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Dublin.tel Grabbed by Lantec

During the sunrise period for .eu domains there was quite a bit of controversy, as a number of high profile names were grabbed by companies that had no legitimate right to them. One of the domains that caught my attention at the time was dublin.eu (see Irish Times article). So what about the .tel sunrise?
Were companies like Lantec, who grabbed the dublin.eu domain, actively seeking high profile names this time round? more»

Careful What You Wish For: Why ICANN "Independence" is a Bad Idea

ICANN controls the "root" of the naming hierarchy, designating the operators and managers of the top-level domains, like ".com" and ".net" and ".uk." Since its founding in 1998, ICANN has operated under a "Joint Partnership Agreement" (JPA) with the U.S. Department of Commerce. The current extension of this agreement is set to expire on September 30 of this year. Some advocates say it's now time for the U.S. government to cut its ties and let ICANN stand on its own. That's not a good idea. 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»

Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms

The Internet is at a crossroads. And while high-profile events like the introduction of new gTLDs and revelations about governments and online surveillance may be a catalyst for recent Internet governance reform initiatives, their necessity isn't exactly new. After all, the current structures and processes in place were set up a decade and a half ago, an eternity in Internet years. A key step in reviewing and renewing these structures is the Panel on the Future of Global Internet Cooperation, announced at the recent ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires. more»

ICANN Wants to Update Its Domain Name Registrar Accreditation Process

ICANN is seeking public input as it intends to revise its domain name registrar accreditation process. Changes include further protection of domain owner privacy. Dr. Paul Twomey, ICANN’s CEO and President says: "The need for this review is clear. The current RAA [Registrar Accreditation Agreement] is more than six years old. We've seen the number of accredited registrars grow to more than 900. And we've seen the incredible difficulties that can be unleashed with the collapse of a Registrar" -- referring to the RegisterFly debaclemore»

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»

The Next ICANN CEO

Internet public policy -- and the technical ecosystem -- is at a crossroads and the choice of CEO that ICANN's board makes now is probably the most important such choice it has ever made. Since I work in Internet policy across the Geneva institutions where more than 50% of all international Internet-related policy meetings take place, and have worked at ICANN in senior positions in the past, I thought I would suggest some qualities the next CEO should have. 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»

Commerce Department: Headed Toward ICANN 3.0?

The NTIA has published a Notice of Inquiry, Assessment of the Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the Internet's Domain Name and Addressing System, in advance of the expiration of the Joint Project Agreement in September 2009. The document outlines the history and evolution of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Commerce (DoC) and ICANN, and the questions posed cover fairly standard territory. However, the following might be worth paying attention to... more»

Registrar Stakeholder Group in GNSO Works Against the ICANN Multistakeholder Social Compact

One of the essential features of the social compact that makes ICANN viable in its stewardship of the Domain Name system is that the operations of the Contracted Parties, i.e. Registrars and Registries, are governed by the cooperation of the contracted parties and the non-contracted parties, i.e. the stakeholders, in the creation of policy. In ICANN, contracts and other agreements are the method by which this policy is instantiated. more»

ICANN Releases gTLD Applicant Guidebook

Per their timeline, ICANN released the gTLD Applicant Guidebook on May 30th. This version contains revisions based upon both community feedback, as well as recent consultations with the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). more»

ICANN New gTLD Auction Proceeds Approaching $30 Million

While the debate continues as to whether most new gTLDs are a sound long-term investment for their registry operators, there's no disputing that the program has been an economic boom for ICANN. The 1,930 first round applications each required an application fee of $185,000, which added up to a tidy $357 million. Even after refunds for withdrawn applications ICANN still cleared about a third of a billion dollars from the first round before a single string was delegated. 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»

Removing Principle of Confidentiality in ICANN's NomCom is a Bad Idea

In its informal background paper "Applying the Highest Standard of Corporate Governance" (August 2011) the European Commission proposes to revise the procedures of ICANNs Nominating Committee (NomCom). Instead of the confidential treatment of applicants the EU calls for an open publication of "a full list of candidates". Is this a good idea? I don't think so. The rationale behind the EU proposal is "to improve confidence on the selection procedure" and "to avoid conflict of interests". But the proposed improvement is based on a wrong assumption... 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»