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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»

Are We at the Dawn of a New Cold War?

Over the past say six months there are trends and events on and around the Internet that made me come up with this bizarre sounding question. Still it may actually make sense if we look at some facts. I'll be honest up front. This is a contribution that is not totally thought over and more a compilation of ideas and impressions gathered over the past weeks and months. Still, it could well serve as the beginning of a discussion on giving the recent events a place. There's nothing better than a provocative question in that case! Let's start here. more»

Is Bulgarian Cyrillic .бг (.bg) Really Similar to Other Latin ccTLDs?

Bulgaria has proposed for an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) ccTLD string .бг (Cyrillic for .bg, or U+0431 U+0433), but the proposal was turned down by the ICANN DNS Stability panel in May 2010 without any arguments or an option for appeal. The proposed string is composed of two characters... 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»

ICANN Working Group Is Seeking Input on a Replacement for the Current WHOIS System

An ICANN working group is seeking public input on a successor to the current WHOIS system for domain names. The Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) has issued a report that recommends a radical change from WHOIS. more»

New gTLDs: If I Knew Then, What I Know Now…

If only I had been able to predict the new gTLD future, but alas my crystal ball (well, really it's a Magic 8 Ball ®) did little to help me. And I really doubt that 5+ years ago, when this new gTLD journey began, that anyone could have predicted where we are now. All that said, back in 2008, I wish I could have known that... more»

How Much Money Is There in Complaining?

Although I don't have a lot of sympathy for the trademark lawyers' argument that trademark holders need to register .sucks domains cheaply before anyone else can, there is one point at the end of their letter that's worth a look. The registry contract for .sucks, between Vox Populi and ICANN, has this sentence that appears (as far as I know) in no other registry contract, in the section on Registry-Level fees. more»

First Square Mile is not the Last or First Mile: Discovery not Just Choices!

The term "last mile" highlights the fact that we are the consumers at the end of a broadband "pipe". Saying "first mile" is a little better but the Internet is not a pipe to or from somewhere else. It's about what we can do locally and then what we can do when we interconnect with other neighborhoods. It's better to describe our neighborhood as the first square mile. Telecom is about selling us services; the Internet is about what we can do ourselves locally and then interconnecting with others everywhere. In writing the First Square Mile - Our Neighborhood essay which I just posted I came to better understand the fundamental difference between the world of telecom which is about giving you choices and the Internet which provides opportunity to discover what we can't anticipate... more»

White House Calls for a Meeting with Domain Registrars, Registries, and ICANN

Brian Krebs reporting in Krebs on Secruity: "The Obama administration is inviting leaders of the top Internet domain name registrars and registries to attend a three-hour meeting at the White House next month about voluntary ways to crack down on Web sites that are selling counterfeit prescription medications..." more»

We're Almost There… IANA Stewardship Transition

Since Friday, I have been listening to and, yes, talking to many in Dublin who are engaged in the multistakeholder effort to transition the IANA functions. Our goal is an orderly transition that both reaffirms the strength of the global multistakeholder model while protecting and preserving the coordinated, well-functioning administration of the unique identifiers that are the core of the technical genius of the Internet. more»

Rewiring Internet Governance: Step One Is About ICANN (Part 1)

It is time for some straight talk about governance. The word "governance" used here means authority. It does not merely mean rules, or coercion, or any other weasel-worded definitions that deflect our attention from the art of good governance as distinct from self-serving opportunism and illusory power sharing. Politics, as Theodore Lowi reminded us, is ultimately about "who gets what". Quibbling with endless essays about who rules the root is useful, but not demonstrative. more»

First Geographic NewgTLD, .RUHR, Now Delegated

Each week ICANN has been delegating more new generic top-level domains (newgTLDs) and it's been somewhat entertaining to watch the list of delegated strings to see what new TLDs will enter the domain name space starting sometime in early 2014 when they become generally available for people to register new domains under. more»

EI, EI - NO!

For those closely following the ICANN Meeting in Nairobi this week, the EOI (Expression of Interest) model seemed like a foregone conclusion. In fact, ICANN had scheduled a webinar on March 18th to explain the process despite the complaints of the community and large-scale disagreement amongst proponents of the EOI. more»

Is WCIT Failure the Start of a Digital Cold War?

This was never part of the plan. Going into the Dubai World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) two weeks ago, there was optimism aplenty. After weeks of online and media campaigning, proponents of a free Internet had managed to scare everyone into thinking that WCIT was tantamount to digital Armageddon. This had the effect of defusing the conference before it even started, or so it seemed... more»

Intellectual Property Interests Line Up to Crucify ICANN in Congress

On Wednesday, May 4, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing called ICANN Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD) Oversight Hearing. Kurt Pritz from ICANN has been invited to testify. Arrayed against him are a parade of intellectual property interests, some reasonable, some pur et dur lobbyists for complete corporate hegemony over all aspects of the Internet. more»