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ICANN Regime Change:  Exit Twomey, Enter Beckstrom

On July 1st 2009, Rod Beckstrom succeeded Paul Twomey as the fourth CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Rod assumes this important leadership role at a critical juncture in ICANN's ongoing evolution. Saying that he is jumping into the deep end of a pool would not do justice to the magnitude of the tasks before him. The more appropriate analogy might be parachuting from a plane above the Mariana Trench during a typhoon. However, after reading some of his writings, reviewing his biography, and having met with him one-on-one during ICANN's recent Sydney meeting, I am confident that the ICANN Board made the right decision in selecting Rod to lead the organization at this defining moment in Internet governance. more»

The New ICANN Emerges in Seoul

With the loud crashing of a traditional drum ceremony and an impromptu electric guitar performance by a young Korean whose rendition of Pachabel has been downloaded sixty million times on YouTube, the 36th meeting of ICANN was kicked off this morning (Korean time) by new CEO Rod Beckstrom and his fellow Directors and assembled one thousand or so participants. ICANN has always been about change, but the atmosphere in Seoul this week is charged with a sense of new challenges and new opportunities. more»

France Protesting ICANN Over Approval of .Wine TLD

France has expressed anger at the organisation responsible for assigning internet domains over the planned launch of .wine and .vin addresses... France said addresses like .wine would put trade agreements regarding the sale of region-specific products like champagne at risk. French minister Axelle Lemaire said Icann needed to be more transparent. She called for a new general assembly to be set up to govern domain names, with a "one country, one vote" system. more»

18 TLD Applications Withdrawn to Date

A total of eighteen applications for new Top Level Domains (TLDs) have been withdrawn by the applicants. Of the 18 applications that have been withdrawn so far, just five were applications for generic terms, and the remaining thirteen withdrawn applications were for branded Top Level Domains. In the case of the branded TLDs, it may be that the applicant originally only filed what has been called a "defensive application", meaning that the company applied for the Top Level Domain to prevent its falling in the hands of a competitor. more»

Are You Ready for the Launch of New gTLDs?

It seems as though the inevitable is now upon us, and though there are many that have wished this day never come, the launch of the first new gTLD registries is approaching. Now whether the first new gTLD registry will launch within the next few months or be delayed due to Advice from world governments remains to be seen. However, most companies with which I have spoken desperately need any extra time to prepare for the launch of new gTLDs. more»

Still Missing in Action

After wading through the various IANA Notice of Inquiry (NOI) submissions I thought I would take a break and do a secondary review of the recently concluded ICANN regional meeting in San Francisco. In doing this review there were three things that kind of jumped out at me as still missing in action. more»

What's the ROI on a $20m TLD Auction?

ICANN have taken a solid stance in regards to contention sets, with those yet to be resolved soon to be forced into auctions of last resort in the coming months. As expected, this has increased the velocity of private settlements between applicants, either via deals or private auctions. It seems like most applicants (wisely) don't want to see their funds going into ICANN coffers unnecessarily. more»

Wither WHOIS!: A New Look At An Old System

No, that title is not a typo. The WHOIS service and the underlying protocol are a relic of another Internet age and need to be replaced. At the recent ICANN 43 conference in Costa Rica, WHOIS was on just about every meeting agenda because of two reasons. First, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee put out SAC 051 which called for a replacement WHOIS protocol and at ICANN 43, there was a panel discussion on such a replacement. The second reason was the draft report from the WHOIS Policy Review Team. more»

Internet Infrastructure: Stability at the Core, Innovation at the Edge (Part 2 of 5)

For nearly all communications on today's Internet, domain names play a crucial role in providing stable navigation anchors for accessing information in a predictable and safe manner, irrespective of where you're located or the type of device or network connection you're using. Over the past 15 years hundreds of millions of domain names have been added to the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), and well over two billion (that's Billion!) new users, some ~34 percent of the global population, have become connected. more»

CAN SPAM Applies Even Within a Single Provider

I recently came across a copy of a ruling in the bizarre case of MySpace vs. theglobe.com. Theglobe.com was the ultimate dot.com bubble company. It started up here in Ithaca, and went public at the peak of dot.com hysteria with one of the the greatest one-day price runups ever. Since then they bought and sold a variety of busineses, none of which ever made any money, including the Voiceglo VoIP service which appears to be what the spam was promoting. 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»

ICANN Security Team Reports on Conficker Post-Discovery Analysis

A paper released today by ICANN provides a chronology of events related to the containment of the Conficker worm. The report, "Conficker Summary and Review," is authored by ICANN's Dave Piscitello, Senior Security Technologist on behalf of the organization's security team. more»

Will 2016 Politics Trump Bipartisan Support for the MSM and DOTCOM Act?

The bitter partisan divide that characterizes so many of official Washington's current policy discussions was conspicuous in its absence at the July 8th hearing held on "Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. In opening remarks that asked "What is the multi-stakeholder community, anyway?", Subcommittee Chairman Greg Waldren went on to declare that he and his colleagues "sought to strike the right balance between supporting the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, while still protecting the invaluable tool of communications and commerce the Internet has become". more»

ICANN Secures Preliminary Injunction to Terminate Registerfly's Accreditation

Under a preliminary injunction issued yesterday by US Federal Court Judge, Manuel J. Real, ICANN now has the right to terminate RegisterFly’s accreditation as soon as possible. The provision to ICANN of current and accurate data for all of RegisterFly’s domain names has also been ordered by the Court as RegisterFly failed to meet the conditions of a temporary restraining order (TRO) which the Court issued on April 16, 2007. more»

Islamic TLDs and the Challenge of Good Governance

As governments ask themselves whether they should not be the only ones in charge, and everyone else is more determined than ever to stay involved, Internet governance is now a front-page topic. But away from the theoretical debates about which model is best, one real-life situation may end up looking strangely like a vindication of the multi-stakeholder model by governmental organisations. The situation in question is that of Islam and Halal. Two applications that look like they are caught in a kind of new gTLD program groundhog day. more»