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ICANN / Featured Blogs

Privacy Matters: Is It Time To Abolish The WHOIS Database?

Recently, I entered my domain name in a "WHOIS" database query to test the results of the database by using WHOIS on a number of domain name registrar websites. WHOIS is a database service that allows Internet users to look up a number of matters associated with domain names, including the full name of the owner of a domain name, the name of the domain name hosting service, the Internet Protocol or I.P. number(s) corresponding to the domain name, as well as personally identifying information on those who have registered domain names. I was astonished to find... more

ICANN at Large Shanghais The At-Large Conversation

On October 28, as ICANN met in Shanghai, China for its regular board meeting, ICANN at Large held a lengthy meeting to address user concerns, particularly the disenfranchisement of the At-Large by ICANN, and the At-Large's self-organizing in response. The meeting was chaired by YJ Park, one of our Executive Panel Members, and was well attended. Attendees included ... more

A Closed And Secret Process Is Not The Answer To Reform

The recent meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in China demonstrates a serious dilemma for Internet users around the world. In the name of reforming ICANN and making it more responsive, ICANN ended the seats of the At-Large directors on its board. This was the part of the ICANN structure that was supposed to be responsive to Internet users. more

Internationalized Domain Names: The Babelization Factor

As current statistics now clearly indicate, two-thirds of the estimated 560 million people online are non-English speakers. As one would expect, in the upcoming ICANN Shanghai Meeting of October 28, 2002, IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names, also known as Multilingual Domain Names), are one of the main topics of discussion. This global affair is also fueling the growing list of Internationalized Domain Name Certified Registrars that offer domain names in many other non-English characters with .com, .net, and .org. more

The Internet And Its Governance: Where Should We Look For Models?

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has recently signed a new contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for one more year. ICANN and the DOC are to continue to work together to design an organizational form that is suitable to administer and control the infrastructure of the Internet. That infrastructure includes the IP numbers, which are critical to the functioning of the Internet protocol TCP/IP. These numbers must be unique for the Internet to continue to function. The infrastructure also includes the protocols that make the Internet possible. Protocols involve the conventions or agreements that each network that is part of the Internet accepts in order to make communication possible across the boundaries of the different technical and political and administrative entities that comprise the networks of the Internet. Another component of the Internet's infrastructure is the domain name system (DNS). This system includes the names that identify various sites on the Internet and the translation of those names into IP numbers via the system of computers that make the one to one mapping between names and numbers. more

Parsing Hype From Hope: Will ENUM Spark Changes In Telecom?

In the beginning there was silence; then, silence begat communication, and communication begat more communication and, ultimately, group communication formed and begat a primordial "network" of communication that gradually and inevitably increased in effectiveness and complexity: there were only signal fires at first but, then, there were cave drawings, carrier pigeons, shouting from hill-tops, smoke from fire, lines of cannon fire, the telegraph, Alexander Graham Bell, and, finally, the network of networks known as the Internet. But, is that it? Is there not something more impressive in its impact upon communication than the Internet? What more might one desire than the dynamic wonders of the Internet, you ask? Well, what about ENUM? "E-What!?" more

TLD Registration Enforcement: A Call for Automation - Part II

Last month, I wrote to describe the state of registration restrictions in .BIZ, .US, and .NAME. I noted trends among nonconforming registrations in these TLDs, and I suggested that certain automated enforcement systems might serve to improve compliance. But an important larger question remained unanswered: Why care about registration restrictions in the first place? Much as registries might like to ignore the restrictions, I submit that the Internet community nonetheless ought to hold them to their contracts.
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The At-Large: An Insider’s View

February 2002 was a seminal month in the evolution of the ICANN At-Large movement. We began hearing reports from our European members that ICANN's chief lawyer, Joe Sims, was in Brussels, Belgium, holding closed-door meetings with European Commission members to gauge their reaction to plans that completely restructure the ICANN board, replacing the At-Large with a body of government representatives! The rumors were confirmed days later when ICANN President M. Stuart Lynn posted his "ICANN - The Case for Reform". more

Domain Name Theft, Fraud And Regulations

When it comes to domain name disputes, no domain name has captured more media attention than sex.com. Of course, disputes about sex often obtain a great deal of attention, and the sex.com domain name dispute can grab its share of headlines because the case involves sex, theft, declared bankruptcy, a once-thriving Internet porn business, and fraud, instead of the typical cybersquatting allegations. Indeed, this case is remarkable for its potential impact on the development of caselaw concerning whether there is a valid basis to assume that trademark interests should overwhelm all non-commercial interests in the use of domain names. The answer is no, but the caselaw to support that answer is in tension with cases that strongly imply a contrary conclusion. more

TLD Registration Enforcement: A Call for Automation - Part I

The past year has brought a rise in so-called "open and chartered" top-level domains (TLDs). Like the traditional open TLDs of .COM, .NET, and .ORG, these namespaces encourage large-scale registrations, but they differ in that they limit who can legitimately register domains. So far, many thousands of their registrations seem to break the stated rules. It's therefore worth thinking through their respective enforcement efforts -- before the situation gets out of control. more