Mason Cole

Mason Cole

Internet Governance Advisor at Perkins Coie
Joined on July 22, 2003
Total Post Views: 89,301


Mason Cole is an Internet Governance Advisor in the Trademark, Copyright, Media & Brand Protection practice. He strategizes for clients with interests in internet domain name governance and business matters. For more than 17 years, Mason has participated in the work of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the industry’s governing body, including serving three terms as chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group, a term as vice chair of the influential council of the Generic Names Support Organization (GNSO), and two terms as the GNSO’s liaison to more than 170 international governments.

A longstanding innovator and leader in the internet oversight community, Mason is the founding chair of the Healthy Domains Initiative, the Domain Name Association’s ambitious program of registry and registrar self-regulation. He also has contributed to the policy work of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition and Internet Commerce Association.

Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Mason was vice president of communications and industry relations at Donuts Inc., a domain name registry, where he worked with company co-founders to secure 198 of the company’s now almost 250 top-level domain names and helped manage the company’s ICANN relationship. As company spokesperson, he established proof-of-concept for new domains with media coverage from CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Al-Jazeera and other worldwide outlets. Mason held a similar role with, where he fully supervised the company’s interactions with ICANN and other regulatory authorities. During his time with Oversee, he successfully prosecuted patent claims in the United States, Canada and China.

Mason was the founding publisher and editor of State of the Domain, the first-of-its-kind statistical analysis of domain name growth and trends.

Except where otherwise noted, all postings by Mason Cole on CircleID are licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Featured Blogs

The State of DNS Abuse: Moving Backward, Not Forward

ICANN's founding promise and mandate are optimistic -- ensure a stable and secure internet that benefits the internet community as a whole. Recent months, however, have highlighted the uncomfortable truth that ICANN's and the industry's approach to DNS abuse is actually moving backward, ignoring growing problems, abdicating on important policy issues, and making excuses for not acting. Further, the impending failure of ICANN's new WHOIS policy to address cybersecurity concerns will add fuel to the fire, resulting in accelerating DNS abuse that harms internet users across the globe. more

COVID-19, WHOIS, and the Pressing Need for Help With Domain Name System Abuse

As widely reported, and not surprising, the internet is swimming in COVID-19 online scams. Criminals, accustomed to rapidly grabbing online territory during times of crisis and profiting from public fear, are working overtime in the face of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, ICANN's failure to enforce its minimal WHOIS and DNS abuse requirements has resulted in delayed mitigation efforts at a time when swift responses are needed to protect the public from COVID-19 scams. more

Domain Name Association Outlines Healthy Practices as Part of Key Initiative

The domain name system is in good health. But it's about to get even better. The Domain Name Association (DNA), the Internet domain industry's trade association, undertook an effort in 2016 it named the Healthy Domains Initiative (HDI). It's an ambitious, self-motivated effort to build on the DNS' already secure and stable platform and meet select challenges head-on, before they develop. more

The ANA and Hand-Wringing

The Association of National Advertisers is at it again, this time spelling the death of new gTLDs barely after they emerge from the gate. In 1982, at the dawn of the video age, Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti infamously told Congress, with more than one unfortunate reference to various types of violent crime, that the advent of the VCR would spell immediate and irrevocable doom to the motion picture industry, and that the device should certainly be thrown to the scrap heap even before its arrival. more

Finishing What We Started: A Level Playing Field for New gTLDs

While the Internet governance debate devours headlines, it's almost easy to forget that ICANN is in the midst of the most audacious and important policy process it has ever undertaken. And while many new generic top-level domains are now live, the process of ensuring the best opportunity to fulfill their potential is not yet complete. We recently reached the milestone of 280,000 registrations in the Donuts gTLDs that are currently generally available. more

SnapNames: Why the WLS is Better for Consumers

In 2002, VeriSign, the registry for .COM and .NET domain names, proposed the idea of a centralized, registry-level "wait list" for currently registered domain names. The system would let anyone around the world get "next in line" for a name that is registered now but may become available later.

This new registry service, titled Wait List System (or WLS), would augment what is now an ad-hoc group of registrar-level services that are useful, but aren't always fully dependable or even available to the general public. more