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Alleged Power Grab: Is Internet Governance Hanging by a Thread?

The Internet Governance Forum in Bali is not without excitement as usual. There is a rumour about a power grab by the technical community. If the "power grab" is true, then I am assuming that this is a response to threats of institutional frameworks governing or interfering with the current status quo. Personally, I feel that this is anti thesis to "enhanced cooperation". If for some reason, ICANN or the US Government is behind the scenes in instigating this move, then I would suggest that it is very bad strategy and will cause more damage than harm to the current status quo. 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»

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»

Who Needs More TLDs?

ICANN's Sydney meeting has come and gone, with the promised flood of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) claimed to be ever closer to reality. Does the world need more TLDs? Well, no. Way back in the mid 1990s, it seemed obvious that Internet users would use the DNS as a directory, particularly once early web browsers started to add .COM to words typed in the address bar. This led to the first Internet land rush, with heavy hitters like Procter and Gamble registering diarrhea.com in 1995... 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 - Dispenser of Internet Justice

The following is a paper presented as a keynote speech at Studienkreis 2013 in Pisa, Italy last week. ICANN is beginning to look more and more like a government. It assesses taxes, it has amassed an enormous treasury, it passes laws with international effect, and it has developed an ad hoc judiciary system to enforce its laws. This paper will take a look at that judiciary system and ICANN as dispenser of Internet justice. 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»

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»

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»

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»

How Many TLD Applications Will ICANN Receive?

This post could be subtitled: "The Wisdom of Elites." I polled some people I know in the domain field (plus Andrew Goodman, who wondered what the hell I was going on about). I asked them a simple question: "For the record, how many new TLD applications do you think there'll be?" Most of these people know the domain name world very well, but from different perspectives. Journalists, registrars, intellectual property attorneys, domainers, registry operators, TLD aspirants, entrepreneurs, domain aftermarket auctioneers, civil society activists... more»

Last Minute Surge of Opposition to VeriSign .NET Auto Renewal

The current .NET Registry Agreement between ICANN and VeriSign is due to expire on 30 June 2011. On April 11 2011 ICANN posted a proposed draft renewal agreement for public comment. Under the terms of the existing agreement, which contracted a 6 year term starting July 1 2005, renewal is automatic unless VeriSign commits some egregious breach of terms. 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»

Big Brands Shooting Themselves In The Foot?

One of the topics that keeps coming up in ICANN policy discussions and as part of the new TLD application process is "transparency". ICANN, and the internet community in general, has had plenty of issues in the past with "bad actors" who have caused a lot of issues for everyone (think of many of the registrars who have lost accreditation in the last couple of years for example). On more than one conference call or policy discussion the issue of a company or a person's track record has come up. more»