ICANN

ICANN / Recently Commented

Is There Such a Thing as Technical Internet Governance?

In ICANN's "President & CEO Goals for Fiscal Year 2021", Göran Marby went out to make a curious distinction in the document's second stated goal, according to which he intends to "Implement a common strategy for Internet governance (IG) and technical Internet governance (TIG)". Proceeding to state that "we will begin by identifying the most important issues we need to address, followed by an assessment of where and how we can intervene, the venues we should use, and the resources required to be effective". more

Too Little, Too Late? Why ICANN’s Proposed WHOIS Access System Isn’t Worth It

After two years of grueling, complex and contentious debate, the ICANN EPDP team delivered its Phase 2 Final Report on July 31st, 2020. Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the policy recommended for the so-called "System for Standardized Access/Disclosure" (SSAD) fails to meet the needs of the users it supposedly is designed to benefit. more

The Geo-Politics of ICANN vs ITU

Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to talk to US policy makers and have seen how ITU and ICANN have emerged as proxies for a much wider diplomatic dispute over who is going to control cyberspace. The Internet is now the engine of the new global economy. It is a communication infrastructure. Both have been correctly regarded as national security interests of the very highest level of priority. Some of the participants in the ICANN/ITU world are former participants in arms limitation circles. Their mode of thinking is illustrated by the frequent use of phrases such as 'why would we give up...'. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2020: The Next Generation of Players and Problems Is Coming

The beginning of a new decade is always an invitation to have a broader look into the future. What, in the next ten years, will happen in the Internet Governance Ecosystem? Will the 2020s see the usual swinging pendulum between more liberal and more restrictive Internet policies in an interconnected world? Or will we move towards a watershed? more

Why Platform Regulation Concerns ICANN

With the publication of the Australian Governmental report on Digital Platforms1and in the light of the ongoing work on the EU's Digital Services Act, the spotlight of policymaking is on platforms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. It is natural that members of the ICANN community want to discuss the role of platforms within the ICANN framework, but sadly and predictably, the usual bylaws jockeys and keepers of the true ICANN faith were quick to stifle the conversation. more

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

Explaining the Legal Enforceability of the PIC Proposed by Ethos for .ORG

Ethos Capital has recently announced that it has voluntarily proposed to add an amendment to Public Interest Registry's (PIR) .ORG Registry Agreement with ICANN in the form of a Public Interest Commitment, also known as a "PIC." In the press release Ethos indicated that the PIC would become "legally binding" and "enforceable" both by ICANN and by members of the community. I anticipate that some would ask a number of logical questions: How would that work in practice? more

Article 22 of the GDPR Should Not Preclude Contemplated Automation

There is an ongoing disagreement among various members and groups in the ICANN community regarding automation -- namely, whether and to what extent automation can be used to disclose registrant data in response to legitimate data disclosure requests. A major contributing factor to the complications around automation has been confusion about how to interpret and apply Article 22 of the GDPR. more

A 1998 IANA Technical Seminar I Will Never Forget

In 1998, I was a lawyer working at Jones Day in Los Angeles, specializing in patent lawsuits. Specifically, I was a member of Jones Day's Technology Issues Practice, which sought to assist companies becoming involved in computer and communications technologies, including the Internet. Meanwhile, in early May the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) was preparing to transition its home base from the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) to a new, independent and not-for-profit organization. more

Thumb on the Scales

Does the ICANN Board putting its thumb on the scale, change the status quo assumption of a Policy Development Process (PDP)? The primary assumption of most PDPs is that, in the absence of consensus for change, the status quo remains. Otherwise, Policy would be made by fiat by the PDP's Chair or Co-Chairs and there would be a mad rush to occupy those unpaid, thankless positions. more

What’s Next for Ethos

Since last fall, Ethos has actively engaged with ICANN and .ORG communities regarding our proposed acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR). Through that process, we demonstrated our desire to ensure that .ORG continues and thrives as an exemplary service for the mission-driven community. ICANN has now declined to consent to the proposed change of control of PIR. more

What’s Next for Dot-Org

When I began writing about the dot-org sale, it was out of concern for the loss of what I felt strongly was long understood to be a unique place in the Internet's landscape. Like a national park, dot-org deserved special protection. It turns out lots of people and organizations agreed. On April 30th, 2020, The ICANN Board upheld these values. They unanimously withheld consent for a change of control of the Public Interest Registry to a private equity firm. more

ICANN and Attorneys General: Ends, Means and Unintended Ends

In a move, unprecedented in scale, ISOC moved to sell PIR, the registry for .ORG, to a for-profit entity which intends, in turn, to convert PIR into a for-profit entity itself. This move has, understandably, raised concerns from around the Internet community and cast a bright light on ICANN, the nature of its contracts with Registries and the responsibilities of the ICANN Board... As the Vice Chair for Policy of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), I've tried to navigate a consensus involving ALL of those parties because of our diverse membership. more

ICANN Independence and Non-Profits on the Net – Get it Right and Go Forward

Later this week, ICANN is finally going to vote on the proposed sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital. It will decide the future owner of .ORG, but the decision will also provide a window into whether ICANN will remain independent of the U.S. government. It's a big decision, one that can strengthen both ICANN and the NGO community on the web, if we get it right. For nearly a decade, the ICANN community fought hard to untether itself from the U.S. Department of Commerce. more

Preserving ICANN’s Independence Through Bold Action – Not Inaction

This week, the ICANN Board will vote on whether to approve the transfer of control of the .ORG domain to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. This is a weighty decision for ICANN, since in order to approve the sale, it will have to convince itself that this is the right choice in the face of tremendous and widespread opposition, including from those who will be most affected by the sale. more