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First Do No Harm: Ensuring Compliance with the EU's GDPR While Preserving Access to WHOIS Data

There is growing concern about how ICANN will comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), whose enforcement sanctions come into force in May of 2018. How will ICANN comply with GDPR without unduly restricting global Internet users' access to the public WHOIS database? For nearly the past 20 years, Internet users, businesses, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies have relied on WHOIS as a necessary resource. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2017

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2017 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry. 2017 marked CircleID's 15th year of operation as a medium dedicated to all critical matters related to the Internet infrastructure and services. We are in the midst of historic times, facing rapid technological developments and there is a lot to look forward to in 2018. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2018: Preparing for Cyberwar or Promoting Cyber Détente?

In 2018, Internet Governance will be one of the top priorities in the geo-strategic battles among big powers. In today's world, every global conflict has an Internet-related component. There is no international security without cybersecurity. The world economy is a digital economy. And human rights are relevant offline as well as online. It is impossible to decouple cyberspace from the conflicts of the real world. more

New TLD Launch: Lessons Learned

In September 2017, I wrote an article [1] about the new domain extensions in German and got very good feedback and was asked to translate it into English in order to make it available for a broader audience. I wanted to comply with this request, but unfortunately, it took a while to revise and translate my article... In June 2011, ICANN gave the starting signal for about 1,400 new top-level domains (TLD) to make the existing namespace bigger and more diverse. more

The UDRP and Judicial Review

The courts of the United Kingdom have set themselves outside the mainstream of Internet consensus policies on trademark/domain name disputes. A U.K. court decision regarding the UDRP reflects an unfortunate tendency to overlook one of the fundamental principles of the UDRP, namely the opportunity to seek independent resolution of a trademark/domain name dispute by court proceedings. more

The Emergence of Consensus in the UDRP

The modus operandi of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is achieving consensus. This also holds true for the principal rights protection mechanism that emerged from a two-year round of debates organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that ICANN implemented in 1999 as the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Consensus rules; not precedent, although consensus inevitably becomes that. more

A Closer Look at Why Russia Wants an Independent Internet

Actually practical and not necessarily a problem. The Security Council of the Russian Federation, headed by Vladimir Putin, has ordered the "government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions." RT believes "this system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa." Expect dramatic claims about Russia's plan for an alternate root for the BRICs and not under Western control. more

GDPR: Registries to Become Technical Administrators Only?

On 11 December 2017, about 25 participants from Europe and the US attended the public consultation for the brand new GDPR Domain Industry Playbook by eco (Association of the Internet Industry, based in Germany) at the representation of the German federal state Lower Saxony to the European Union in Brussels. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) poses a challenge for the Registries, Registrars, Resellers and ICANN. more

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

Eliminating Access to WHOIS - Bad for All Stakeholders

Steeped deep in discussions around the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the past several months, it has occurred to me that I've been answering the same question for over a decade: "What happens if WHOIS data is not accessible?" One of the answers has been and remains the same: People will likely sue and serve a lot of subpoenas. This may seem extreme, and some will write this off as mere hyperbole, but the truth is that the need for WHOIS data to address domain name matters will not disappear. more

2017 Domain Name Year in Review

Given that it's been a few years since my last domain name year in review, I've really enjoyed looking back at this year's biggest domain name stories and seeing how this industry has evolved. This year, in particular, has seen some notable changes which are likely to impact the domain name landscape for years to come. So without further ado, here is my list for 2017. more

ICANN Issues Guidance to Domain Registrars and Registries in Light of Hurricane Maria

ICANN has issued a guidance notice to registrars and registries in relation to Hurricane Maria, which caused massive damage throughout the Caribbean. This isn't the first time that this has happened, with a previous incident in Asia triggering action from both registrars and registries to give domain name registrants impacted by the natural disaster breathing space. more

Brands and Domains Conference Recap

The best and most knowledgeable experts of dot Brand met in the Brands and Domains conference, on October 2 and 3 in the Hague, Netherlands. Brand and project owners were also present, coming from all around the world -- from Australia or Japan to the USA and Canada. The keynote by Georges-Edouard Dias, CEO of Quantstreams and founder of the concept of brand hospitality, explained how customers are not anymore the targets of brands. more

ICANN to Reconsider the .Amazon Domain Applications

Amazon filed applications for the .AMAZON top-level domains in several scripts in 2012. Five years later, ICANN will re-examine the applications after an Independent Review Process (IRP) proceeding. The IRP Panel found that ICANN's Board failed to demonstrate the existence of public policy reasons for denying the applications. more

General Data Protection Regulation and the Future of WHOIS

Why does all of the discussion around potential options for WHOIS in the era of the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) feel like déjà vu? Is it because issues around WHOIS never really go away, and become a hot topic every few years? Is it because no one is really happy with the current system? Privacy advocates would be delighted to do away with it altogether, while business and Intellectual Property professionals press for improvements to accuracy and availability, which I fully support. more

News Briefs

ICANN Holding Its First North American Meeting Since 2014 in Puerto Rico

EFF Warns ICANN Not to Engage in Censorship, Says It Should Stick to Technical Role

Clash Over Dot-Amazon During the ICANN Meetings in Abu Dhabi

Dutch Geographic TLDs Refuse Public Access to Whois Data

ICANN Delays Plans to Change DNS Cryptographic Key, Says Near 750 Million People at Risk if Rushed

Domain Registries to Discuss Possibility of ICANN Fee Cuts in Private Meeting This Month

No Dates for the Next gTLD Round Yet, Says ICANN

Amazon.com Inc Given New Chance to Secure .AMAZON TLD

Rightside, Donuts Merger Gets the Green Light from ICANN

Over 750 Domain Name Registrars Expected to Shut Down in the Next 12 Months, ICANN Predicts

ICANN to Release Hundreds of Domain Names Matching Country Names

Several New TLDs in Limbo as ICANN Conducts Investigation

ICANN Drifting Toward Online Content Regulation, Says Law Professor

ICANN to Push Ahead with New .Africa TLD Despite Ongoing Court Case

Pakistan to Get Its Country TLD in Urdu

Los Angeles Court Rejects Demand for Preliminary Injunction Preventing ICANN Delegating .AFRICA

Court Refuses Injunction in .africa TLD Case

Court Dismisses .Web Lawsuit, Says Agreement Not to Sue Is Enforceable

Could Trump Administration Reverse ICANN Independency? ITIP Chief Weighs In

Governments Pushing for Greater Control Over Geographic TLDs

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