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Noteworthy

10 Years of Radix and New gTLDs: An Interview with CEO Sandeep Ramchandani

Domains and Creators: Connecting Creativity, Clout and (Brand) Custody

Building a More Inclusive Internet for All: A Radix Initiative

New TLDs / Recently Commented

Bringing a New Top-Level Domain to Life

One of the key elements in any domain space is usage. It doesn't matter how potentially "cool" or "interesting" a Top-Level Domain (TLD) is if nobody is actually using it to provide content. It may be overused and totally abused, but "content is king"! The guys in dotMobi posted yesterday about some of the more interesting domains that they had come across recently. What did that lead to? Well I actually got out my phone and browsed the sites to see what all the fuss was about and I was truly impressed. more

Does the iPhone Keep dotMobi Awake at Night?

We've had a number of questions (and seen plenty of commentary) regarding the recent launch of the iPhone and how it might affect us and the mobile web in general. ...the iPhone changes the way that tastemakers think about their online existence. Interacting with the web, clearly, is no longer a solitary, sedentary and constrained activity.Now I've personally believed this for a while, so arguably it's no big deal -- the long-term evolution of the web to become a largely mobile (and, by the way, subtly different) medium is inevitable. more

TLDs or No TLDs for Cities? Berlin Senate Wants Out

A fight has begun over the virtual existence of Germany's capital: Does a .berlin address space have a right to exist beside the old standby berlin.de? The outcome of the fight could have a broader effect on the future of city names on the Internet. After a recent hearing at Berlin's City Parliament, Michael Donnermeyer, speaker of the Berlin Senate, said the right to the name Berlin belonged to the city and has to be protected. For the young company dotBerlin GmbH that is applying for a new city top level domain (TLD) with the ICANN, the Senate's blockade could kill a long-nurtured project and could set a bad example for other initiatives like .london, .paris or .nyc, sources said. more

ICANN: Keep the Core Neutral, Stupid

ICANN's travelling circus is meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week. One of the main subjects of discussion has been the introduction of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), after a GNSO Report [PDF] proposed 19 "Recommendations" for criteria these new domain strings should meet -- including morality tests and "infringement" oppositions. ...It's important to keep ICANN from being a censor, or from straying beyond its narrow technical mandate. The thick process described in the GNSO report would be expensive, open to "hecklers' vetos," and deeply political... ICANN should aim for a "stupid core"... more

Personal IE Domains Available Soon?

I've mentioned the topic of personal IE domains on here more than once in the past [also discussed here on CircleID] and in my conversations with the IE Domain Registry. Just to recap; Under the current rules you cannot register johndoe.ie if your name is John Doe. You would have to add a number to the name, thus rendering it totally useless eg. johndoe7.ie or something of that style... more

Security Through Obscurity as an Institution

One of my staff members pointed me to an article by Mikko Hyppönen in Foreign Policy. In this article Mikko argues that a new top level domain (TLD) like .bank for some reason would prevent on-line fraud, at least partially. Mikko seems to be arguing that with a dedicated TLD registry for financial institutions and a fee high enough to act as an entry barrier you would have a trustworthy bank domains that would be immune against today's phising attempts... more

Criminal Checks Needed for Domain Name Tasting, Kiting, Spying

International organisations should step in to prevent the "tasting," "kiting" and "spying" related to Internet domain names, say representatives from the US telecommunications and trademark industries. These new activities are dramatically altering online commerce and impacting legitimate businesses, and the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) should take action, they say. The US Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) had too many loopholes given the actual trends in the domain name secondary market, said Sarah Deutsch, vice president and associate general counsel for Verizon, and Marilyn Cade, former AT&T lobbyist and now consultant on Internet and technology issues... more

When is a Typo Not a Typo?

