ICANN / Recently Commented


Internet public policy -- and the technical ecosystem -- is at a crossroads and the choice of CEO that ICANN's board makes now is probably the most important such choice it has ever made. Since I work in Internet policy across the Geneva institutions where more than 50% of all international Internet-related policy meetings take place, and have worked at ICANN in senior positions in the past, I thought I would suggest some qualities the next CEO should have. more»

ICANN Compliance Lends a Hand to a Violent Criminal While Trashing a Legitimate Business

Imagine a California non-profit corporation providing material assistance to a criminal wanting to do you physical and financial harm. Then, imagine that corporation is ICANN. Imagine no longer, because that is precisely what the ICANN Compliance department managed to pull off this week, in an all-too-common demonstration of the havoc they can cause by sheer ineptitude, without apology or concern. This is the situation which crossed my desk this week. more»

Consumer Trust? Not at ICANN Compliance

Every person and every entity must have a philosophy if they are to be successful. Consumer trust is one of the key issues at the heart of keeping the Internet open as well as prosperous. The ICANN Affirmation of Commitments was signed in 2009 and has been the guiding principle for ICANN's activities going forward. The title of section 9.3 is Promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice. This section is in essence the embodiment of the commitment of ICANN. more»

Reconsideration Request Denied

Having been passed over by the "old guard" Board Governance Committee of ICANN Board of Directors, I took the occasion to speak from my heart to provide the "new guard" with the observations of a 16-year ICANN volunteer. For those of you in the community who are wondering what happened, what follows is word for word what I shared with the Board of ICANN at my closed door proceedings. more»

Content Policing Not Our Responsibility, Says ICANN CEO

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade, speaking in Dublin yesterday, warned that the organization should resist attempts to be turned into a content regulator responsible for fighting piracy, counterfeiting and terrorism. more»

ICANN Must Stop Resisting Accountability Changes, Warn US Senators

Two leading US senators, John Thune, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology, and ranking member Brian Schatz have signed a letter warning that without "significant accountability reforms that empower the community," Congress will not support the transition of the IANA contract from the US government to ICANN. more»

CADNA: New gTLD Launch to Cost Businesses $746 Million

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has released a report today suggesting that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) anticipated launch of 400 generic top-level domains (gTLDs) could cost brand owners worldwide over $746 million. "CADNA's findings are based off a document released by ICANN last month regarding the expected number of gTLDs, or the letters found after the last dot of a domain name like .COM or .ORG, that will be created during the first round of the TLD launch." On the other hand, Earlier this year, Minds + Machines reported on an analysis predicting new gTLDs will only cost $.10 per trademark worldwide. more»

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»

Don't Give up on Membership

Most of the ICANN community is headed to ICANN 54, the critical meeting in Dublin where some kind of an agreement on accountability reforms needs to be reached if the historic IANA transition is to take place. Only a few months ago, an open, multi-stakeholder process proposed to enhance ICANN's accountability by creating a very limited form of membership. It did not allow any individual in the world to become a member. It did not even allow any individual or organization with a domain name to become a member (as it should have). more»

An Alternative to CCWG Overreach

ICANN is in the midst (I wouldn't yet say the middle) of its transition from oversight by the US Department of Commerce to oversight by something else. A Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) on Accountability delivered a long report in August that proposes a new oversight structure for ICANN. But it has the practical problem that the ICANN board really, really hates it. Having looked at it, I can't entirely blame them. 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»

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»