2014-12-15

ALAC Call for Freeze on New gTLDs, Safeguards, Public Interest, All Disregarded by ICANN

More chaos, confusion and dysfunction at ICANN over new gTLDs (new generic top-level domains) and ICANN's disregard of the public interest and the public safety of the global internet community--

Letter dated December 9, 2014, from the ICANN Business Constituency to Fadi Chehadé, CEO, ICANN, Dr. Stephen Crocker, Chair, ICANN Board of Directors (pdf):

"The Business Constituency (BC) supports the ALAC’s call for a freeze on contracting and
delegation of any new gTLD in highly-regulated sectors that have failed to implement GAC safeguards... The strings at issue here include:

Health and Fitness: .pharmacy .surgery .dentist .dds .hospital .medical .doctor
Financial: .bank .banque .creditunion .creditcard .insurance .ira .lifeinsurance .mutualfunds .mutuelle .vermogensberater .vesicherung .autoinsurance .carinsurance
Gambling: .bet .bingo .lotto .poker .spreadbetting .casino
Charity: .charity (and IDN Chinese equivalent)
Education: university 

....
In May-2014, the BC expressed concern that the safeguards adopted to date for strings associated with regulated industries and professions was falling short, and that such strings remain susceptible to fraud and abuse by potential registrants who wish enrich themselves at the expense of the general public. GAC and NTIA had raised concerns regarding NGPC’s proposed implementation of Category 1 safeguards. It was therefore unclear how PICs could provide effective safeguards, given a registry’s ability to amend or revoke its PICs [Public Interest Commitments] and the lengthy, expensive, and adversarial process required to enforce PICs by the limited class of parties able to bring enforcement actions.

Nevertheless, during 2014 ICANN has continued to sign registry contracts with applicants for 
Category 1 strings, without requiring safeguards in registry PICs. That led the ALAC to request a freeze at the ICANN51 Public Forum. The ALAC resolution calls for freezing the 28 highly-sensitive, regulated Category 1 strings until a joint ALAC-GAC working group can determine that appropriate safeguards are indeed in place to protect the public interest. In response, the ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) voted on 7-Nov-2014 to disregard the ALAC Statement on Public Interest Commitments, including the ALAC request for a freeze....

The BC remains concerned that safeguards adopted for strings associated with regulated
industries and professions may fall short and that such strings remain susceptible to fraud and
abuse by potential registrants who wish enrich themselves at the expense of the general public.

Unless ICANN’s board and management respond appropriately, the continued delegation of new
gTLDs serving highly-regulated sectors will demonstrate ICANN’s lack of accountability to
consumers and to consumer protection authorities around the globe
. Lack of action by ICANN’s board on this matter will likely be cited as evidence to justify new independent review mechanisms to allow the Internet community to challenge decisions of ICANN board and management. The BC would be among those citing this case as justification for stronger accountability mechanisms for ICANN...." (emphasis added, read full letter at link above)


Also see: Letter dated December 9, 2014, from Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to Dr. Stephen Crocker, Chair, ICANN Board Of Directors (pdf)--excerpt:

".... We also remain concerned with the NGPC’s elimination of the requirement to consult with
relevant authorities (regulatory and quasi-regulatory bodies where applicable) in case of doubt
about the authenticity of credentials, and the requirement to conduct periodic post-registration
checks to ensure that Registrants’ continue to possess valid credentials and generally conduct
their activities in the interests of the consumers they serve. The GAC advised these procedures
to protect the public from falling prey to scammers and other criminals...." (emphasis added)

And the Obama Administration wants to surrender the US Department of Commerce (NTIA) contract and all oversight of ICANN--the scammers and other cybercriminals must be smiling! Of course when it comes to the new gTLDs program, ICANN was never interested in the public interest--it's all about the money--that's why we now have over 1000 new gTLDs being irresponsibly flooded into the domain name system (DNS).

see also: ICANN Seeking Panel Members for New gTLD Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution

UPDATE: Preliminary Report | Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee 11 Dec 2014: "... After discussion, the sense of the Committee was that it was not supportive of halting the contracting and delegating process for the strings identified in the ALAC Statement, but the Committee decided to engage as soon as possible with the ALAC to better understand their concerns about the PICs, and to discuss a path forward. The Committee decided to prepare a response to the ALAC to provide the rationale for its decision, and to take steps to begin a dialogue with the ALAC. Also, the Committee agreed to take steps to initiate a dialogue with the GAC to discuss its concerns with the PICs...."

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