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New TLDs / Featured Blogs

With No Privacy Standards Who Knows Who Is Abusing The Whois Database

John Banks is a loan officer in New York. John's supervisor recently warned John about the potential number of bad loans he may be carrying as part of his portfolio. To dump some of the bad loans he might be carrying, John came up with a scheme. He pointed his web browser to www.whois.org and entered terms denoting disease or poor health such as 'cancer' and 'illness'. This query on the Internet's WHOIS database reported results of names and addresses of domain name owners who had developed websites devoted to providing information on certain serious illnesses. John compared these names and addresses with those in his portfolio of loans. For the matches, he canceled the loans and required immediate payment-in-full. more

Time For ICANN/IANA To Squarely Face The Question Of Privacy

Various people whose judgment I value [M. Mueller, B. Fausett] have suggested that ICANN/IANA may finally get to the issue of privacy.

The ICANN Board is establishing a "President's Standing Committee on Privacy" (why the committee is possessed by ICANN's "president" and not the Board is something we can deal with at another time and another place.)

Privacy is a hard question. It is a matter that pervades all aspects of information handling. It would be entirely inappropriate, and ultimately futile, to try to deal with privacy as an after-the-fact adjustment to the existing DNS Whois system. It is necessary to examine the most fundamental questions -- such as what reasons, if any, justify there being a Whois database at all. more

Why ICANN Needs Fresh Blood: A Deeper View

I grew up in a utopian community in India.

I make this statement -- which may seem at best tangential to an article on the DNS -- at the outset because it suggests that I know something about ideology and ideologically charged debates.

Like the town where I grew up, the Internet was the product of dreamers, people who believed in the possibility of surmounting reality. In Code, Lessig compared early Internet euphoria to the euphoria that met the downfall of communism. He could just as well have compared it to the utopianism that accompanied the birth of communism. The point is that Internet pioneers were inspired by ideology, by a fervor to change the world. more

Trend Towards Liberalization Of Country Domain Names: Enters .CN

On Monday 17 March, domain name registrations under the new Chinese Internet address, .cn, were available for the first time to registrants both inside and outside of China. As China's equivalent of .uk, or .us, the .cn domain space will be the Internet address of choice for Chinese consumers and for corporations interested in operating in one of the largest Internet markets. more

A Sustainable Framework For The Deployment Of New gTLDs - Part II

Part I of this article explored some of the current thinking and direction that key policy-makers seem to be headed with the creation of new gTLDS. This part focuses on a new alternative plan for the ongoing deployment of new gTLDs.

ICANN is likely to see many proposals over the coming weeks that attempt to deal with the thorny issue of how to rollout new gTLDs. Any plan that deals with the rollout of new generic top-level domain names must ensure that the expansion of the namespace does not disrupt the existing infrastructure and services. more

98% Of Internet's Main Root Server Queries Are Unnecccary: Should You Be Concerned?

A recent study by researchers at the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) at the San Diego Super Computer Center (SDSC) revealed that a staggering 98% of the global Internet queries to one of the main root servers, at the heart of the Internet, were unnecessary. This analysis was conducted on data collected October 4, 2002 from the 'F' root server located in Palo Alto, California.

The findings of the study were originally presented to the North American Network Operators' Group (NANOG) on October 2002 and later discussed with Richard A. Clarke, chairman of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and Special Advisor to the U.S. President for Cyber Space Security. more

A Sustainable Framework For The Deployment Of New gTLDs

At the Fourth Annual Meeting of the ICANN Board in Amsterdam, the ICANN Board asked the DNSO Names Council (who have since become "the GNSO Council") to provide the Board with advice and input on the issues that surround the creation of new generic top-level domain names. Based on the Council's publicly documented conversations thus far, it is becoming clear that Council is moving in directions that do not seem to be consistent with the continued health of the namespace or development of a competitive market for registration and DNS services. more

Interview With Michael Froomkin: Watching ICANN Through IETF – Part II

In the first part of our interview with Michael Froomkin, a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and one of the founding members of ICANNWatch, several issues were discussed regarding his recent article in the Harvard Law Review called, "Habermas@discourse.net: Toward a Critical Theory of Cyberspace".

Michael Froomkin, who has underlined several striking lessons to be learned from IETF/ICANN contrast, continues with us in the second part of this interview, addressing even deeper matters such as ICANN's institutional design. more

Interview With Michael Froomkin: Watching ICANN Through IETF: Part I

Michael Froomkin, a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and one of the founding members of ICANNWatch has recently written an article for the Harvard Law Review called, "Habermas@discourse.net: Toward a Critical Theory of Cyberspace". One of the areas covered in this article is a comparison made between the ICANN model and that of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Michael Froomkin has underlined several lessons that can be learned from this contrast, including a suggestion "that claiming kinship with the IETF model is a way of claiming legitimacy, but that not every one who makes this claim is entitled to do so".

What follows is a two-part interview with Michael Froomkin and a closer look at his recent article in the Harvard Law Reviewmore

United Nations vs. ICANN: One ccTLD At A Time

What happens if ICANN fails? Who will run the DNS then?

Of course to many, ICANN already has failed -- spectacularly so. Critics have long complained that ICANN not only lacks accountability and legitimacy, but also that it is inefficient (at best) and downright destructive (at worst). According to these critics, ICANN's many sins include threatening the stability of the Internet, limiting access by imposing an artificial domain name scarcity, and generally behaving like a petulant dictator. more