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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»

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»

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»

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»

Help ICANN Fix Whois Conflicts With Data Privacy Law

ICANN has opened a comment period in relation to whois conflicts with local law / data privacy law. Of course anytime ICANN, or anyone else, tries to make any changes to whois policy there are issues. Whois is, for a variety of reasons, an emotive subject... under EU law many feel that registration details for domain name registrants need to be handled in a manner that is more compatible with the EU Directives and local law more»

The Introduction of New Domain Name Services: "Due Process" and Innovation

For those interested in encouraging innovation in the domain name space -- which presumably includes the ICANN community currently convening in Dakar -- the recent episode in which VeriSign proposed, and then quickly withdrew, a bundle of new services (the VeriSign anti-abuse domain use policy) raises important issues that will be revisited as new gTLDs are introduced. Some of those issues are referenced in a recent blog post by Milton Mueller, but his emphasis on "due process" suggests a regulatory framework that is not friendly to innovation. more»

Why is ICANN Tax Exempt?

ICANN, as we all know, is a California non-profit that is tax exempt in the US as a charity, under section 501(c)(3) of the US tax code. But it's a rather unusual charity. Typical charities support the arts, or education, or sports, or relief for the poor. ICANN doesn't do anything like that. So what's the basis for its tax exemption? We don't have to guess, it's all in the application they filed in 1999. more»

European Commissioner Asks for Further Delay on .XXX

Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: "European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes asked the US Department of Commerce to delay the introduction of the .xxx top-level domain after ICANN approved it, I can reveal. In an April 6 letter to Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, a copy of which I have obtained, Kroes expressed dismay with ICANN's decision, and wrote..." more»

Fighting for Smaller New gTLD Applicants

Will new gTLDs just be more of the same, or will they bring real diversity and innovation to the Internet's namespace? For Hong Kong based Stable Tone, applicant for two Chinese character IDN TLDs (世界 or "Dot WORLD" and 健康 or "Dot HEALTHY"), it's the smaller applicants that give the new gTLD program its soul. 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»

New .WINE and .VIN Are Now Political Tools

The more I follow the .WINE & .VIN opera, the more I start to believe that the idea is either to kill both new gTLD applications to free space in Round 2 of the ICANN new gTLD program or make this subject a political tool "only" to increase Europe's presence in ICANN decisions. If there still is a wish from the European Commission to help .WINE and .VIN to become the strongest identity European wines could ever have on Internet, I would like to understand why the situation is still blocked... more»

ICANN Explains "Brazil Meeting" Initiative

Given the post-Prism political climate, it should come as no surprise that the 8th edition of the UN-initiated Internet Governance Forum (IGF), currently happening in Bali (Indonesia), is showing record-braking attendance with more than 2,000 delegates. With a byline of "building bridges: enhancing multistakeholder cooperation for growth and sustainable development", the meeting's main theme is clearly the need to evolve the current model for Internet Governance. But not quite everyone has the same view on exactly how that should happen.  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»

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»

Internet's New "Big Bang" Creates Chance to Put Down Roots

The Internet has done as much as the jet engine to shrink the distance between where we are and where we want to go. Even the propeller-type connectivity of dial-up was a giant leap forward. But as much as the technology has allowed us to go with ease to any place we choose - to learn, to be heard, to promote - equally powerful is the platform's ability to help us gather. The phenomena of social media services like LinkedIn and Facebook are present day proof of this human urge. more»