As WHOIS Transitions to RDAP, How Do We Avoid the Same Mistakes?

In 1905, philosopher George Santayana famously noted, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." When past attempts to resolve a challenge have failed, it makes sense to consider different approaches even if they seem controversial or otherwise at odds with maintaining the status quo. Such is the case with the opportunity to make real progress in addressing the many functional issues associated with WHOIS. We need to think differently. more»


Internet public policy -- and the technical ecosystem -- is at a crossroads and the choice of CEO that ICANN's board makes now is probably the most important such choice it has ever made. Since I work in Internet policy across the Geneva institutions where more than 50% of all international Internet-related policy meetings take place, and have worked at ICANN in senior positions in the past, I thought I would suggest some qualities the next CEO should have. more»

Another Day, Another Two Million Dollars

ICANN just published the results of the auction for .HOTELS and .HOTEIS. The high bidder (I'm not sure "winner" really applies here) was Booking.com, who will use .HOTELS. The $2.2M they paid, along with the prior results, notably the $25 million Google paid for .APP, brings the total in ICANN's auction pot to about $60.5 million. There's a few more auctions scheduled for CAM, PHONE, and SHOP/SHOPPING, along with yet to be scheduled auctions for DOCTOR, INC, LLP, and LLC. more»

IGF 2015: Running in Place

The Internet Governance Forum, held this year in the Brazilian beach resort town of João Pessoa, completed its 10th annual meeting Friday November 13. The IGF Secretariat claims that nearly 5,000 people attended. Moreover, it looks as if its existence will be continued for another 10 years when the UN meets in New York later this year. Vint Cerf declared it "the best IGF ever" in the closing open microphone session. But how good is "best?" more»

Consumer Trust? Not at ICANN Compliance

Every person and every entity must have a philosophy if they are to be successful. Consumer trust is one of the key issues at the heart of keeping the Internet open as well as prosperous. The ICANN Affirmation of Commitments was signed in 2009 and has been the guiding principle for ICANN's activities going forward. The title of section 9.3 is Promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice. This section is in essence the embodiment of the commitment of ICANN. more»

ICANN Compliance Lends a Hand to a Violent Criminal While Trashing a Legitimate Business

Imagine a California non-profit corporation providing material assistance to a criminal wanting to do you physical and financial harm. Then, imagine that corporation is ICANN. Imagine no longer, because that is precisely what the ICANN Compliance department managed to pull off this week, in an all-too-common demonstration of the havoc they can cause by sheer ineptitude, without apology or concern. This is the situation which crossed my desk this week. more»

Reconsideration Request Denied

Having been passed over by the "old guard" Board Governance Committee of ICANN Board of Directors, I took the occasion to speak from my heart to provide the "new guard" with the observations of a 16-year ICANN volunteer. For those of you in the community who are wondering what happened, what follows is word for word what I shared with the Board of ICANN at my closed door proceedings. more»

We're Almost There… IANA Stewardship Transition

Since Friday, I have been listening to and, yes, talking to many in Dublin who are engaged in the multistakeholder effort to transition the IANA functions. Our goal is an orderly transition that both reaffirms the strength of the global multistakeholder model while protecting and preserving the coordinated, well-functioning administration of the unique identifiers that are the core of the technical genius of the Internet. more»

ICANN Accountability Takes Center Stage at Dublin Meeting

With the ICANN 54 meeting in Dublin in full swing, the internet stakeholder community should be assessing where the IANA transition and ICANN accountability proposals stand and where they will need to go before a transition occurs. At the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group meeting in Los Angeles last month, the consensus seemed to be all systems are go for launch. more»

Don't Give up on Membership

Most of the ICANN community is headed to ICANN 54, the critical meeting in Dublin where some kind of an agreement on accountability reforms needs to be reached if the historic IANA transition is to take place. Only a few months ago, an open, multi-stakeholder process proposed to enhance ICANN's accountability by creating a very limited form of membership. It did not allow any individual in the world to become a member. It did not even allow any individual or organization with a domain name to become a member (as it should have). more»

Rx for Dublin Progress: Board Transparency, Specificity, and Community Acknowledgement

In just a few days the ICANN 54 meeting will be up and running in Dublin, and schedule revisions are being implemented to devote even more time to discussion of accountability measures to accompany the transition of IANA stewardship. These developments come in the wake of the ICANN's Board pronouncement that it will not support either the "sole member" model (SMM) devise by the CCWG-ACCT (CCWG) after ten months of intensive labor, or even the "designator" model that it was considering as a possible fallback. more»

An Alternative to CCWG Overreach

ICANN is in the midst (I wouldn't yet say the middle) of its transition from oversight by the US Department of Commerce to oversight by something else. A Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) on Accountability delivered a long report in August that proposes a new oversight structure for ICANN. But it has the practical problem that the ICANN board really, really hates it. Having looked at it, I can't entirely blame them. more»

.WINE New gTLD is Here, Thanks to Politicians

It is no news that the .WINE and .VIN new gTLDs are to be announced soon by Donuts and if the month of November is the very month everybody has been waiting for, at the beginning of the Sunrise Periods, many questions arise regarding the protection of wine geographical indications... There is a lot to say regarding the length of time it took to launch .wine and .vin new gTLDs and, most of all, how difficult it has been to protect its wine Geographical Indications (also called "wine GIs"). more»

Congress Must Approve Transfer of IANA Function to ICANN

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced its plans to turn over the very heart of the Internet to the control of ICANN. On Monday, Republican leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees sent a letter asking the Government Accountability Office to study whether a Congressional vote on the transfer is required under the Constitution's Property Clause because administration of the root zone file is a government asset, created under government contract. Some will no doubt dismiss the letter as Republican obstructionism. more»

Decoding the WSIS Message - ISOC Releases Matrix of Countries' WSIS+10 Positions

Over the next few months, major discussions at the United Nations will shape the future of Internet governance. In order to prepare with our community for the ten-year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10), in New York, USA, on 15 to 16 December 2015, we are publishing today a matrix of the countries' positions on WSIS+10. The matrix draws from their written contributions to the UN this summer, and is designed to help all stakeholders better understand the key issues at the the heart of the negotiations. more»

News Briefs

Under Pressure, ICANN Reveals Lobbying Expenses

ICANN and EuroDIG Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance

U.S. Bypassing ICANN on Whois Privacy With Closed-Door Meeting in Paris

ICANN Must Stop Resisting Accountability Changes, Warn US Senators

Content Policing Not Our Responsibility, Says ICANN CEO

Governments Divided Over Management of Core Internet Functions

Application for .gay TLD Rejected for the Second Time

ICANN Turning into a FIFA-Like Organization, Says the Guardian

ICANN Announces Results of New gTLD Universal Acceptance Analysis

ICANN Assigns Tor's .Onion TLD as Special-Use Domain Name

ICANN Must Make User Privacy a Central Tenet for New Registrations, Says EFF

Working Group Gets Cold Shoulder in Talks to Formally Appoint Internet Community Within ICANN

Internet Society Submits Comments on IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal

IANA Contract Extended by One Year, Announces Department of Commerce

ICANN Website Breached, Passwords Obtained by an Unauthorized Person

ICG Seeking Public Feedback on Key Internet Governance Proposal

Lack of ccTLD Growth in Africa Only Partially Due to Internet Penetration

Lawrence Strickling on NTIA and the Upcoming ICANN Meeting Next Week

Congress Gets 30 Days to Review Any Final Plan Before Internet Oversight Transition

FTC Puts Burden Back on ICANN Concerning .Sucks Dilemma

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