25 September 2016

News Review: BIG Winners of the Week ICANN and TRUMP

Shining A Light: © DomainMondo.com Domain Mondo's weekly review of the news, analysis, and look ahead [pdf]: 

Feature • BIG Winners of the Week ICANN and TRUMP:

•  ICANN got what it wanted: Spending bill doesn't include Cruz internet fight | TheHill.com.

•  TRUMP got what he wanted: Ted Cruz backs his former bitter rival Donald Trump, saying Hillary Clinton must be defeated | LATimes.com.

For ICANN that means there are only 5 working days left before the IANA transition is complete, effective October 1, 2016. I predicted last week that stopping the IANA transition was unlikely, and unless Democrats re-open negotiations in these final days and trade it away, it looks like a done deal.

For TRUMP that means he got a major endorsement and campaign boost on the eve of the first Presidential debate scheduled for Monday, September 26, 9:00-10:30 PM EDT, at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY. As reported elsewhere, the Trump-Clinton debate is expected to shatter records--the first debate between President Obama and Governor Romney saw TV viewership of 67 million, and the first 2008 debate between then-candidate Obama and Senator McCain pulled in 52.4 million viewers--but Monday night's debate is expected to bring in 100 million viewers (Super Bowl 50 had 112 million TV viewers). The debate has the potential to shape not just political opinions but even investor psychology.

Most political observers agree that in this first debate, Hillary has the most to lose while upstart Trump has the most  to gain: Nervous Democrats Fret About Clinton’s Stumbles as Race Tightens | Bloomberg.com"Hillary's been her own worst enemy ... People think she's dishonest."  The debate will be six time segments of about 15 minutes each on topics selected by the moderator Lester Holt: America's Direction; Achieving Prosperity; and Securing America. The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

This debate may also set a record for internet viewership. Watch free online via Twitter.com, Facebook.com, Bloomberg.com or abcnews.go.com/Live. See also Trump shatters GOP records with small donors| POLITICO.com: Inside the GOP, Trump is being called the Republican Obama. Trump has been actively soliciting cash for only a few months, but his campaign’s financials show he has already crushed the total haul from small-dollar donors to the past two Republican nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, during the "entirety of their campaigns" and not only does 20 percent of the money go to the RNC but the RNC will end 2016 with access to a far larger email and donor file than ever before in its history.

And BTW: Be skeptical of the pollsters (remember how most Brexit polls were wrong)--We Gave Four Good Pollsters the Same Raw Data. They Had Four Different Results | NYTimes.com"...in truth, the “margin of sampling error” – basically, the chance that polling different people would have produced a different result – doesn't even come close to capturing the potential for error in surveys. Polling results rely as much on the judgments [biases] of pollsters as on the science of survey methodology. Two good pollsters, both looking at the same underlying data, could come up with two very different resultsHow soBecause pollsters make a series of decisions when designing their survey, from determining likely voters to adjusting their respondents to match the demographics of the electorate. These decisions are hard. They usually take place behind the scenes, and they can make a huge difference ..."  Exactly, which is another reason these ICANN surveys are also a joke (and that's putting it nicely) as I wrote last week. For a good drill down on ICANN's latest survey and its questionable results, read this DomainIncite.com post.

Other ICANN, Internet Governance, and Domain Name News:

•  If You Build A Censorship Machine, They Will Come | Electronic Frontier Foundation | eff.org"Power, once again, creates temptation. This year, MPAA made agreements with two domain name registriesDonuts and Radix, which control new top-level internet domains such as .movie, .online, and .site. Both registries agreed to receive accusations from MPAA that particular websites are engaged in copyright infringement, and to consider taking away those websites’ domain names. MPAA, along with other representatives of major entertainment companies, has also been pushing ICANN, the group that oversees the domain name system, to mandate this new copyright enforcement regime worldwide. There are many problems with this initiative, which we’ll be exploring in the coming weeks. But one lesson that MPAA should have learned this year is that once one special interest obtains power to block the channels of communication, others will come knocking."  Note: EFF is referring to the same arrangement which incompetent ICANN leadership, including its inept former President & CEO Fadi Chehadé, have encouraged--see this tweet dated February 9, 2016, which is actually from Chehadé, not current CEO Marby. Maybe Ted Cruz is right after all. 

•  Cops are raiding the homes of innocent people based only on IP addresses | Fusion.net: "IP addresses can be incredibly useful for a police investigation, but they can also lead cops astray. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants police officers and judges to be more careful in how they use IP addresses, thinking of them as helpful clues rather than a smoking gun. “Police too often take IP address information to mean that a person associated with an address is the party who committed a crime,” write EFF lawyer Aaron Mackey, technologist Seth Schoen, and Executive Director Cindy Cohn in a white paper aimed at courts and cops." Read the EFF article and white paper to find out how sloppy law enforcement combined with judicial and prosecutorial ignorance can lead to disastrous results.

