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Is NIST's Recent Letter on o.com a Bureaucratic Coup d'Etat?

Verisign recently informed ICANN that it had received a letter from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, regarding the proposed auction of o.com described in the Second Amendment to the .com Registry Agreement agreed to by ICANN and Verisign in March 2019. This letter, which doesn't appear to be on official letterhead, is from a NIST Grants Officer and purports to overturn a letter raising objections to the auction... more

The Multistakeholder Moment of Truth: Will Stakeholders Hold ICANN Accountable?

During the two-year period preceding the IANA transition in 2016, there was a near-superhuman effort put forth by the community of stakeholders to design, debate, and deploy an accountability framework for ICANN that would serve to check and balance the coordinator of the global DNS. One of the overriding concerns that stakeholders sought to address was the possibility of ICANN being captured, and it was argued that the global community of stakeholders would serve as a "backstop" that would hold ICANN accountable. more

Could Bulk-Registered Typosquatting Domains Be Connected to .ORG DNS Abuse?

Public Interest Registry (PIR) announced the creation of the DNS Abuse Institute about two months ago as it believes that "every .ORG makes the world a better place" and "anything that gets in the way of that is a threat," notably in the form of Domain Name System (DNS) abuse. To show support for the initiative, WhoisXML API analyzed monthly typosquatting data feeds for December 2020, January 2021, and February 2021 to identify .ORG domain trends... more

An Anti-Competitive .com Fait Accompli?

In a recent article, Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Obligations to the U.S. Government, I wrote: The referenced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is the vehicle by which the U.S. government delegates to ICANN the responsibilities for overseeing the technical management of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS)... This is important for many reasons, and much remains to be analyzed for additional context that can help expose the rot at the Internet's root. more

Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Contractual Obligations to the U.S. Government?

Recently, I had time to reflect on various matters after the alternator in my vehicle decided that the middle of a mountain pass was the appropriate time and place to go to that great big pick-and-pull scrapyard in the sky while leaving me stranded with no cell signal on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Until that point, I had been seriously considering applying to ICANN's Nominating Committee for one of the three open seats on ICANN's Board of Directors. more

Universal Acceptance – Making the Internet Work for Everyone

Back in 2014, to foster innovation and to better the choice in domain names, ICANN introduced new generic top-level domains through its New gTLD Program. It was a monumental move that enabled businesses, individuals, and communities across the globe to mark their presence on the Internet. Allowing users to be present digitally in their chosen language (non-ASCII characters and scripts) gave opportunities to local businesses, civil societies, and governments to better serve their communities. more

ICANN Must Release the Single-Character .com Hostages from the IANA Impostor's Warehouse

Most of the single-character .com labels were initially registered in 1993 by Dr. Jon Postel while performing work pursuant to a contract with, and funded by, the U.S. government and are currently assigned to a "shell registrar" created and controlled by ICANN. This shell - which is the 376th entry on ICANN's list of accredited registrars - is misleadingly identified as the IANA registrar while being engaged in the illicit warehousing of domain names for speculative purposes. 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

ICANN70 Virtual Community Forum: What to Expect?

On 19 February 2020, ICANN announced that ICANN67 would be held via remote participation out of an abundance of caution associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Little did we know at the time that twelve months later, ICANN meetings would still be held via remote participation. For a community that has been accustomed to meeting face-to-face at least three times a year since ICANN1 in Singapore in March 1999, this has created a tremendous challenge for how we conduct our business. more

New gTLD Round 2 Update – Where Are We Really At?

Many industry onlookers and potential future applicants may be aware of the significant step the New gTLD Round 2 Program took recently when ICANN's policy body, the GNSO Council, unanimously approved the recommendations put forward in the final report from the community-led Subsequent Procedures Working Group and sent it to the ICANN Board for approval. 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

78% of Cybersecurity Professionals Expect an Increase in DNS Threats, Yet Have Reservations

A recent survey conducted by the Neustar International Security Council confirmed the heightened interests on domain name system (DNS) security. The survey reveals that over three-quarters of cybersecurity professionals anticipate increases in DNS attacks, especially with more people shopping online amid the pandemic. Yet, close to 30% have reservations about their ability to respond to these attacks. more

Cybersecurity Tech Accord: 98% of Registrar Whois Requests Unrequited

When a brand goes so far as to ask a domain name registrar for Whois (the registration contact details) of a potentially abusive domain name, there's likely a lot at stake. Most often, the request is prompted by consumer safety concerns, such as the risk to consumers posed by a malicious site. Other times, the demand has a simple goal: to have a dialog with the registrant about the use of trademarks or other intellectual property in order to avoid extreme action. more

An Institute to Combat DNS Abuse

Over the last few years, it's become clear that abuse of the Domain Name System -- whether in the form of malware, botnets, phishing, pharming, or spam -- threatens to undermine trust in the Internet. At Public Interest Registry, we believe that every new .ORG makes the world a better place. That means anything that gets in the way of that is a threat, and that includes DNS Abuse. more

Now We Know Why It's Hard to Get a .COM

As executive director of CALinnovates, an organization that advocates for innovation and startups, as well as a new business owner myself, I know how important a .COM domain name can be to a new company's online presence and marketing strategy. That's why I read with interest a new Boston Consulting Group report on how the .COM market is changing. I have a much better understanding of why new businesses find it hard to get relevant .COM domain names. more

News Briefs

InternetNZ Has Disclosed a Vulnerability That Can Be Weaponized Against Authoritative DNS Servers

PIR Launches New Institute to Combat DNS Abuse

Donuts Completes the Acquisition of Afilias

Donuts to Acquire Afilias

Verisign Extends COVID-19 Wholesale Restore Fee Waiver

ICANN Board Rejects the Proposed Sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital

The .ORG Acquisition Delayed Following California's Attorney General Letter to ICANN

GoDaddy Acquires Neustar's Domain Name Registry Business

Public Interest Registry, ICANN Agree to Extend Deadline on Review of Proposed Acquisition of .ORG

Over 50 Domain Operators in China Ask ICANN for Immediate Fee Waivers Due to Impact from Coronavirus

American University Washington College of Law to Hold Open Discussion on the .ORG Sale Controversy

California Attorney General Asks ICANN for Detailed Information On the .ORG Sale

CENTR Reports Decreased Growth in European ccTLDs

Vint Cerf Says He Is in Favor of .ORG Acquisition, Explains Why

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning the .ORG Sale

Internet Society CEO Responds to Concerns Raised Over the .ORG Sale

EFF and 26 Other Organizations Send Letter to Internet Society Urging It to Stop Sale of .ORG

Internet Commerce Association Calls for ICANN to Withhold Approval of .Org Sale

Ethos Capital to Acquire .ORG Top-Level Domain

Colombian Government Releases Action Plan for the Selection of .CO Domain Registry Operator

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Taking Back the DNS

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid

Ask Vint Cerf: The Road Ahead for Top-Level Domains

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

Industry Updates

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