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Civil Society Cautions Against ICANN Giving Governments Veto Over Geographic Domain Names

A group of twenty-four civil society organizations and individuals today submitted a joint statement regarding a proposal from an ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) sub-group on the use of "geographic names" in top-level domains. The joint civil society statement cautioned against the adoption of the GAC proposal that would give governments veto power on domains that use "geographic names." more»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2014

Here we are with CircleID's annual roundup of top ten most popular posts featured during 2014 (based on overall readership). Congratulations to all the participants whose posts reached top readership and best wishes for 2015. more»

Haste Makes Waste: Comments on ICANN CWG IANA Transition Proposal Indicate Serious Process Problems

On December 1, 2014 the Cross Community Working Group (CWG) on Naming Related Functions published a Draft Transition Proposal. The comment period on the Proposal extended for twenty-one days; due to a requirement imposed by the separate IANA Coordination Group (ICG) that a final proposal be received by mid-January, there was no provision for a follow-up reply comment period as is standard ICANN Practice for issues of far less consequence. more»

Congress Will Oversight ICANN: And You Can Take That to the Bank

Even though the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) plays a very important role in the global Internet ecosystem, its activities are not frequently mentioned in the mainstream international media; that is, until ICANN's name is mentioned alongside that of the US Congress in a US$1.1 trillion Omnibus spending bill. Since the bill was passed by the House of Representatives, the issue of ICANN has assumed a certain topicality and has attracted commentary from many pundits. more»

Internet Governance Outlook 2015: Two Processes, Many Venues, Four Baskets

2015 has just started, but the calendar of events related to Internet Governance is already fully packed until the end of the year. The list of issues under discussion gets longer and longer and more and more people expect concrete results from the numerous meetings. Whether we will see the next stumbling step forward on the long march through the Internet Governance Ecosystem will depend to a high degree from the outcomes of two different, but interrelated processes which will overshadow the Internet discussion in 2015. more»

Thirty-Three Million and Counting

Two weeks ago I blogged about ICANN's astonishingly lucrative domain auctions. At that time, they'd raised $26.7 million. Now, two auctions later, they're up to about $33 million. Yesterday's two auctions were for .MLS and .BABY. The former, for those who aren't deep into the real estate biz, stands for Multiple Listing Service, the system that lets you list a house with one broker, and all the other brokers can sell it. more»

NETmundial Initiative Lacks Backing, and ICANN Should Not Lead

A fledgling attempt to create a new global Internet governance clearinghouse has run into trouble as leading business and civil organizations said they are not yet prepared to participate in the NETmundial Initiative (NMI) championed by ICANN President Fadi Chehade. In highlighting that there remain several unanswered questions, the Internet Society (ISOC), Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-BASIS) raised serious concerns... more»

Wait and See Approach on Abuse

Wait and see approach on abuse attracts ICANN Stakeholder attention: A few weeks ago I made a detailed argument as to why product safety applies to domains, just like it does to cars and high chairs. I also argued that good products equal good business or "economically advantaged" in the long run. Then I really made a strong statement, I said if we don't actively engage other Internet stakeholders -- those that interact with our products, we would eventually lose the opportunity to self-regulate. more»

Breaking: U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition

On the evening of Tuesday, September 9th, Congressional leaders unveiled a 1,603 page, $1.01 trillion FY 2015 appropriations bill to fund the U.S. government through the end of September 2015. One provision of the omnibus bill would delay the IANA transition until after the September 30, 2015 expiration of the current contract between the NTIA and ICANN. more»

Where We're Going: Leviathan or Golem?

The Internet never ceases to fascinate. I am referring not to its content, but to its governance. The IANA transition is the latest example in a world of interesting possibilities. At the core, we find ICANN, and that is why we need a Human Rights Advisory Committee. Any future model, with or without the NTIA, needs to seriously consider this option. But I prefer the hard truth over my own ideals. Maybe this idea will be dismissed, simply because human rights are discussed as some kind of inconvenience. more»