•  Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) .COM Registry Agreement extended by ICANN to November 30, 2024. See UPDATE at Comment to ICANN on Proposed Amendment to .COM Registry Agreement.

•  .WEB UPDATE: 9 September 2016 Letter from Scott Hemphill (Afilias) to Akram Atallah (ICANN) (pdf), which was not published by ICANN until 20 September 2016, reads like a preparatory "notice to sue" letter from .WEB applicant Afilias VP & General Counsel, Scott Hemphill, to ICANN's Global Domains Division (GDD) President, Akram Atallah. BIG difference from the first Afilias letter of August 8, is the additional cc: to Arif Hyder Ali, Dechert LLP, indicating Afilias has now retained outside counsel. As I noted in Domain Mondo's News Review [21Aug]: 
"Of the 18 Independent Review Process (IRP) proceedings brought to date to hold ICANN accountable for its actions, only three claimants have succeeded: ICM Registry (.XXX), DCA Trust (.AFRICA), and Dot Registry (.LLC, .INC and .LLP). All three were represented by Dechert LLP (dechert.com) lawyers." 
It would not surprise me if this latest Afilias letter was in fact prepared by Dechert LLP. However, what is completely lacking in the allegations of Afilias, as well as the claims of Ruby Glen LLC (see below), is that the "the specific terms of the agreement between Verisign and NDC [Nu Dot Co LLC] have not been disclosed" which Afilias concedes in its latest letter. The agreement between Verisign and NDC is proprietary information which, without a subpoena or Court order, may never be voluntarily disclosed but may be a completely proper arrangement as I discussed here. ICANN GDD President Akram Atallah, a crony of former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé, has not answered nor responded to either the Afilias letter of August 8, nor the letter of September 9, so any conclusions thus far are purely speculative. For example, the fact that .WEB winning bidder Nu Dot Co LLC has not yet written (as far as we know) a demand letter to ICANN, while Afilias has now written a second letter after its first letter went unanswered, could indicate Afilias senses it has lost or is about to lose "the battle" for .WEB within ICANN, or it may merely reflect Dechert LLP's desire to revise and expand the earlier letter from Afilias. For more see Afilias Challenges New gTLD WEB Auction Results in Letter to ICANN.

• ICANN Litigation UPDATE: 1) ICANN response to Ruby Glen LLC's Amended Complaint now due by Wednesday, October 26. Ruby Glen LLC, an affiliate of Donuts, is another losing bidder for .WEB (see Afilias above); 2) Appellants' Petition for Rehearing En Banc DENIED by Court of Appeals in Weinstein vs Iran. For more: ICANN Litigation, Cooperative Engagement, and IRP Status Update.

•  Dot Registry UPDATE (new gTLDs .INC, .LLC, .LLP): Approved Board Resolution | September 15, 2016, Meeting of the ICANN Board"Resolved (2016.09.15.15), the Board directs the Board Governance Committee to re-evaluate Dot Registry's Reconsideration Requests 14-30, 14-32 and 14-33 in light of the Panel majority's Final Declaration in the Dot Registry IRP and the issues it identified with respect to the BGC's actions in evaluating these Reconsideration Requests."

•  Internet Sovereignty? South Korea has no formalized stance amid the changing internet world order says BusinessKorea.co.kr"China and India support the idea of a private multilateral organization managing the Internet, while they insist that the Internet order needs the government-led management at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) level."

•  Why the silencing of KrebsOnSecurity.com opens a troubling chapter for the ‘Net | ArsTechnica.com: "“Free speech in the age of the Internet is not really free,” journalist warns ... The growing supply of IoT malware is creating a tipping point in the denial-of-service domain that's giving relatively unsophisticated actors capabilities that were once reserved only for the most elite of attackers ... that, in turn, represents a threat to the Internet as we know it. "The biggest threats as far as I'm concerned in terms of censorship come from these ginormous weapons these guys are building," Krebs said. "The idea that tools that used to be exclusively in the hands of nation states are now in the hands of individual actors ...""

•  Welcome to the Dark Net, a Wilderness Where Invisible World Wars Are Fought and Hackers Roam Free| VanityFair.com: Master hacker turned security expert, William Langewiesche chronicles the rise of the Dark Netwhere weapons, drugs, and information are bought, sold, and hacked—and learns how high the stakes have really become.

