2014-10-08

Reform ICANN? France or the EU May Be Our Only Hope (video)

If you are happy with ICANN as it is and currently headed--for example, you are a high-stakes stakeholder with vested interests (i.e., a member of the Domain Name Industry--registrar, registry, service provider, etc.), and enjoy having a stacked Board and ICANN organizational structure of "stakeholder groups" which favor, protect, and advance your interests over the wider public interest, and you really like the fact that domain name registrants and governments are excluded from equal voice, representation, and participation in ICANN (as compared to the Domain Name Industry which has largely captured ICANN), and, for example, you believe it is perfectly fine for a new gTLD registry to charge $30,000 per year (or any amount it wishes!) for renewal of the registration of just one domain name, and that there should be no government oversight of ICANN or the registry operators who "own" the gTLDs (generic top-level domains), or what they can arbitrarily and capriciously charge their captive consumers--the domain name registrants--and that domain name registrants should have very few, if any, rights or protections against abusive registrars and registries, then this post is not for you--go celebrate the roll-out of ICANN's new gTLDs auctioned off to the highest-bidders! [Note: GTLD Auctions - ICANNWikiAll proceeds from new gTLDs auctioned off under ICANN's auction model will go to ICANN as "excess funds" that will be redistributed at a later date, in ways that are yet to be determined.--follow the money!]

However, if you are on the outside--e.g., a domain name registrant, a government representative (other than the U.S. government), or a user of the Internet who believes in Internet freedom-- and dislike the idea of selling off the Internet wholesale to commercial interests to be exploited (financially and otherwise) at their sole whim--thereby putting control of who has access to the Internet DNS within the hands of private, unaccountable interests--or if the fact that the global internet DNS, including root zone, is controlled by a corporation formed at the instance of the U.S. government, incorporated under California state law, with no membership, and accountable only to its own self-selected Board of Directors, does not seem right nor consistent with the idea of an open and free internet, with full transparency and accountability, then this post may be of interest to you.

Axelle Lemaire prepares her proposals for the reform of ICANN: [translated from the original French] "[France's] Secretary of State Digital, Axelle Lemaire, wants the European Union to strengthen its role in Internet governance, she recently reaffirmed, and is preparing for action. In December, 2015, [pdf] a meeting organized by the General Assembly of the United Nations will launch a crucial phase in the evolution of Internet governance. Currently, everything is controlled by ICANN, a company incorporated under California law (for nonprofit corporations).... Like others, the Secretary of State Digital Axelle Lemaire wants Internet governance to be more equitable and that Europe contribute more meaningfully and effectively in the management of the Internet. Europe must "quickly formulate concrete proposals" according to a statement sent after the informal meeting of ministers responsible for electronic communications that took place in Milan on October 3. The statement talks of "multi-stakeholder governance, open, truly inclusive, transparent and respectful of human rights and the role of government." The implication is that this does not exist today. Axelle Lemaire wants the Italian Presidency of the European Union to propose concrete measures. Questioned in July on the subject, Axelle Lemaire said then (video below) that she wants reform "of the appointment of members of the Board, the decision process (...) and the consensus rule."... she is well aware of the many obstacles that will stand in the long road to reform ICANN ..."


Trois questions à Axelle Lemaire sur l'ICANN - Three questions for Axelle Lemaire about ICANN
(sorry--in French only--no English subtitles/captioning available)

Vive la France !




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