ICANN to Independent Review Process (IRP) Panel

2013: A Year in Review, End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

TLDH Announces Sales Channel and gTLD Portfolio Update

Go-Live Schedule for Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website TLDs Announced

DotConnectAfrica Trust Attends ICANN 48 International Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina

TLDH Group Signs 6 New Top-Level Domain Contracts With ICANN

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