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Multistakeholderism Is Working: A Short Series of Articles

I was in a conversation with a close friend the other day, you know the kind where you have been friends for so long that you have endured each other experimenting with changed politics, evolving religion, and if you are unlucky, flirtations with multilevel marketing. We were discussing politics that day, which is not unusual given our ancient friendship and the recent change at the helm of the United States. more

Is ICANN Running a Racket?

On March 13, 2019, I published an article on CircleID, Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name, that explored the proposed release and auction of o.com, a single-character .com domain name that was registered in 1993 and assigned to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) by Dr. Jon Postel. Although the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has since raised serious objections... more

Ending U.S. Government Amnesia About Its Legacy Internet Registries is in the Public Interest

On July 2, 2002, Damien Cave published an interview on Salon.com with John Gilmore, "original 'cypherpunk' and all-around Internet supergeek," titled "It's time for ICANN to go." In this wide-ranging interview, Gilmore -- an early employee of Sun Microsystems who also co-founded Cygnus Software (acquired by Red Hat) and was an early supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Society (ISOC) -- offered blunt insight and eye-opening historical detail... more

The Netizen's Guide to Reboot the Root (Part I)

In the world of ICANN and Internet policy, complexity is manufactured to create an illusion that issues are impenetrably technical such that normal and everyday principles can't apply. This causes a pervasive and entrenched phenomenon of eyes that glaze over at the mere mention of the word "ICANN" -- including those of government regulators and other officials that might otherwise take more of an active interest. more

More Warning Shots for ICANN, or the End of the Road?

Last fall, I wrote about ICANN's failed effort to achieve its goal of preserving the Whois domain name registration directory to the fullest extent possible. I predicted that if the policy effort failed, governments would take up the legislative pen in order to fulfill the long-ignored needs of those combating domain name system harms. That forecast has now come true through significant regulatory actions in the United States and the European Union in the form of a proposed directive from the European Commission (EC) and instruction from the US Congress to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). more

.com Is A Clear and Present Danger to Online Safety

"The Internet is the real world now." This assessment was offered by Protocol, a technology industry news site, following the very real violence on Capitol Hill during the counting of the electoral college votes that officially determines the next president of the United States. The media outlet went on to say that, "[t]he only difference is, you can do more things and reach more people online -- with truth and with lies -- than you can in the real world." more

NTIA Objects to Planned o.com Auction

According to media sources, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) wrote to Verisign last Friday, objecting to the company's plan to auction o.com to the highest bidder. The planned release for o.com - described by the Second Amendment to the .com Registry Agreement and intended as a pilot for the remaining reserved single-character .com names - involved an opaque consideration process that ignored community input and set aside hard-won trademark protections developed by stakeholders in order to maximize dollars earmarked for an unidentified cadre of non-profit organizations. more

Cast Your .vote for the Most Interesting New gTLD Development in Q4

2020 has been extremely eventful, so it follows that the domain industry has continued to experience perpetual change, progress and uncertainty in the last three months of the year. In our Q4 New gTLD Quarterly Report, MarkMonitor experts analyze topical registration activity, launch information, .brand growth and DNS abuse, and share a list of upcoming industry meetings for 2021. more

ICANN Should Keep Content Regulation and Other Arbitrary Rules Out of Registry Contracts

The domain name system is not the place to police speech. ICANN is legally bound not to act as the Internet's speech police, but its legal commitments are riddled with exceptions, and aspiring censors have already used those exceptions in harmful ways. This was one factor that made the failed takeover of the .ORG registry such a dangerous situation. But now, ICANN has an opportunity to curb this abuse and recommit to its narrow mission of keeping the DNS running... more

ICANN Doubles Down on Technical Internet Governance Label: What Are the Implications?

Back in September of 2020, ICANN CEO Göran Marby wrote a blog post discussing the implementation of "a common strategy for Internet governance (IG) and technical Internet governance (TIG)", raising the question of whether the ICANN org. intended to pursue this distinction moving forward, as debated in a previous article. This was proven to be the case during the 2020 IGF's Open Forum #44: "ICANN Open Forum - Technical Internet Governance", organized by ICANN itself... more

Another ICANN Meeting Concluded With No Action on DNS Abuse or Privacy/Proxy Policy

The ICANN 69 meeting has come to a close, with no progress on DNS abuse or implementation of the Privacy/Proxy Services Accreditation policy (PPSAI). While ICANN is uniquely positioned to do so, it refuses to do anything proactive about DNS abuse, with its executives overtly attempting to limit its role to data collection. Moreover, its refusal to implement community-driven initiatives such as the PPSAI points to a growing trend where ICANN is backing away from its public interest responsibilities, to the detriment of the Internet and its users. more

2020 Hindsight After 20 Years at ICANN

After two decades of involvement with ICANN, I am stepping down from the Board of Directors, where I served for nine years. I have spent considerable time of late reflecting on the past 20 years, and I have isolated some memories that help frame my time with ICANN. ... November 2000, ICANN07 in Marina del Rey, California - With only a scant idea of what ICANN is all about, I am warmly welcomed by the flag-wearing country code top-level domain (ccTLD) community, who come to ICANN to ensure that nothing happens to affect the independence of ccTLDs... more

The Whois Wars Go On

There is a lot of discussion about the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 report on evaluating a System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to non-public gTLD registration data after the decisions taken by the GNSO Council on September 24th. Notably, the Business Constituency (BC) and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) have voted against the adoption of the Final Report of the EPDP team. more

Innovation, Launches and Email: New gTLDs Deliver in Q3 2020

As the third quarter of 2020 winds down, the domain industry continues to show development and progression amid uncertain global economic conditions. From improvements in products and additional TLD launches to growth in .brand email usage and upcoming virtual meetings, the Q3 2020: New gTLD Quarterly Report from our MarkMonitor team has a little something for everyone. more

The Pay-To-Play Reality of ICANN's Inclusion Illusion

ICANN's chairman says meetings offer special "circumstantial opportunity"; recent estimates peg average annual expense for attending at $30,000 per person. Oops - he's done it again. The latest blog update from ICANN's current board chair needs - no, it demands - a spotlight on what is revealed in plain and unashamed language. Indeed, this communique - along with another recent blog post that I've previously commented on - captures in exquisite relief what has gone terribly, horribly wrong at ICANN. more

Industry Updates

Industry Insights: Verisign, ICANN and Industry Partners Collaborate to Combat Botnets

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q4 2020

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q3 2020

The DNS Ecosystem, Its Vulnerabilities, and Threat Mitigations

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q2 2020

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q1 2020

Retrospective: Post-GDPR Compliance Rates for Domain Enforcement

Afilias Thanks Desiree Miloshevic for 12 Years of Service to ISOC

Hundreds of Millions of Dollars at Stake as .COM Price Freeze Set to Expire

Operational Update Regarding the KSK Rollover for Administrators of Recursive Name Servers

Verisign Launches קום., a New, Generic Top-Level Domain for Hebrew Speakers*

eco/i2Coalition Update Webinar on ICANN Contracted Party GDPR Compliance

KSK Rollover Webinar to Be Held with ECO and ICANN Tuesday, April 24th

Afilias to Support ICANN Community Response to the EU's GDPR

ICA Statement on ADO.com UDRP Decision: Overreaching Panelists and Interference With Domain Market