ICANN

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The Whois Wars Go On

There is a lot of discussion about the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 report on evaluating a System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to non-public gTLD registration data after the decisions taken by the GNSO Council on September 24th. Notably, the Business Constituency (BC) and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) have voted against the adoption of the Final Report of the EPDP team. more

Innovation, Launches and Email: New gTLDs Deliver in Q3 2020

As the third quarter of 2020 winds down, the domain industry continues to show development and progression amid uncertain global economic conditions. From improvements in products and additional TLD launches to growth in .brand email usage and upcoming virtual meetings, the Q3 2020: New gTLD Quarterly Report from our MarkMonitor team has a little something for everyone. more

The Pay-To-Play Reality of ICANN’s Inclusion Illusion

ICANN's chairman says meetings offer special "circumstantial opportunity"; recent estimates peg average annual expense for attending at $30,000 per person. Oops - he's done it again. The latest blog update from ICANN's current board chair needs - no, it demands - a spotlight on what is revealed in plain and unashamed language. Indeed, this communique - along with another recent blog post that I've previously commented on - captures in exquisite relief what has gone terribly, horribly wrong at ICANN. more

A Failed Whois Policy

ICANN's two-year effort to purportedly preserve the Whois public directory to the greatest extent possible while complying with GDPR has failed. Under the latest proposal, the Whois database, once a contractually-required directory of domain name registrants, will be gutted to the point of virtual worthlessness, as registrars, registries, academics, and hand-wringing others ignored the public interest and imposed ever-higher barriers to legitimate, GDPR-compliant access to registration data. more

Only Bad Actors Should Worry About the URS

With DNS abuse a topic of increased concern throughout the community, any controversy over adopting the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) for all generic top-level domains (gTLDs) seems misplaced. The URS was designed as a narrow supplement to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), applicable only in certain tightly defined circumstances of clear-cut and incontrovertible trademark infringement involving the registration and use of a domain name. more

Uniform Rapid Suspension Not Appropriate for .com Domain Names

The Internet Commerce Association has been actively involved for the last four years on the ICANN Working Group reviewing the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Working Group is currently wrapping up its review of the URS. The UDRP will be reviewed in an upcoming second phase. more

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