ICANN / Featured Blogs

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»

ICANN Accountability: Beware the Bridge Too Far

Yesterday I had the privilege of delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Internet Society (Canada) Symposium. In my remarks, I took the opportunity to talk about my thoughts on the current status of the IANA stewardship transition and enhancing ICANN accountability processes. Fact is I'm getting increasingly concerned. As we head into what will be a critical meeting of the CCWG-Accountability in Los Angeles today, I fear that the Internet governance community is headed for a showdown, the consequences of which could prove detrimental. more»

NTIA Directs Smoke Signals Toward LA

On September 25th-26th the Cross Community Working Group developing enhanced accountability measures to accompany the IANA functions transition, and replace the "backstop" role played by the U.S., will meet in Los Angeles to review the 90 comments filed on their second draft Proposal and consider responsive modifications... As NTIA will be the primary evaluator of whether the transition & accountability package that is eventually forwarded by ICANN meets the criteria it set when it announced the transition in March 2014, CCWG participants in LA will be carefully reading the tea leaves of this latest NTIA statement. more»

The ICANN Accountability End Game

It was predictable, and inevitable, I suppose, that the end game of a search for a more accountable ICANN would devolve to a lawyer's contest. When there is money on the table, and when global politics are invoked to one degree or another, it is the lawyers who are tasked to translate lofty goals into precise words on paper that will survive the inspection of judges and courts. And ambitious politicians as well. more»

The Empire Strikes Back: ICANN Accountability at the Inflection Point

The members of the ICANN community engaged in the work of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-ACCT, or just plain "CCWG" for this article) has been engaged since late 2014 in designing an enhanced ICANN accountability plan to accompany the transition of oversight of the IANA root zone functions from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the global multistakeholder community. On August 3rd the CCWG released its 2nd Draft Report (Work Stream 1) for a public comment period that closed on September 12th. more»