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ICANN Mission Creep is Becoming Mission Leap

Under the leadership of Fadi Chehade and Steve Crocker, ICANN finally runs like an organization that has grown up. When it comes to process, accountability, and transparency, this is excellent news for the Internet. But it also raises a new question: how far will we let ICANN grow "out" of the limited technical mission for which it was created? In his opening remarks here in Durban, Chehade announced the expansion of local engagement centers and significant expansion of ICANN staff - for the second straight year. more»

'Rethinking ICANN' is Not a One-Man Job

In the midst of the overseeing the biggest change in the history of the Internet's global addressing system, ICANN President Fadi Chehade has inexplicably embarked on a high-stakes battle over the very future of his organization and its relationship to world governments -- at the expense of the private sector's historical role in Internet governance. Worse, Fadi's global government gambit could have serious repercussions for the future of the Internet. more»

The Wall Between Registries and Registrars Comes Tumbling Down

The ICANN Board has just voted to get rid of all co-ownership restrictions between domain registries and registrars. This is major news, with far-reaching consequences... This is the only principled decision the ICANN Board could have come to, and they deserve a lot of credit for doing it. By "principled," I mean taking ICANN's stated institutional principles and following them to their logical conclusion... more»

ICANN Terminates EstDomains, Seeks Bulk Transfer of Customers

In follow up to reports on ICANN's termination of notorious domain name registrar, EstDomains due to fraudulent activities, the Internet oversight agency is now preparing to transfer domain names of its customers to other registrars... However the question asked by experts is whether any other registrar would have an interest in inheriting EstDomains questionable domain names. more»

Are New TLDs Truly About Competition and Innovation or Is It to Make ICANN Rich and Powerful?

The ICANN Board resolutions adopted during the retreat in Trondheim, Norway on the 25th of September, 2010, painted yet another question mark for new Top-Level Domains (TLDs), despite its positive outlook. While the Board seems dedicated to resolve all the outstanding issues, applicants were still left in the dark in regards to some key issues that affect the economics of launching new TLDs. 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»

Donuts and Efficiency: Ways to Recover Time and Money Lost to TAS

On April 12, ICANN closed the TLD Application System (TAS) to ensure security of applicant data. For more than a month, the system outage has cost applicants and others millions of dollars. Here's how to make up for lost time and money. Donuts supported ICANN's decision to close TAS when it realized there was a data security risk. At a critical moment, ICANN made the right choice... However, now that staff has communicated to affected applicants (including Donuts) and is preparing to re-open the TAS system, efficiency has grown to become a crucial element of the process. more»

ICA Tells DOC of Concerns Over USG and GAC "Scorecards"

The ICA has just dispatched a letter to Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling in advance of the talks scheduled in Brussels on February 29-March 1 between ICANN's Board and its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Our letter expresses strong concerns that the positions being advocated by the U.S. government and the GAC regarding the proposed Final Applicant Guidebook (AG) for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) would be detrimental to ICANN's multi-stakeholder policy process and would undermine the rights of legitimate registrants at new gTLDs. more»

Thinking Carefully About New gTLD Objections: Limited Public Interest (Part 2 of 4)

The second installment in my four-part series on New gTLD objections will focus on the limited public interest ("LPI") variety. The overarching theme however is essentially the same: new gTLD objections are generally more complicated (and costly) than UDRP actions and need to be approached with care. In fact, LPI represents one of the best examples of the tough climb that would-be objectors are likely to face. Understanding exactly what is required beforehand - and whether or not you can deliver - is absolutely critical. 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»

Downsizing Sao Paulo

On January 27th the Executive Multistakeholder Committee (EMC) held its first meeting to plan the "Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of the Internet Governance" scheduled to be held in Sao Paulo on April 23rd-24th. A review of that planning session's results indicates a Sao Paulo meeting with downsized attendance and, most likely, accompanying expectations.  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»

Introduction: New gTLD Security and Stability Considerations (Part 1 of 5 )

Verisign recently published a technical report on new generic top-level domain (gTLD) security and stability considerations. The initial objective of the report was to assess for Verisign's senior management our own operational preparedness for new gTLDs, as both a Registry Service Provider for approximately 200 strings, as well as a direct applicant for 14 new gTLDs... However, in cataloging internal and external risks related to the new gTLD program, we found several far-reaching and long-standing issues that need to be further explored and/or resolved with varying levels of urgency. more»

Scrutinize ICANN's Thousand New-TLDs Limit

I am skeptical about how ICANN has arrived at a technical limit of a thousand new TLDs per year. The ICANN study driving this number must be made public so that our industry's risk management experts can size up the finding. Why am I skeptical? more»

Trademark Protection Dust-Up Obscures the Potential Value in New gTLDs

As a member of ICANN's Business Constituency I have heard first-hand the perfectly appropriate criticisms from trademark holders of ICANN's roll-out of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). But while it may be OK for branded companies to wish they didn't have to deal with the matter, the dust that has been kicked up has obscured real value in the program. more»