2017-04-02

News Review | Global Public Interest: Why ICANN Will Always Be A #FAIL

News Review | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly review of internet domain news:

Features • 1) Global Public Interest: Why ICANN Will Always Be A #FAIL, 2) ICANN news, 3) Names, Domains & Trademarks, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Q1 2017 Earnings Season, 6) Most Popular.

1) Global Public Interest: Why ICANN Will Always Be A #FAIL
“ICANN is obligated to manage gTLDs in the interests of registrants and to protect the public interest in competition. ICANN appears to have assumed that the introduction of new gTLDs necessarily will enhance competition and promote choice and innovation, without offering any evidence to support that assumption.”U.S.Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, December 3, 2008 (pdf). (Read the entire letter!)
Most people will agree, or acknowledge, that ICANN does not manage gTLDs 'in the interests of domain name registrants'--
"We are not running out of domains. This [new gTLDs] is a “way for registries and registrars to make money.”--Esther Dyson, founding Chair of ICANN, July 21, 2011
"... At least the USG (US government) offers some accountability. ICANN's primary active stakeholders are businesses making money off the DNS; most users are too busy elsewhere to pay much attention..."--Esther Dyson, ICANN's founding Chair, Sept 22, 2015. 
Dyson also says she “lost any faith, over time,” in ICANN’s ability to regulate the domain-name business."--ICANN's Boondoggle | MIT Technology Review, August 21, 2012. And Dyson is not alone:
"The public at large, consumers and businesses, would be better served by no expansion or less expansion' of domains"--Jon Leibowitz, former FTC Chair, New York Times, August 17, 2013.
Tim Berners-Lee: "....when a decision is taken about a possible new top-level domain, ICANN's job is to work out, in a transparent and accountable manner, whether it is really in the best interest of the world as a whole, not just of those launching the new domain. It also means that ICANN's use of the funds should be spent in a beneficent way...."
"I really can’t see a legitimate upside where new benefits [of the new gTLDS] outweigh costs, and everyone I mention this to feels the same way. People just shake their heads. It’s all about the money. They [ICANN] are creating these extensions because they can."--University of Pennsylvania Wharton School marketing professor Peter Fader, in Knowledge@Wharton, May 21, 2014 (emphasis added).
After reading the above, anyone should be able to understand why ICANN actually operates counter to the global public interest in managing gTLDs (generic top-level domains) and why the global internet community (including most domain name registrants worldwide), would be better served if ICANN was replaced, or the management of gTLDs was assigned to a new or existing global agency not dominated and controlled by registry operators, registrars, and a "gaggle of special interest lawyers and lobbyists," as ICANN is now, and under its current structure, always will be.

Examples abound of the bad consequences of allowing ICANN to have global authority and so disregard the global public interest:
"In most industries, businesses that blatantly act against the interests of their customers to favor their own internal profit centers would either not be allowed or else subject to controls and oversight by the government. It is universally regarded as an unfair and deceptive business practice. In the domain name registrar business, however, the normal practices of legitimate business dealings and customer protection seem woefully wanting ... Kelly's Case described here illustrates the point ... the FTC itself — concerned about the potential increase in registrar deceptive practices and fraud — has repeatedly asked ICANN "to take additional steps to protect consumers"..."--Anthony Rutkowski, Mar 26, 2017, circleid.com.
But asking ICANN to act in the global public interest and protect consumers is akin to asking the impossible. By its very nature and structure, ICANN is complicit in the fraud, deception, and unfair business practices rampant in the global domain names marketplace, and now exacerbated by ICANN's new gTLDs. ICANN manages gTLDs in the interests of gTLD registry operators and gTLD registrars who control ICANN's policy-making GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization). Most domain name registrants are excluded from having ANY representation within the GNSO. Governments, which traditionally have protected the public interest and the interests of consumers, i.e., domain name registrants, are largely ignored and shackled within ICANN's structure in the GAC (governmental advisory committee), allowing the "privatized" ICANN to grant registrars and registry operators carte blanche authority to "rape and pillage" the global domain names marketplace and domain name registrants worldwide.

Where are the warnings to domain name registrants about the pricing unpredictability a/k/a "predatory pricing," and the  "universal acceptance" problems of ICANN's new gTLDs? You won't find any conspicuous warnings to registrants on ICANN's website or any new gTLD registry operator or registrar website either.
"ICANN is just a scam and the entire industry is based on monopolistic fraud with DC payoffs."--Mike Mann, domain name registrant, March 30, 2017.

2) ICANN news: 

UPDATE April 3, 2017: ICANN CCT-RT Webinar 19:00 UTC SESSION: Adobe Connect Replay

ICANN CCT-RT Webinar on Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review Draft Report | ICANN.org: "On 3 April 2017, the CCT-RT will host two separate sessions at 10:00 - 11:30 UTC (time zone support here) and 19:00 - 20:30 UTC (time zone support here)." More information at the link above. How to join: 1) Adobe Connect: https://participate.icann.org/reviews-webinar; 2) Dial in numbers: http://adigo.com/icann/  Language services provided: English: 9001; French: 9002; Spanish: 9003; Chinese: 9004; Russian: 9005.  (Editor's note: the above is ICANN's attempt at coming up with "something" that supports ICANN's assumption that "the introduction of new gTLDs necessarily will enhance competition and promote choice and innovation, without offering any evidence to support that assumption.” See quotation from US DOJ first above.)


3) Names, Domains & Trademarks:

4)  ICYMI Internet Domain News: 
  • Future of the internet"... Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower ... If the future of the internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, and even in Europe—for whom the internet embodies the promise of an alternative to US cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony ..."--Julian Assange, Google Is Not What It Seems | wikileaks.org
  • Russian hacking: The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate | washingtonsblog.com: "An irony of the escalating hysteria about the Trump camp’s contacts with Russians is that one presidential campaign in 2016 did exploit political dirt that supposedly came from the Kremlin and other Russian sources. Friends of that political campaign paid for this anonymous hearsay material, shared it with American journalists and urged them to publish it to gain an electoral advantage. But this campaign was not Donald Trump’s; it was Hillary Clinton’s ..."

5) Q1 2017 Earnings Season:
Q1 2017 Financial Results--Q1 2017 earnings coverage in the coming weeks on Domain Mondo (alphabetical order): Alibaba BABA; Alphabet GOOG / GOOGL; Amazon AMZN; Apple AAPL; Facebook FB; GoDaddy GDDY; Rightside NAME; Tucows (TO:TC) (NASDAQ:TCX); Twitter TWTR; Verisign VRSN.

6) Most popular post (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: News Review: 1) .AFRICA Case Update; 2) ICANN Dysfunction Alive & Well.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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