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The 'Domain Rights Dozen' - ICA's RPM Revision Review Principles

As the fall of 2012 begins the implementation of rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs is reaching a critical stage... Given the half year interval between the upcoming Toronto ICANN meeting and the following Beijing meeting in April 2013, it is highly desirable, and perhaps essential, that community discussion in Toronto result in a clear consensus on how RPM implementation should proceed if new gTLDs are to launch without further delay and if potential registrants are to perceive them as acceptable platforms for speech and commerce. more»

Threats to Internet Oversight Mount as Key Protection Expires

Before the US Government abdicates its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) it should take a long, hard look at the mounting efforts by world governments to assume greater power over the Internet's addressing system. If those efforts meet no further resistance, the once-theoretical threat of "capture" could become a reality. At the end of September, the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between ICANN and the US Government is set to expire. The JPA is part of a decade-long agreement where the US transitions control of Internet addressing to ICANN. more»

Presenting a Way Forward: Step-by-Step and ICANN's New gTLD Process

I read this to the ICANN Board Thursday morning, in Sydney, after more prep work than I care to recall. If you don't know that the DAGv3 is delayed, or what the IRT is, this is a good time to bush up on current ICANN state. "Good morning. My name is Eric Brunner-Williams, and I am speaking to you on behalf of the initial signatories of the Step-by-Step proposal. I represent one of the signatories as the principal of the native, aboriginal, and indigenous cultural and linguistic Top-Level Domain (TLD) project, one of many similar efforts to preserve living languages and cultures..." more»

Really? A Hearing on New gTLDs at this Late Stage?

To the dismay of many (and the chagrin of some), it appears as though the US House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will be conducting a hearing on New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Meanwhile, ICANN is careening towards the finish line of the new gTLD Program with a vote by the ICANN Board scheduled for June 20th. Just what this all means remains to be seen. more»

Some Thoughts on the ICANN EWG Recommended Registration Directory Service (RDS)

It has been my distinct pleasure to serve on ICANN's Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG). We put in many long months and what seemed like countless hours of research, discussion, meetings, and deliberations on how to tackle a clean-slate approach to gTLD directory services, popularly known as "WHOIS". In our Final Report, the Expert Working Group (EWG) recommended a Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace today's WHOIS, providing a next-generation system to better meet the needs of the evolving global Internet with greater accuracy, privacy, and accountability. more»

Fixing WHOIS (and Some Other Stuff Too)

ICANN is the only institution with responsibility for the functioning of DNS. And so it is natural that when there is a DNS problem for people to expect ICANN to come up with the solution. But having the responsibility to act is not the same as having the ability. Like the IETF, ICANN appears to have been designed with the objective of achieving institutional paralysis. And this is not surprising since the first law of the Internet is 'You are so not in charge (for all values of you). more»

US Laws Remain Set to Govern Upcoming Multilingual Internet via New gTLDs

U.S. laws remain set to govern the coming multilingual internet through ICANN's new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) yet the ramifications of this fact if you are Chinese, Arab, Indian, Russian or other are huge as ICANN published its 7th Applicant Guidebook in preparation for its board consideration on June 20th during the Singapore meeting. To many nations and citizens around the world, especially the non-English speaking communities, this will be seen as a strategically alarming direction for the global Internet. more»

DOC to ICANN: Time to End Double-Weighted Voting of Registries and Registrars

The US Department of Commerce and ICANN announced today an Affirmation of Commitments. One of the important elements of that document was in section 4, namely that "ICANN and DOC recognize that there is a group of participants that engage in ICANN's processes to a greater extent than Internet users generally." more»

US Government Waves the Caution Flag at ICANN

This month, ICANN is driving hard to get two of its horses to the finish line. The first is barely a year old - it's the first formal review of ICANN's accountability and transparency. The second horse is going on 4 years old: ICANN's plan to introduce hundreds of new top-level domains (TLDs) for the Internet. Just as these horses have entered the home stretch, one of the racecourse officials is vigorously waving the yellow caution flag. And ICANN would do well to pull back on the reins. more»

ICANN Hires Black Hat Founder as New CSO

ICANN has apparently hired Jeff Moss (aka Dark Tangent) as CSO. Moss is a well known figure in the internet security community and was founder of Black Hat and the Def Con conferences. However isn't Moss a bit conflicted? Isn't he on one of the review teams? more»

Co-Operation to Make the Domain Business More Secure

In order to provide more security for the Domain Name System (DNS), a group of large domain-name registries and registrars has got together with IT security providers and government agencies to launch a new workgroup: the "Registry Internet Safety Group" (RISG). The announcement was made by the Public Internet Registry, which operates the .org domain, and its backend provider Afilias. more»

Registrar Stakeholder Group in GNSO Works Against the ICANN Multistakeholder Social Compact

One of the essential features of the social compact that makes ICANN viable in its stewardship of the Domain Name system is that the operations of the Contracted Parties, i.e. Registrars and Registries, are governed by the cooperation of the contracted parties and the non-contracted parties, i.e. the stakeholders, in the creation of policy. In ICANN, contracts and other agreements are the method by which this policy is instantiated. more»

New TLDs: Disruptive Marketing 21st Century Style

Traditionally, top-level domains (TLDs) have been almost exclusively marketed by registries through their registrar channel. In a never-ending cycle of driving and sustaining sales, registries often resort to discounting and "promotional pricing." The competition for prime shelf space for a TLD is fierce, with sales and distribution largely controlled by the channel... In this chaotic and cluttered channel, it's not surprising that TLDs have traditionally been less than successful in defining their brand and delivering a unique value story for their product. more»

IGF: To Reach the Next Billion, Internet Needs Multilingual Support

The Internet must support the large number of languages in the world at all levels, including content, hardware, software, and internationalized domain names if it is to reach the next billion people, according to speakers at an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Hyderabad, India. "When we talk about Internet for all, we have to go beyond the people who speak English," said Manal Ismail, vice chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), on Wednesday. more»

ICANN Hubris Knows No Ends

Despite all signs pointing to a launch of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) program in Singapore, it seems like ICANN could not help poking the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) in the eye one last time. In the latest installment of how a California not for profit technical coordinating body knows best, we have the ICANN Evidence of "Use" Requirement for Trademark Protection document. more»