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Similarity of gTLD Applications: Required Reading for Evaluators

ICANN's evaluators should look at data published on "gTLD application similarity analysis". This sort of data helps dramatically reduce time and expense for the evaluation of new gTLD applications while increasing quality. The principle is simple: find the similarities between the 1930 applications. It is a proof-of-concept project by Arnoldo Mueller-Molina, a young Costa Rican researcher with a doctorate in computational analytics. more

New Top Level Domains Application Metering - Figure It Out ICANN!

Let me begin by saying that I am big supporter of ICANN. But good grief ICANN, why must the ENTIRE new gTLD process be so painful? I could run through a long list of all the delays, missteps and glitches, but why bother? It's almost comical at this point -- although not for 1,930 new gTLD applicants who have been waiting for ICANN to get their act together. First we were led to believe that the batching of applications was necessary due to resourcing constraints, which I personally never understood as the evaluation of applications is being done be third-party consultants. more

ICANN Asked by Demand Media to "Ignore" Complaints from US Republican Party for the .republican gTLD

Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: "Last month, the Republican National Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee submitted comments to ICANN arguing that Demand would be an unsuitable custodian for the gTLD [.republican]. Demand is best known for its "unofficial, mediocre and sometimes incorrect" content farms, such as eHow, the letter (pdf) said..." 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

Presenting a Way Forward: Step-by-Step and ICANN's New gTLD Process

I read this to the ICANN Board Thursday morning, in Sydney, after more prep work than I care to recall. If you don't know that the DAGv3 is delayed, or what the IRT is, this is a good time to bush up on current ICANN state. "Good morning. My name is Eric Brunner-Williams, and I am speaking to you on behalf of the initial signatories of the Step-by-Step proposal. I represent one of the signatories as the principal of the native, aboriginal, and indigenous cultural and linguistic Top-Level Domain (TLD) project, one of many similar efforts to preserve living languages and cultures..." more

First Square Mile is not the Last or First Mile: Discovery not Just Choices!

The term "last mile" highlights the fact that we are the consumers at the end of a broadband "pipe". Saying "first mile" is a little better but the Internet is not a pipe to or from somewhere else. It's about what we can do locally and then what we can do when we interconnect with other neighborhoods. It's better to describe our neighborhood as the first square mile. Telecom is about selling us services; the Internet is about what we can do ourselves locally and then interconnecting with others everywhere. In writing the First Square Mile - Our Neighborhood essay which I just posted I came to better understand the fundamental difference between the world of telecom which is about giving you choices and the Internet which provides opportunity to discover what we can't anticipate... more

ICANN's San Francisco Meeting

I was sitting around on a Sunday afternoon catching up with a backlog of work watching the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants in an unbelievable comeback, when I visited the ICANN website and noticed the new logo for the upcoming 40th ICANN regional. ...I personally thought the original choice of the San Francisco logo looked confusingly similar to Cisco's registered trademark. 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

Much Ado About WCIT-12 and Multi-Stakeholderism

In the last month of last year, the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) ended in Dubai amid, not hugs and fanfare, but finger-pointing and acrimony. The end, much anticipated as it was, wasn't the finest hour for international cooperation for the global public interest. Looking back, one would be forgiven to conclude that the WCIT-12 was doomed to fail. more

.vla TLD: Not So Fast, Says Flemish Government

As reported last July, there is a proposal from some Flemish politicians to create a .vla top level domain under the new gTLD process launched by ICANN. The proposal further elaborated that the Flemish government would have to cover the costs. Not so fast, says the Flemish government... 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

When No Action Is the Wisest Action (ICANN Does Good)

Although ICANN is now getting a lot of ridicule for the "glitch" in its TLD application System, it deserves some praise and respect for the results of its April 10 board meeting. In that meeting, the board showed the involved community - and the rest of the world - that it is no longer going to be stampeded by extra-procedural political pressure to make yet another round of hasty amendments to its new TLD program's policies and procedures. more

ICANN Accountability: Beware the Bridge Too Far

Yesterday I had the privilege of delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Internet Society (Canada) Symposium. In my remarks, I took the opportunity to talk about my thoughts on the current status of the IANA stewardship transition and enhancing ICANN accountability processes. Fact is I'm getting increasingly concerned. As we head into what will be a critical meeting of the CCWG-Accountability in Los Angeles today, I fear that the Internet governance community is headed for a showdown, the consequences of which could prove detrimental. 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

Fixing WHOIS (and Some Other Stuff Too)

ICANN is the only institution with responsibility for the functioning of DNS. And so it is natural that when there is a DNS problem for people to expect ICANN to come up with the solution. But having the responsibility to act is not the same as having the ability. Like the IETF, ICANN appears to have been designed with the objective of achieving institutional paralysis. And this is not surprising since the first law of the Internet is 'You are so not in charge (for all values of you). more