2016-05-22

News Review: ICANN, IANA Transition, Capitol Hill Reality Check

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Domain Mondo's review of the past week and look ahead [pdf here]:

In the IANA stewardship transition:

May 16, 2016: "... NTIA received the stewardship transition proposal on March 10 and has set a target of 90 days to complete its review ... The ICANN Board is expected to vote on whether these draft Bylaws adequately represent the recommendations of the proposal on or around May 27. In addition, ICANN has stated that in the event of NTIA’s approval of the stewardship transition proposal, ICANN would produce an implementation report by August 15, certifying that it is prepared for contract expiry on September 30, 2016. NTIA maintains the flexibility to extend its contract with ICANN if necessary. NTIA recognizes that Congress has a strong interest in this proposal, and we expect Congress to closely monitor and review the proposal, as well as our evaluation of the plan. NTIA will continue to provide timely updates to Congress in addition to quarterly written reports ..." - Sixth Quarterly Report on the IANA Transition (pdf) from NTIA (emphasis added).

May 18, 2016: "U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, has announced a full committee hearing titled “Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority” on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. ET in the Senate Russell Building 253, Washington, D.C." Read more here.

Section of the U.S. House Appropriations bill barring use of funds for IANA transition (pdf) (highlighting added)
May 18, 2016:  "A House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday advanced a funding bill for Commerce, Justice and Science that included a provision barring the government from using funds to make the [IANA] transition through 2017 [see graphic above] ... On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) appears to be circulating a letter to colleagues pressing the head of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) to delay the handoff amid concerns." --TheHill.com (emphasis added)

• May 19, 2016: "... we respectfully request that you extend NTIA's IANA functions contract with ICANN." Letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and NTIA's Larry Strickling from U.S. Senators Cruz, Lankford and Lee (read more here) (emphasis added).

May 19, 2016: Former ICANN staff member, Kieren McCarthy, writing in theregister.co.uk:
"... the concern over whether the reforms to ICANN will prove sufficient are all too real. ICANN has been through no less than eight reviews into its lack of accountability and transparency in the past decade ... in every case, the same corporate culture has managed to re-impose itself and undermine the very changes that were designed to cause a turnaround in its behavior. If Marco Rubio is asking for a delay until this latest set of reforms can be seen to be working, he's not acting irrationally, he's simply noting history."
* * * * * * *
ICANN's Interlocutory Appeal of .AFRICA Preliminary Injunction
•  New gTLD .AFRICA: In the DotConnectAfrica Trust case (see above graphic), ICANN has filed an unopposed motion (pdf) for extension of time through June 29, 2016, to file its appellant's brief in view of the June 6th hearing in U.S. District Court on co-defendant ZACR's "motion to reconsider the preliminary injunction order from which this appeal is taken." More on .AFRICA.

•  More from ICANN FY15 Form 990: In FY15 (ending June 30, 2015) ICANN contributed over $200,000 to the World Economic Forum (WEF).  ICANN's President & CEO at that time, Fadi Chehade, is now senior advisor to the Executive Chairman of WEF (hat tip: @EyeOnICANN).

•  Comments close this coming week at ICANN on only one issue: Proposal for Khmer Script Root Zone‬ Label Generation Rules (LGR) - comments close 28 May 2016 23:59 UTC.

•  ICANN finally "Enhancing Openness and Transparency – Board Deliberations" and it only took 18 years! See also The ICANN Chairman's Blog: An Update From the May 2016 Board Workshop in Amsterdam. It's a start but every ICANN Board meeting should be open to observers via Adobe Connect (except executive sessions to discuss confidential matters such as personnel, litigation, etc.).

•  More of ICANN's 'shady' new gTLDs anyone?--Paul Vixie on the glibc bug, Internet crime and more | techtarget.com: "... [the internet] has, unfortunately, also put the world's wealth more at risk to criminals than it has ever been in the history of humanity." See also SEC warns cybersecurity is biggest threat to financial system | theregister.co.uk and The Internet Is Broken - MIT Technology Review | technologyreview.com.

