2014-03-25

ICANN, Internet Governance, The Most Important Domainer Question

Mike Berkens @thedomains has asked the right, and most important, question for most domain name owners and investors going forward --

ICANN: Important Corrections To Inaccuracies and Misconceptions Regarding U.S. Announcement | TheDomains.com: "My issue is the .com/.net contract that is up in 2018. What happens with that? As we know under the the last Verisign contract it was the US Department of Commerce that stepped up at the last moment to stop the 4 out of 6 year rate increases of 7%. Who would overlook that contract in the new ICANN?"

.com - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "...The domain name com is a top-level domain (TLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. Its name is derived from the word commercial,[1]indicating its original intended purpose for domains registered by commercial organizations. However, eventually the distinction was lost when .com, .org and .net were opened for unrestricted registration. The domain was originally administered by the United States Department of Defense, but is today operated by Verisign, and remains under ultimate jurisdiction of U.S. law.[2][3][4]..."

I really do not care what happens to ICANN since they have proven to be a poor steward of the internet domain name ecosystem, irresponsible, unaccountable, beholden to special interests and insiders, and very hostile to domain name owners and investors -- enabling and authorizing domain name "theft" a/k/a abusive UDRPs, irresponsibly flooding the market with dot whatevers, etc., but I do care about dot com. Whatever happens going forward, dot com MUST remain under the ultimate jurisdiction of US law, and the registry contract MUST continue to be approved by the US government (US Department of Commerce).

The Bottom Line: in light of the NSA abuses (ignore official denials, the Snowden revelations led to the NTIA announcement), and resulting damage to trust in the US government, US technology, and US tech companies, the world no longer trusts the US Department of Commerce to continue its benign stewardship role over the internet. ICANN has been maneuvering since last year to cut out the US government entirely and grab all of the power of control for itself alone--see: http://www.circleid.com/posts/20140221_icanns_uncertain_state_2014/ 

ICANN must be, and I believe will be, stopped in its attempted power grab. Thankfully, very capable people are already aware and have been talking openly about this at the ICANN meeting now in progress in Singapore (read transcript of March 21 meeting). I expect more will be said, discussed, and proposed at NETmundial in Brazil next month.  I do not know if ICANN will even be around a couple of years from now, and I certainly do not know who or what organizations will govern the internet. At this point, the only thing I care about is what happens to dot com -- that US legal jurisdiction and US government registry contract approval continue. Everything else is secondary. 

And as for the dot whatevers a/k/a the new gTLDs? For all I care, they can go to hell (most of them are already headed there anyway, or at least some kind of permanent purgatory) -- or give them to North Korea -- I hear Kim Jong-un loves to eat donuts, and who knows, even Frank (perhaps with Dennis Rodman's help) might be able to sell him a dot tattoo too! LOL!





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