ICANN

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Confessions of an Ex-Opponent of Whois Privacy

The following is the easyDNS response to ICANN's public comment period on GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Initial Report. The public comment period is open until July 7, 2015. We strongly urge you to make your voice known by signing the petition over at Save Domain Privacy. I submit these comments as a CEO of an ICANN accredited registrar, a former director to CIRA and a lifelong anti spam contributor with an unblemished record of running a managed DNS provider that maintains zero tolerance for net abuse or cybercrime... more»

A Confession About The ICANN WHOIS Data Reminder Policy

With all the recent attention to WHOIS, it's time for a confession: I'm somewhat guilty for the infamous WHOIS Data Reminder Policy. With hindsight, it's a bad policy, and it needs to die. The year was 2002. ICANN's DNSO (soon to be renamed as the GNSO) had a WHOIS Task Force, and was trying to extract policy choices from an ill-conceived and worse-executed survey of assorted self-selected stakeholders. more»

Ensuring Trust in Internet Governance

This week in Singapore, important decisions are being made about the future of the Internet at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 52 conference. At stake are fundamental questions: Should the American people surrender stewardship over core technical functions that have preserved the open and neutral operation of the Internet since its inception? Should the Obama Administration cede this authority to an organization many consider to be non-transparent, unaccountable and insular? more»

Is .SUCKS Pricing Model Gaining Traction With Other Registries?

Until the launch of the New gTLD Program, TLD launches were relatively straightforward. They generally consisted of a Sunrise Period, a Landrush Phase, and then General Availability. We would see the occasional Grandfather Phase or "Founders" program, but all in all, launches were pretty standard and straightforward. Things started to change with the launch of the new gTLD program. more»

Is Sharing the Answer to .BRAND Top Level Domain Disputes?

In opening up for the .BRAND top level domain, ICANN has artificially created a scarce resource of great commercial value. Indeed, the values of the .BRAND TLDs may be astronomical due to the investments made by the companies that own the trademarks represented in the .BRAND TLD. While the above is interesting in its own right, I will here focus specifically on how we deal with situations where more than one company has a legitimate trademark interest in a particular .BRAND TLD. more»

Law and Disorder: When .Brand Meets .Crime

Barclays Bank is a .brand pioneer, having recently announced plans to migrate its primary online presence to two new gTLDs it will operate on its own behalf. But Barclays Bank has also just plead guilty to a major financial services felony and been fined $2.4 billion for that criminal activity. While the new gTLD Registry Agreement is clear that a registry operator must remove any officer or director convicted of a felony, it is ambiguous in regard to whether the Agreement can be terminated when the operator itself has been found to have operated a criminal enterprise. more»

Should Barclays Lose the .Barclays Top-Level Domain?

According to Reuters, Barclays has plead guilty to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates, and has agreed to pay substantial fines, along with other major banks. Barclays is also the operator of the .Barclays new top-level domain name. This is not a case where it's a single rogue employee or officer has been found guilty of a financial crime. Here, it is the entire bank (and registry operator) that has plead guilty. more»

FIFA and the Perils of No Accountability

Forgive me if you can, but I am about to say something blindingly obvious. The arrests made by the US Government and Swiss authorities of senior FIFA officials should remind us of a deep truth. Organizations must be accountable: to members, to users, to superiors, to markets, to someone who can say "stop what you are doing and amend your ways". When we consider the transfer of authority from the USG over the IANA function, let us keep in mind... more»

In Congressional Hearing, Stakeholders Highlight ICANN's Failures and Need for Reform

Can we trust ICANN to conduct itself in a predictable, open, transparent, and accountable manner if it takes over governance of the Internet's domain name system from the U.S. government? That was the main question up for discussion Wednesday in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, as lawmakers heard feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders about the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) plan to relinquish its historical oversight of key technical Internet functions.  more»

Vox Populi Registry Says "Enough" About .SUCKS Accusations

Vox Pop Registry, the .sucks TLD operator, broke its silence today and has sent a letter to ICANN and government agencies in response to the extortion accusations."There has been much said lately about Vox Pop Registry, the company bringing dotSucks names to the Internet, not all of it flattering, some of it outright false and defamatory," says John Berard, CEO of Vox Populi.  more»

ICANN Board Member and Former GAC Chair to Give Evidence in .Africa Case

The controversy over the competing .africa TLD applications has been going on for some time. A recent decision by the International Centre For Dispute Resolution (ICDR) said that ICANN had breached its own by-laws and has questioned why ICANN won't allow a current board member and the former GAC Chair to speak to them and provide evidence. A letter that was published on the ICANN site yesterday suggests that ICANN may have changed their tune... more»

$59M and Counting: ICANN Board Downgrades Community Say on Use of Last Resort Auction Proceeds

ICANN's new gTLD program provides for last resort auctions to settle contention sets where the competing applicants are unable to reach agreement by negotiation or private auction, with the proceeds going to a segregated ICANN account. With the recent $25 million bid of Google to secure control of the .App registry the total proceeds of those ICANN auctions has swelled to $58.8 million. The final sum by the end of the first round could go higher, perhaps to more than $100 million. That's serious money. more»

How Much Money Is There in Complaining?

Although I don't have a lot of sympathy for the trademark lawyers' argument that trademark holders need to register .sucks domains cheaply before anyone else can, there is one point at the end of their letter that's worth a look. The registry contract for .sucks, between Vox Populi and ICANN, has this sentence that appears (as far as I know) in no other registry contract, in the section on Registry-Level fees. more»

ICANN and a Lot of Other People Outsmart Themselves With .SUCKS

Good taste has never been a criterion in ICANN's new domains program, and domains including .fail and the remarkably vulgar .wtf have become part of the DNS with little comment. Now we have .sucks, which is intended to empower consumers, but does so in a way so clumsy that ICANN is asking regulators in the U.S. and Canada for an excuse to shut it down. more»

ICANN Asks U.S. Federal Trade Commission Whether .SUCK is Violating Any Laws

Allen Grogan, ICANN's Chief Contract Compliance Officer, has written a blog post today concerning a formal letter it has received asking the agency to halt the rollout of .SUCKS, a new gTLD operated by Vox Populi Registry Inc. As it stands, a ruling against Vox Populi by ICANN could result in federal prosecution or other legal action, according to ICANN officials. more»