•  A Culture of Hype and Spin - Silicon Valley is becoming like ICANN"I get lied to by entrepreneurs every day," says Bob Kocher, a venture capitalist who specializes in health IT ... "If you sell me a dreamyou’ll have to be stuck with this upset crazy person who doesn’t trust you for a decade," says Kocher. But far more concerning is when startups begin to believe their own hype and start making short-cuts to ramp up faster than the market typically allows ... We’re likely to see many more examples of companies like Theranos and Zenefits unless the startup world makes a big shift to a whole lot more honesty, transparency ...  Inside Silicon Valley's Culture of Spin | Fast Company.com.

•  This week in tech
  • The BIG news out of Google I/O 2016Google Home. Remember when Google used to copy Apple? Well, "Amazon is the new Apple" --My Echo | Lefsetz.com"Google Home not avail until later this yr. Meanwhile, Echo continues to add features & connect w/products. Is Amazon's head start too big?" asks @KatieBoehret; The BEST news was Google adding Android apps and Play Store to Chrome OS (Chromebooks).
  • FinTech Disaster--in spite of all the right "connections" and "funding"-- How Wall Street Led LendingClub.com Into Crisis | Bloomberg.com"“Many people expected the wheels to come off at some point,” said Robert Wardrop, executive director of the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, which studies funding systems that don’t depend on regulated banks and capital markets. “The big surprise, clearly, was that this was an event that happened at a top performer.”"
•  Q1 2016 Earnings Season postscript"... In Q1, according to FactSet.com, the companies in the DJIA that “adjusted” their earnings inflated them on average by 28.9% over their earnings under GAAP ... we doubt that the media and Wall Street analysts will “self-correct.” They’re the main perpetrators in the propagation of these fairy tales. If they’d wanted to, they could have stopped long ago featuring these fairy tales in their headlines and reports, but no way, that might have tripped up stock prices ..." - WolfStreet.com

•  Five most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this week on DomainMondo.com:
 Other Reading Recommendations (some with a tease of content or my commentary):
  1. Now Available Globally: Fast.com, a New Tool to Check Your Internet Speed | netflix.com: go to fast.com on any device and check your internet connection speed wherever you are.
  2. GoDaddy to buy FreedomVoice for up to $47M | SeekingAlpha.com (Tucows & Ting)
  3. Yahoo's Fire Sale - Deal Could Still Derail | SeekingAlpha.com"The core business is failing, the company's stake in Alibaba can be questioned ... and like everything else under her regime, we don't expect a shareholder friendly deal to get done with [Marissa] Mayer involved."
  4. Now you can embed Reddit posts on other websites | TechCrunch.com"If you’re an online writer or publisher, that means you can start including live Reddit content in your stories. If you’re a reader, that means you might start to see more Reddit posts on other sites, the same way you can see embedded tweets and YouTube videos."
  5. Stop Faxing | JDSupra.com"... In addition to the many reasons faxes are antiquated and annoying, the SEC has just provided us another reason to avoid them: they encourage violations of Reg. S-P ..."
  6. Do You Love Music? Silicon Valley Doesn’t | NYTimes.com"YouTube, which is owned by Google, is now the world’s dominant audio streaming platform, dwarfing Spotify and virtually every other service." Actually, the best music service right now, based solely on my own personal experience, is Amazon.com Prime Music.
  7. Russia Frets about Risk of “Recession” in China | WolfStreet.com"... a slowdown in China from super-hot growth to just-hot growth, which is the official story coming out of China ... risk of an actual contraction, the risk of a recession, which would slam China’s demand for oil and other commodities. And that sort of economic development would not only send shock waves through Russia but the global economy ... There are already repercussions ... Money from Chinese investors “has dried up,” a real-estate broker in San Francisco said ..."
  8. Election 2016 UPDATE: Trump Now Leads Clinton by 5 - RasmussenReports.com"Trump earns 42% support to Clinton’s 37% when 'Likely U.S. Voters' are asked whom they would vote for if the presidential election were held today. But Rasmussen Reports’ latest national telephone survey finds that 13% prefer some other candidate, while seven percent (7%) are undecided." Gender gap? "Clinton appears to have a bigger problem with men than Trump does with women. Trump leads by 22 points among men, compared to Clinton’s 11-point advantage among women." Watch out for Bernie: see How Bernie Sanders WILL Win the Democratic Nomination and Sanders delegates brace for Philadelphia convention fight (Hat tip: @UnderMyPalm | Election2016).
Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo




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