2014-10-28

Independent ICANN Could Be Dangerous, Needs Continued Oversight, Says Former FTC Chairman

Daniel Burke, a special agent in the FDA’s cybercrime investigations unit, complains that ICANN “closes complaints, and they don’t say why, and the websites are still operating. It’s really quite frustrating.”....“This website killed my dad,” the man’s daughter wrote. Law-enforcement officials told ICANN that the website posed an immediate health risk. Less than 15 minutes later, ICANN responded in an email that the organization had “reviewed and closed your complaint.” (source infra)

A lengthy article in the Wall Street Journal over the failure of ICANN to properly supervise Domain Name Registries, Registrars, and Registrants, in connection with cybercrime, specifically, illegal drug sales, indicates a growing frustration with ICANN even among some current and former US government officials--

ICANN, Regulators Clash Over Illegal Internet Drug Sales - WSJ - WSJ: "... [ICANN] is under growing criticism that it doesn’t use its watchdog powers aggressively enough. Internal documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show that thousands of complaints about suspicious online pharmacies and other websites in 2012 weren’t reviewed for months because ICANN stopped maintaining one of its computer systems after an information-technology employee left... Axelle Lemaire, France’s secretary of state for digital affairs, says the “lack of transparency” at ICANN “is very worrying. When it comes to selling illegal drugs online, it’s the health of world-wide citizens at stake."... The friction comes at an awkward time for ICANN. In March, the Commerce Department said it would relinquish oversight of ICANN. The move was widely seen as a response to international concern about U.S. control over the Internet’s structure. The Obama administration has said it wants to hand control to an undefined, international, “multi-stakeholder” body. Top officials at ICANN say the organization deserves a chance to operate on its own. Former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz says ICANN needs continued oversight, partly because of its small compliance staff. Just 22 of the agency’s 300 employees are devoted to policing websites. An independent ICANN could be “dangerous for stakeholders, and more importantly, consumers,” says Mr. Leibowitz..." (read more at the link above, emphasis added)

See also: Multi-Stakeholder Community Losing Faith In ICANN, Beginning of the End?
and
Cybercrime, Rogue Registrars: Is ICANN Unfit For Internet Governance? (expvc.com)
and
Most New gTLD Domain Names Are On Life-Support, Infecting Other gTLDs: "... the Obama administration wants to turn EVERYTHING over to ICANN to run with no oversight at all--ideas this bad can only come from Washington, D.C..."




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