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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

The Insult and Injury of the U.S. Government's Failure to Enforce ICANN's Contractual Obligation

Someone recently observed that many stakeholders have fallen victim to a "chilling effect" resulting from fear of retaliation by the rich and powerful bullies currently infecting the multistakeholder community, ICANN, and Internet governance. I related to what I was hearing because I've been personally targeted and libelously attacked and it is deeply dismaying enough having to worry about threats to revenue and reputation along with other harmful effects of such thuggery. more

Why ICANN Rejected ISOC's Billion-Dollar Attempt At Feathering Its Own Nest With .org Sale?

As I've pointed out in recent articles, the promises and obligations of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are merged by direct reference into the InterNIC licensing agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN. This licensing agreement has been extended twice by mutual consent, most recently until January 2025. Therefore, the MOU's promises and obligations remain in effect through the InterNIC licensing agreement despite the fact that the MOU itself terminated in 2009. more

gTLDs Under the Microscope in Q1 2021: .kpmg Back in Focus and a Look at Past Launches

With the end of March upon us already, we take a fresh look at .kpmg and its ongoing .brand usage strategy in our first quarterly report of the year. A review of Alexa.com rankings for .brands and other new gTLDs is included as well as an examination of the factors that have affected registration rates for new gTLD launches from 2019 and 2020. Our MarkMonitor team of experts also analyzes the ICANN Final Report on the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process... 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

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

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

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

The Internet Isn't Privatized Until .com Is Put Out for Bid

Previously, this series tackled the terribly awful Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement and also made the case that the tainted presumptive renewal currently included in registry agreements is inherently anti-competitive. But renewing legitimacy and integrity of Internet governance requires accurately understanding the unique and significant role retained by the U.S. government following the IANA transition. more

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

The first part of this series explained how Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement is highly offensive to the public interest. But the reasons for saving the Internet are more fundamental to Western interests than a bad deal made under highly questionable circumstances. One of the world's foremost experts on conducting censorship at scale, the Chinese Communist Party's experience with the Great Firewall... more

News Briefs

DNSSEC Now Deployed in all Generic Top-Level Domains, Says ICANN

The Government of Niue Launches Proceedings With ICANN to Reclaim Its .nu Top-Level Domain

ICANN Introduces Pandemic Internet Access Reimbursement Program

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

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

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

ICANN to Hold First-Ever Remote Public Meeting

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

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning 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

Leading Domain Registries and Registrars Release Joint Document on Addressing 'DNS Abuse'

URS Is a Bad Fit for .ORG, Says EFF

Namecheap Files 'Request for Reconsideration' Against ICANN's Removal of .ORG Price Caps Decision

The .Org Price Caps Removed Under New Agreement With ICANN

ICANN's Recent .amazon Decision Denounced by Presidents of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia

ICANN Says Amazon Inc's Application for .AMAZON TLD Can Proceed Following 30 Days of Public Comment

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Chief David Redl Resigns

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Industry Updates

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

Why UDRP Panelists Must Follow the Policy: A Look at the Devex.org Decision

Participants – Random Selection