ICANN / Recently Commented

Congress Must Approve Transfer of IANA Function to ICANN

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced its plans to turn over the very heart of the Internet to the control of ICANN. On Monday, Republican leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees sent a letter asking the Government Accountability Office to study whether a Congressional vote on the transfer is required under the Constitution's Property Clause because administration of the root zone file is a government asset, created under government contract. Some will no doubt dismiss the letter as Republican obstructionism. 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»

The Empire Strikes Back: ICANN Accountability at the Inflection Point

The members of the ICANN community engaged in the work of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-ACCT, or just plain "CCWG" for this article) has been engaged since late 2014 in designing an enhanced ICANN accountability plan to accompany the transition of oversight of the IANA root zone functions from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the global multistakeholder community. On August 3rd the CCWG released its 2nd Draft Report (Work Stream 1) for a public comment period that closed on September 12th. 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»

ICANN Must Make User Privacy a Central Tenet for New Registrations, Says EFF

In a statement released today, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has criticized ICANN for not being proactive on privacy matters, saying the organization "can't seem to wrap its head around" the issue. more»

DotConnectAfrica Trust Response to John Jeffrey's ICANN Legal Blog Posting

The attention of DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA Trust) has been drawn to a recent blog posting by John Jeffrey, the ICANN General Counsel and Company Secretary, who wrote to clarify what he termed as "misinformation and erroneous reporting that have framed parts of the discussion" regarding the recent DCA vs. ICANN IRP Final Declaration. As we can't see a way of making comments on his blog, DCA Trust as a directly affected party, will respond to the issues Mr. Jeffrey has advanced... more»

Challenges for .brands - From Strategy to Implementation Planning

While your strategy and objectives speak more broadly to why you're launching a .brand TLD, your implementation plan covers the all-important 'how'. Once you complete your strategy workshop session to agree upon objectives and approach, how do you actually launch a .brand TLD? You need an implementation plan to guide you from strategy to launch, and beyond. At its core, the implementation plan is a checklist; just like a pilot landing a plane, you need to run through your checklist to ensure you don't miss any crucial elements. more»

ICANN Should Curb Anonymous Domain Name Abuses

E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses sell to consumers -- including those involved in illicit activities, such as websites peddling illegal narcotics, pirated movies and music, or counterfeit handbags. For example, 96 percent of Internet pharmacies do not comply with U.S. laws, and as they ship pills tainted with paint thinner, arsenic, and rat poison, they put the health and safety of consumers at risk. Why don't law enforcement officials do more to combat this problem? Partly because of the difficulty of identifying who is actually operating the illegal pharmacies. It is time to fix this, while allowing anonymity for those who deserve it. more»

Out of .Africa - Process Failures Don't Change the Facts

Posted here on behalf of DotConnectAfrica Trust as rejoinder and reply to Andrew Mark's recent article... In his article, Mr. Mark tried to re-frame the ongoing discussions and commentary about DCA Trust's recent IRP victory against ICANN as one about "requisite support for geographic string" to assist him reach the biased conclusion that ZACR's bid has the required support to run .Africa whilst DCA Trust's bid does not. more»

Out of .Africa - Process Failures Don't Change the Facts

I've heard a lot of discussion of the .africa controversy of late -- from conspiracy theories to questions about staff competence to concerns about the role of the GAC. And it's hard not to find faults galore in the way this process and the IRP reporting has played out. But before we get too lost in the weeds of procedure or the future of ICANN, lets not lose track of what this debate was first and still is fundamentally about: a string. more»

Dot SUCKS: The Ultimate Vanity Domain

When last we wrote, trademark lawyers had written an outraged letter to ICANN about the $2500 price to preregister trademark.sucks names, and ICANN, reliably panicking in the face of legal threats, wrote to the US Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs saying please tell us that's illegal so we can shut down this registry with whom we just signed a long-term contract. (The mysterious $1 surcharge turned out to be a weak attempt by ICANN to collect debts that affiliates of registry owner Momentous defaulted on long ago.) more»

The Senate Should Take the DOTCOM Act Off Cruz Control

Recently we speculated on the question "Will 2016 Politics Trump Bipartisan Support for the MSM and DOTCOM Act?" That article discussed the possibility that the Obama Administration's decision to relinquish ICANN stewardship via the periodic re-awarding of the IANA functions contract might arise in the ongoing U.S. Presidential sweepstakes, most likely from a Republican entrenched in the far right wing of that Party. We also discussed whether its introduction might erode the currently broad and bipartisan Congressional acceptance of the transition... more»

Rage Against the ICANN Machine

I'm going to do what no professional journalist should ever do: take a story at face value. So full disclosure: I have not checked the facts behind the story that sparked this little rant I'm about to embark on. But I've known the author for a number of years as being a consummate professional when it comes to reporting facts. And I've known ICANN, the organisation, for even longer. I have therefore seen first hand the organisation's ability to be at times borderline duplicitous in its attempts to reach a desired result.

Will 2016 Politics Trump Bipartisan Support for the MSM and DOTCOM Act?

The bitter partisan divide that characterizes so many of official Washington's current policy discussions was conspicuous in its absence at the July 8th hearing held on "Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. In opening remarks that asked "What is the multi-stakeholder community, anyway?", Subcommittee Chairman Greg Waldren went on to declare that he and his colleagues "sought to strike the right balance between supporting the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, while still protecting the invaluable tool of communications and commerce the Internet has become". more»

Never Invited, but Always Present

Listening today to the U.S. Congress' House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on ICANN governance reminded me just how often Vox Populi Registry, the company bringing dotSucks names to the Internet, is a guest at parties to which it has never been invited. Sometimes, like today, we are able to view it all from a distance and mostly we have refrained from trying to correct every misstatement or argue each odd point. more»