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The Internet And Open Architecture: Determining How To Replace ICANN

"Forms grow out of principles and operate to continue the principles they grow from."
Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man"

The debate over what management structure is needed to transform ICANN has moved from "Foreign Affairs" and some online discussions to the halls of Oxford University. Last week there was a one day event at Oxford on how to transform ICANN. There was also a meeting in Berlin on these issues. The coverage of these is limited to the few online publications that can afford to send reporters. more

The Business Of Domains: Shifting The Paradigm

For a business that started with few competitors and unlimited markets, the domain name registration trade has certainly become quite difficult and price sensitive. As the owner or manager of your firm, you have a basic choice to make: You can pull back and ride out this difficult period, or you can use this disruption to your advantage. Can a savvy owner or manager bring profitable growth to his or her company? One positive answer may not be in familiar spaces, but in new markets. more

Interview With Michael Froomkin: Watching ICANN Through IETF: Part I

Michael Froomkin, a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and one of the founding members of ICANNWatch has recently written an article for the Harvard Law Review called, "[email protected]: Toward a Critical Theory of Cyberspace". One of the areas covered in this article is a comparison made between the ICANN model and that of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Michael Froomkin has underlined several lessons that can be learned from this contrast, including a suggestion "that claiming kinship with the IETF model is a way of claiming legitimacy, but that not every one who makes this claim is entitled to do so".

What follows is a two-part interview with Michael Froomkin and a closer look at his recent article in the Harvard Law Reviewmore

United Nations vs. ICANN: One ccTLD At A Time

What happens if ICANN fails? Who will run the DNS then?

Of course to many, ICANN already has failed -- spectacularly so. Critics have long complained that ICANN not only lacks accountability and legitimacy, but also that it is inefficient (at best) and downright destructive (at worst). According to these critics, ICANN's many sins include threatening the stability of the Internet, limiting access by imposing an artificial domain name scarcity, and generally behaving like a petulant dictator. more

Internet Governance: The Proof Is In The Pudding

"ICANN remains the frontier institution and the test case for global governance in the IT sector," writes Zoe Baird in an article in the November-December 2002 issue of "Foreign Affairs". Baird is the President of the Markle Foundation. Her article "Governing the Internet: Engaging Government, Business and Nonprofits" appears in "Foreign Affairs", a magazine usually devoted to the discussion of American foreign policy interests.

The opening line of the article is striking. "The rapid growth of the Internet," Baird writes, "has led to a worldwide crisis of governance." On the surface, a serious problem has been identified. There is the promise of a fruitful discussion to follow. more

Examining Stuart Lynn’s Domain Name Plans - Part II

In the last article we examined the language in Stuart Lynn's A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs, and I addressed concerns about specific language in that document. In this article, I will examine several questions of importance that need to be addressed when discussing new gTLD policy; questions that Mr. Lynn leaves unanswered in his proposal... more

Domain Name Theft Part II: Did ICANN Leave Foxes Guarding the Chicken COOP?

When it comes to stealing domain names, I suspect that there are two reasons why so many web bandits appear to be immune from ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers uses the acronym ICANN): the first reason I discussed in my last column on domain name theft (where I described a substantive void in domain name "regulation" as a primary factor for the increasing incidence of domain name theft), the second reason, which is the focus of this column, is the procedural anomaly that currently infuses ICANN's uniform dispute resolution process (UDRP) by providing no administrative forum for domain name registrants who become victims of domain name theft carried out by ICANN's registrars. more

Examining Stuart Lynn’s Domain Name Plans - Part I

Last month ICANN began soliciting comments on Stuart Lynn's A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs, which will be one of the Internet governance organization's primary discussion topics at its December meeting in Amsterdam. more

Preventing Future Attacks: Alternatives In DNS Security Management - Part II

In Part I of this article I set the stage for our discussion and overviewed the October 21st DDoS attacks on the Internet's 13 root name servers. In particular, I highlighted that the attacks were different this time, both in size and scope, because the root servers were attacked at the same time. I also highlighted some of the problems associated with the Domain Name System and the vulnerabilities inherent in BIND. Part II of this article takes our discussion to another level by critically looking at alternatives and best practices that can help solve the security problems we've raised. more

Is Whois Data Accuracy Enough?

The Whois Task Force of the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) has been consulting with registrars over the past few months on the Whois accuracy issue for law enforcement. The Task Force has enumerated three primary areas of interest: accuracy, uniformity, and better searching capabilities. When the registrars met with the Task Force in Shanghai, a fourth area of interest was also brought forward and advocated by many of the registrars at the meeting as paramount to the other three areas. This fourth area of interest was privacy. more