•  Who's Trying to Take Down the Internet? "Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet ... precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don't know who is doing this, but it feels like a large a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses ..."--Bruce Schneier, Schneier.com

No comments close this coming week at ICANN.

•  ICANN Quarterly Stakeholder Report | ICANN.org:  ICANN has announced its FY17 Q1 Stakeholder Call will take place on 18 October at 0300 UTC / 17 October 2000 PST. The call will focus on how ICANN has implemented community policy for the Quarter ending 30 September 2016 as well as provide an APAC update. To register for the call and to receive joining instructions, go the link above.


Tech News:
  1. New Rules For Raising Venture Capital | Forbes.com.
  2. Twitter (NYSE: TWTR | twitter.com) in play?--CNBC.com
  3. Amazon Says It Puts Customers First. But Its Pricing Algorithm Doesn’t. | ProPublica.org: Amazon's "algorithm is hiding the best deal from many customers."
  4. T-Mobile.com is not only the fastest 4G LTE network in the U.S. according to OpenSignal, Ookla and the FCC, the Uncarrier is getting 5G speeds of 12 gigabits per second or more than three times as fast as the Verizon 5G trials last February.
  5. October 4th, 9 am PDT: Google hardware event showcasing new Pixel smartphone streamed LIVE via YouTube. Meanwhile its holding company Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), is sucking away Google's profits--see SeekingAlpha.com"what they are spending money on isn’t successful"--and ABC.xyz may have Indonesia tax problems--Reuters.com.
  6. Comcast mobile phone service (MVNO via Verizon) to launch in 2017, with a Wi-Fi hotspots service similar to Google Fi (fi.google.com)--WSJ.com.
  7. Rents too expensive for your tech start-up? The solution, whether in London, New York, San Francisco, or elsewhere, may be "co-working spaces" says CNBC.com.
  8. Most popular color on the internet? Blue--WIRED.com

Macro view:
  1. The Fed punked out yet again: Divided Fed Holds Fire, Signals 2016 Rate Increase Still Likely | Bloomberg.comMaybe AFTER the election, but it may be too late anyway, the Fed once again mismanaged monetary policy and interest rates, keeping rates too low for far too long (8 years of ZIRP), and now apparently is trapped.
  2. Lower Your Expectations: The John Bogle Expected Return Formula: "Future Market Returns = Dividend Yield + Earnings Growth +/- Change in P/E Ratio"--this formula currently gives him an estimate of stock market returns in the 4-6% range, well below the long-term average that falls in the 8-10% range.--aWealthOfCommonSense.com
  3. China Containerized Freight Index remains near record low--Why Hanjin’s Zombie Collapse Won’t Be the Last One | WolfStreet.com.
  4. U.S. Services Industries Expand at Weakest Pace in Six Years"The figure is lower than the most pessimistic projection in a Bloomberg survey" --the U.S. Might Not Dodge a Recession says Deutsche Bank:  "... there's a 30 percent probability that the U.S. will succumb to a recession over the next 12 months. That compares pessimistically with the 20 percent that is the average expectations of analysts surveyed"--Bloomberg.com.

Four most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this week on DomainMondo.com:
  1. News Review [18 Sep]: After Cruz Attack, What Now For ICANN & IANA Transition?
  2. Women Techmakers Mountain View Summit 2016 (video)
  3. Smartphone Industry Disrupted by BLU: Life One X2 First Look (video)
  4. Smartphone Apps Are Now 50% of All US Digital Media Time Spent

4 Other Reading Recommendations:
  1. 3 Lessons From Warren Buffett's Bet Against Hedge Funds that, for the ensuing decade, the S&P 500 would outdo a pool of five hedge fund of funds: 1) costs matter; 2) time periods matter; and 3) taxes matter.--Morningstar.com
  2.  How the EU's Leaders Should Think About Brexit | Bloomberg.com Editorial"... In the long term, crippling London's ability to provide services to the EU in order to encourage the growth of new financial centers in Europe would be a gamble; in the short term, like any other kind of import barrier, it would harm the European businesses and consumers that buy those services. EU leaders should ask themselves: If barriers like that make sense, what was the point of the single market in the first place?"
  3. Giant problemThe entrenchment of a group of superstar companies at the heart of the global economy ... they have two big faults. They are squashing competition, and they are using the darker arts of management to stay ahead. Neither is easy to solve. But failing to do so risks a backlash which will be bad for everyone."--Economist.com
  4. "Happiness may not be about how much overall wealth you have, but how much cash you have on hand."--The More Cash People Have, the Happier They Are | WSJ.com.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo


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