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When Did CIRA Become the Commercial Internet Registration Authority?

Nearly ten years ago, the Government of Canada wrote a letter to the chair of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) that set out the framework for the management of the dot-ca domain. The government articulated a vision of the dot-ca domain as a “key public resource” and called on CIRA to act in an open and transparent manner. CIRA has long sought to live up to those standards, but in recent months the organization has shown an unmistakable shift toward prioritizing commercial gain over the public interest along with a troubling move toward secret decision making... 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»

Brand Owners Hold Their Breath With New gTLD 
"Reveal Day" Delay

It has been quite a rollercoaster the past couple of weeks with the new gTLD application period ending on April 12th coupled with the suspension of the TLD Application System (TAS) due to a technical glitch. With over 1,200 applicants for new gTLDs confirmed by ICANN in the system, and the possibility of thousands of new gTLD applications to be published on "reveal day" brand owners have been holding their breath on the status of their applications. more»

Dot Travel Still Isn't Dead Yet

I've writen several blog entries about the continued downward swirling motion of Tralliance, the company that runs the registry for .TRAVEL. In this month's installment, as told in their quarterly 10-Q SEC filing, they flirt with bankruptcy but may well end up more stable than before. One of the more eye-catching paragraphs says... more»

Tight Control Over Domain Names Will Damage The Internet

BBC is running a commentary by Bill Thompson today arguing that the Internet's core architecture should be kept open both technically and in terms of freedom of expression -- such as the introduction of new top-level domains. Giving every interest group, lobbying organisation and corrupt government a veto is what ICANN needs to avoid, says Bill Thompson. From the story: "ICANN is currently making some decisions that will have a massive impact on the net over the next few years, and we need to make sure that it takes into account the wider feelings of the whole community instead of responding solely to pressure from established interest groups..." more»

Governments Should Promote Cultural Diversity on the Internet

The entire new gTLD applicant community is awaiting, patiently, the forthcoming Brussels meeting between the ICANN Board and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to take place from February 28th. After years of delays to the new gTLD process, ICANN and the GAC will try to reach an agreement on how and when to launch the new Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD) programme. The expectations for the outcome of the Brussels meeting is huge among potential new gTLD applicants. Despite this, the media attention will be negligible when compared to the news coverage that the next ICANN public meeting in March will receive. more»

Key Steps for Operational Readiness and Successful Launch of a New gTLD

31 August 2013 marked a historic day for Internet users worldwide. It marked a very key day in the introduction of new gTLDs. On that day ICANN, who oversees the gTLD programme, six years in the making, announced the completion of gTLD Initial Evaluation (IE) results based applicant's ability to demonstrate their financial, technical and operational capability to operate and manage a TLD Registry. more»

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»

A Modest Proposal for ICANN

When it comes to accountability, ICANN would rather be compared to other U.S. nonprofit companies than to the regulatory bodies it more closely resembles. If they truly wish to be treated like a nonprofit, rather than a regulator, there is a very simple solution: make all contributions strictly voluntary. more»

It's Time for the New gTLD Delays to End

The next few short weeks in the run-up to ICANN's Cartagena meeting could prove the most important time yet for the organization to show that it is a credible and capable overseer of the domain name system. After over two years of delays, tens of thousands of email exchanges, weeks of heated face-to-face discussions, and many millions of accumulated frequent flier miles, the time has arrived for ICANN to finally draw a line under the new top-level domain policy-development process and name the date for the opening of the first-round application window. 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»

Former ICANN Executive Kurt Pritz Joins Domain Name Association as Executive Director

Former ICANN executive Kurt Pritz has assumed the role of interim Executive Director for the Domain Name Association, a newly formed non-profit business association that represents the interests of the domain name industry. Kurt will be working with and representing DNA during the ICANN-48 meetings in Buenos Aires. He played a key role in the growth of ICANN and is best known as the architect of ICANN's new gTLD program. more»

The Maturing Domain Industry

Day one of the Digital Marketing and gTLD Strategy congress is happening in London today. As we inch ever closer to new gTLDs actually launching on the Internet, business models and marketing approaches are becoming clearer and better defined. This was evident in today's presentations and workshops, with applicants and current TLD operators alike showing much greater depth of thought into how these namespaces might actually be of use to Internet users. more»

An ITU Cut and Paste Job for New TLDs Could Cost $150k

It was with great interest that I read a recent announcement about a plan by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to publish template answers on a wiki for the 22 questions relating to registry technical operations contained within ICANN's new Top-Level Domain Applicant Guidebook. As someone who has spent the best part of six years following the development of the program (witnessing first-hand each evolution of the Applicant Guidebook) my first thought was one of bemusement... 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»