Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

Quelle Suprise! ICANN's Accountability Plan Gives ICANN Board Total Control

After a long await, ICANN's senior management finally released its plan for "Enhancing Accountability" at the private California corporation that makes global Internet domain name policy. Unfortunately, the accountability deficit crisis created by ICANN's longstanding policy of purely "self-policing" with no meaningful external accountability mechanisms will not be solved by this weak plan for more self-policing. more»

Call for ICANN to Educate and Not Mislead GAC

I read with interest the recent blog written by Theresa Swinehart a Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy. She wrote: "The most critical element of this [ICANN Transition] process is trust and alignment. To ensure success on this accountability track, we must as a community work closely together to make sure that the final process is meaningful. There is plenty of work to be done in an ambitious period of time." more»

Is ICANN's .IR Response at Odds with the ACPA and ICE Domain Seizures?

An initial review of ICANN's response to litigation seeking it to turn over control of the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria and North Korea led to the conclusion that it had opened a "legal can of worms". A few more just wriggled out, and they threaten the basic assumption that underlies the U.S. statute governing cybersquatting and the practices engaged in by Federal officials seizing domain names engaged in intellectual property infringement. more»

NTIA's FOIA Disclosures Shed Limited Light on IANA Transition Decision

On March 27, 2014, shortly after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) March 14th announcement of its intent to transfer its counterparty status on ICANN's IANA functions contract to the global multistakeholder community, the conservative advocacy organization Americans for Limited Government (ALG) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with NTIA. ALG's request was for disclosure of "All records relating to legal and policy analysis developed by or provided to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that support its decision to "transition key internet domain name functions," including any analysis showing whether the NTIA has the legal authority to perform the transition." more»

UDRP Failure Endangers Consumers

Yesterday I participated in a panel at the International Consumer Product Safety Conference sponsored by the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held at the European Commission in Brussels Belgium. This conference brings together the global community of product safety engineers, manufacturers, retailers, regulators, inspectors, and counterfeiting investigators. The role of online fraud and illicit product traffic is clearly one of the conference priorities. more»

Inter Mundos: ICANN's Accountability is a Matter of Human Rights

The debate over the IANA Functions transitions has captivated the minds of all stakeholders. The U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced that they intend to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community. Thus, we find ourselves in the midst of a transition between worlds. All stakeholders are pondering the following questions: what should be the appropriate transition? What should be our goal? more»

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Botnet Takedowns (July 15, 2014)

The background is of course quite interesting, given how soon it has followed Microsoft's seizure of several domains belonging to Dynamic DNS provider no-ip.com for alleged complicity in hosting trojan RAT gangs, a couple of days after which the domains were subsequently returned -- without public comment -- to Vitalwerks, the operator of No-IP. This is by no means a new tactic for Microsoft, who has carried out successful seizures of various domains over the past two or three years. more»

Microsoft's Takedown of 3322.org - A Gigantic Self Goal?

I will first begin this post by emphasizing that this article is entirely my personal viewpoint and not to be considered as endorsed by or a viewpoint of my employer or any other organization that I am affiliated with. Neither is this to be considered an indictment of the sterling work (which I personally value very highly) that several people in Microsoft are doing against cybercrime. Microsoft's takedown of 3322.org to disrupt the Nitol botnet is partial and will, at best, have a temporary effect on the botnet itself... more»

Thank You GNSO - From the SHE.africa

The recent announcement at the ICANN 50 London, by all stakeholder groups and constituencies comprising of ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) to endorse a joint statement in support of the creation of an independent accountability mechanism "that provides meaningful review and adequate redress for those harmed by ICANN action or inaction in contravention of an agreed upon compact with the community" is a very welcome development to the Multistakeholder framework. more»

The Essential Ingredient of Politics Is Timing

The transition of the IANA contract oversight is, of course, the topic du jour at ICANN 50 in London. From the sessions to the hallway banter, it's the hottest topic I can recall in ICANN's history. It's an inherently over-the-top political topic, merging partisan politics in Washington with Internet governance. On numerous occasions in Singapore, Larry Strickling raised the domestic politicking on the part of the Republican Party regarding the IANA oversight transition, cautioning us of the discourse fuelled by opportunism. more»

Dear Industry Canada, Is Now a Good Time to Replace CIRA?

Today we have sent following to the Minister of Industry Canada, James Moore, as well as the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Board of Directors. This is in response to the revelation that CIRA is positioning to enter the managed DNS space. As we outline in the letter, we are fine with more competition (in fact Google just entered the domain and DNS space too... No, competition is a fact of life, what we want is more of it, not less. Here's what we wrote to The Honourable James Moore. more»

Rape in the DNS

It took three years for ICANN to issue a breach notice to BizCn over the invalid WHOIS record behind RAPETUBE[DOT]ORG. Throughout the history of this absurd case ICANN staff would repeatedly insist the record had been validated and the registrar was compliant, regardless of extensive evidence proving otherwise. Despite a letter sent to ICANN's CEO and an investigation by the Washington Post, the Rape Tube stayed online. more»

France Protesting ICANN Over Approval of .Wine TLD

France has expressed anger at the organisation responsible for assigning internet domains over the planned launch of .wine and .vin addresses... France said addresses like .wine would put trade agreements regarding the sale of region-specific products like champagne at risk. French minister Axelle Lemaire said Icann needed to be more transparent. She called for a new general assembly to be set up to govern domain names, with a "one country, one vote" system. more»

Let American Telcos and Cablecos Merge - But Declare Infrastructure a Utility

While there is much discussion in the United States about the mergers of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and of AT&T and DirectTV, issues such as this are generally discussed from a very narrow perspective and, we maintain, from the wrong underlying telecoms regime operating in that country - one that has stifled competition in the telecoms for nearly two decades. The same wrong parameters apply to the endless debates on net neutrality an issue that is, by the way, largely of significance to the US market alone. more»

All New gTLD Registrations Should Be Subject to Sunrise Periods - Even Reserved Names

Planning to register your trademark as a domain name during a Sunrise Period only to find out that the registration appears on a Reserved Names list? There are a number of reasons why a domain that matches your trademark is appearing on a Reserved Names list. First of all, if the domain desired is the subject of Name Collision, it may appear on a Reserved Names list. Although this is not true for all registries, as some operators are allowing domains that have been the subject of Name Collision to be allocated during Sunrise, but not delegated. more»