I was reading about the Nieman Marcus lawsuit and on a phone call related to the "Working Group on Mechanisms to Protect Rights of Others", when suddenly it occurred to me that this whole rush to rid the world of typos could eventually head in a messy direction... How far can this go? Let me take you back to that phone call I was on where representatives of Yahoo indicated they would try to secure Flicker.XXX as a TYPO of Flickr.com (their made up brand name) during a potential new TLD sunrise period. How backward is that? A Typo that became a brand, trying to call the generic name a variant of their trademark! more

Dot-XXX and Tiered/Differential Pricing: Permitted?

As folks will recall, there was a big debate about tiered/differential pricing in the .biz/info/org contracts. Eventually those contracts were amended to prevent that. However, if folks read the .XXX proposed contractv [PDF], Appendix S, Part 2, under "delegated authority" (page 66 of the PDF), appears to give the Registry Operator total control to make policy regarding pricing. Thus, it would appear they are in a position to re-price domains that later become successful... more

.Mobi Premium Name Auction Off to Wild Success at TRAFFIC in Miami

I'm in attendance at the the TRAFFIC EAST 2006 show, in Hollywood [Miami], Florida. There has been a lot of buzz here about the .Mobi top level domain, ranging from the talk of early registrants hoping to create the next big mobile portal to those that were keen to see implementations of mobile content. There was a domain name auction this evening where flowers.mobi sold for $200,000.00 (USD), and fun.mobi for $100,000.00 (USD) from a long list of domain names in the com, net, info, org, us and mobi extensions. more

Additional .COM Domain Name Transfer Requirement by October 28

Registrars who support .com domain names will use the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) system by October 28. ...There will be an additional step when trying to transfer a .com domain name among registrars. Specifically, a piece of information called an EPP code (aka auth code, EPP key, transfer secret) must be obtained from the current registrar and submitted to the gaining one prior to approving with the latter. more

The DNSSEC “Onus of Reality Check” Shifted to gTLD Administrations by ICANN

Last month, there was an exchange of letters between a gTLD administration and ICANN about DNSSEC deployment. This gTLD administration is PIR or Public Interest Registry, the gTLD administration for the .org TLD. Interestingly, PIR is a non-profit organization that makes significant contributions to ISOC (Internet Society) initiatives: thus, both ICANN and PIR are organizations dedicated to the well-being of the Internet. more

Verisign Receives Subpoena Relating to Stock Option Backdating

VeriSign has reported that they are cooperating with a grand jury subpoena and a SEC inquiry into their historical stock option grants. More can be found here. Backdating of options is essentially a fraud against existing shareholders, as noted in the press or simply searching Google for "backdating fraud". Under the existing 2001 .com Registry Agreement, section 16.C would allow for termination of the agreement by ICANN in the event that VeriSign "is convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of a felony or other serious offense related to financial activities... more

DNSSEC Deployment at the Root

The DNSSEC is a security protocol for providing cryptographic assurance (i.e. using the public key cryptography digital signature technology) to the data retrieved from the DNS distributed database (RFC4033). DNSSEC deployment at the root is said to be subject to politics, but there is seldom detailed discussion about this "DNS root signing" politics. Actually, DNSSEC deployment requires more than signing the DNS root zone data; it also involves secure delegations from the root to the TLDs, and DNSSEC deployment by TLD administrations (I omit other participants involvement as my focus is policy around the DNS root). There is a dose of naivety in the idea of detailing the political aspects of the DNS root, but I volunteer! My perspective is an interested observer. more

Why Don’t GAC Representatives Follow Their Own National Law?

A few weeks ago ICANN's domain name policy making organ (the GNSO) decided that the purpose of Whois was domain name coordination and not compulsory surveillance of domain name registrants. The US and Australian governments expressed their opposition. The US government's lack of concern for privacy is well known. But what about Australia? The Australian ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) representative, Ashley Cross, tried to use his authority as "a government" to intimidate the GNSO, sending it a message announcing that "Australia" supports a broader definition of Whois purpose that gives ICANN a blank check... What does "Australia" really support, however? more