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Premium TLDs, Real Value for Money

There is an intrinsic value proposition to new gTLDs. They mean to give users fresh naming possibilities and provide more meaningful Internet addresses. And to do so at much reduced prices. Reduced prices? Really? This is where eyebrows start being raised. How so? Well before the advent of new gTLDs, few suffixes offered any real ability to differentiate. Users thus looked to the second level, not the top level, for a way to get their web addresses to stand out from the crowd. So began a vicious circle of value going to the limited number of meaningful second level names since at TLD level, the only string with any real equity was .COM. more»

ICANN Accountability Progress Made in Second CCWG Draft Proposal

The December 21 deadline for submission of public comments on the latest CCWG-Accountability draft proposal is quickly approaching. In this second draft of the proposal, great strides have been made toward addressing the accountability issues that members of the community have raised (notably, Lawrence Strickling's recent remarks). As I have previously emphasized, any plan to ensure the accountability of the ICANN Board of Directors must be closely scrutinized before ICANN pursues its implementation. more»

Cheers! Registries and Registrars Doing the Right Thing by Patients

Domain name registration is a hot industry. Registrars represent a growing multi-billion dollar industry with the keys to the Internet for any organization hoping to have a web presence. Further, because of their role as one of the gatekeepers to the Internet, registrars have the unique ability and are often asked to take action against illegal activity online. This fact was highlighted in the report released this week by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the 2015 Out-of-Cycle Notorious Markets List. more»

FY16 Appropriations Act Extends IANA Transition Freeze without DOTCOM Act

The U.S. Government has been operating so far in Fiscal Year 2016, which began on October 1st, with funding provided by two continuing Appropriations bills. The last one passed on December 11th and provides funding through midnight tonight, December 16th. Meanwhile, bipartisan Senate and House leadership, Appropriations Committee members, and Chairs of authorizing committees have been negotiating an omnibus Appropriations bill, along with a separate revenue package of tax provisions, behind closed doors. more»

A Bend in the River: ICANN Should Prepare for a 2 °C World

Toward the end of last week, the world waited with bated breath for the outcome of the 21st annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The meeting, commonly called COP 21, was held in Le Bourget, Paris, from November 30 to December 12; a bit too soon after the terrorists attacks on Paris earlier in November. COP 21 was important because COP 15 in Copenhagen (2009) failed to arrive at a global consensus... more»

Supporting Organizations Marginalized in ICANN Accountability Proposal

The Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) make a number of helpful recommendations to improve organizational accountability at ICANN, however one aspect of the plan is deeply flawed: changing the role of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) from purely an "advisory" role to a "decision making" role over fundamental matters at ICANN, including its governance. more»

The Cock and the Goat: ICANN in the Age of Horrorism

Like everyone else, former ICANN board members have been preoccupied by the horrific November 13th, 2015 attacks on Paris, France, by a bunch of cold-blooded mass murderers. Our email list discussion of the Paris attacks covered a number of issues, including the inevitable question: what, if anything, should ICANN do in response? Some list subscribers concluded that the events had nothing to do with ICANN's mission, and that we should just sigh and move on. Others, on the other hand, said: not so fast, it would serve ICANN well to take a closer look at the matter, and its ramifications on wider world of ICANN.  more»

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»

The Next ICANN CEO

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»