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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»

NETmundial and the IGF: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The Internet is not new. It has existed, in one form or another, since the 1960s. Since that time, it has been primarily the domain of the engineers and the other technology-minded individuals that built it. The organizations that were put in place to govern it predate the huge growth in end users the Internet experienced in the 2000s... They are able, in structure and capacity, to deal with technological issues. The issues facing the Internet in 2014, however, are very different from those in 1998. 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»

Modest Proposals for gTLD Profits

When does a non-profit organization become a profit-making one? This and similarly fundamental questions about ICANN's institutional character are raised by the high probability that the gTLD project will produce profits for ICANN. How much money those profits will amount to remains in question, but it is increasingly difficult for ICANN to say that there will be no profit at all. more»

Antony Van Couvering Interviews Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos (Video)

Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines, continues his series of in-depth talks with leading figures from the domain name industry with this video interview of Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos, filmed recently at ICANN 49 in Singapore. Alexa and Antony discuss how brands are dealing with new gTLD, registry strategies for success and how to market a new gTLD. 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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

It's Not Enough to Succeed. Others Must Fail.

As the last strike of the clock signals the end of 30 May 2012 there will be quiet relief from the back offices and consultants of most top-level domain name (TLD) applicants. And finally after the drama of the TAS system gremlins we have closure. Still there may yet be squeals of anguish as someone, somewhere got it wrong. A glitch in the applicant's computer, a lost bank transfer, a last minute switch of provider: all may be reasons for failure. ...as the quip attributed to Gore Vidal so aptly put it, "It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail." So lets discuss some additional points of failure. more»

Domains and the Freedom to Speak

For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a running battle about what should be required when one registers domain names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief, so the more control, the better. more»

Threats to Internet Oversight Mount as Key Protection Expires

Before the US Government abdicates its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) it should take a long, hard look at the mounting efforts by world governments to assume greater power over the Internet's addressing system. If those efforts meet no further resistance, the once-theoretical threat of "capture" could become a reality. At the end of September, the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between ICANN and the US Government is set to expire. The JPA is part of a decade-long agreement where the US transitions control of Internet addressing to ICANN. more»

Security Experts Skeptic About ICANN's Recommendations on Fast-Flux Hosting

While generally lauding ICANN's effort, experts say that more is needed to address the use of fast-flux hosting by bot herders to rapidly shift their malicious web servers and domain-name servers from machine to machine to evade detection. "People are being impacted because they are trying to shoehorn a solution that doesn't fit the problem. Where fast-flux causes a problem is when you are trying to police the internet through some outdated mode like honeypotting or blacklisting. That just doesn't work in this environment," says one security researcher. more»

USD Renews IANA Contract with ICANN

The existing contract for administering the technical infrastructure of the Internet expires Sept. 30, and the U.S. government has insisted for years that it intends for the agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to run the system without government oversight at some point. But after the renewal late Tuesday, that independence will not come until at least 2011.  more»