New gTLDs, Winners, Losers, Rod Beckstrom, Kurt Pritz, ICANN (video)

Rod Beckstrom: Consumers will choose the "winners" and the "losers"

Blast from the past (published on Aug 18, 2012): Rod Beckstrom, CEO and President of ICANN, and Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President of ICANN, discuss establishing a broad array of new generic top-level domains.

ICANN Floods the Market -- That's a competitive marketplace! And of course, we now know ICANN compromised Internet stability and security with the new gTLDs.

Hell of a way to run the global Internet DNS!

But remember, for ICANN, the new gTLDs (new generic Top-Level Domains) were never about what is in the public interest, instead, it's all about the money!

And the sad thing is, it didn't have to be this way--

"INTA favors the alternative single, shared registry model, propounded under the gTLD Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the registry operating on a cost-recovery basis and with competition between registrars. Under this model, the new corporation [ICANN] would be empowered to manage the gTLD name-space as a public resource, would be able to take its decisions in the wider public interest and would not be involved in the dubious practice of granting proprietary monopolies to commercial enterprises to control individual gTLDs. The single registry model is also much preferred for dealing with disputes. Instead of having to deal with different dispute policies in different jurisdictions, businesses and challenged domain name holders would have a single consistent policy and jurisdiction would be clearly determined." (emphasis added) SourceINTA Response to the U.S. Government Paper ["Green Paper"] on the Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses (pdf) (1998)


New gTLD Domains, 2014 #FAIL, Hucksters and Losers

Hope you didn't buy into any of the BS of ICANN and the new gTLD hucksters in 2014, and Domain Mondo certainly hopes you were not an investor in a new gTLD Registry--it was one of the worst investments you could have made in an otherwise up-market year--here's an example:

"Antony Van Couvering was appointed CEO of Minds + Machines Group (L:MMX) five years ago in 2009. In the last 1 year the average annualized return to shareholders was -45.4%. The present value of GBP1,000 (PV1000) invested 1 year ago is now GBP546, a loss of GBP454." (Source: www.BuySellSignals.com)

Moral of the story: "Buy into the new gTLDs (new generic Top-Level Domains)--and lose your money!"

But of course, Domain Mondo warned you all about this.

Caveat Emptor into 2015!


ICANN Admits New gTLDs Compromise Internet Stability and Security

ICANN has admitted it compromised the security and stability of the internet in its expansion of new gTLDs--ICANN CTO David Conrad told The Register that ICANN "struck a balance between fostering innovation and competition [by introducing over 1000 new gTLDs into the DNS] and maintaining the stability and security of the network... the approach we agreed upon was a reasonable compromise."

Apparently Verisign, the Internet Root Zone Maintainer, disagrees with ICANN's characterization of the compromise of the Internet's stability and security as "reasonable," and has warned of DNS security risks in a new 33-page report titled "SSR3: Security, Stability, Resiliency Update: Operational Foreshocks" that has not yet been publicly published by VeriSign. Danny McPherson, chief security officer of VeriSign, told eWEEK:

"There have been domain name collisions that have resulted in network interruptions for enterprises... There have also been cases where confusion and usability with the new top-level domains [new gTLDs] have led to phishing attacks... if the root DNS server systems become unstable in some manner, it could lead to the fragmentation of the Internet"... new gTLDs may not necessarily work deterministically across the Internet, as some carriers or organizations may choose to only support their own view of the Internet domain name space... "Unless you do a qualitative analysis and give people fair warning, some [new] gTLDs will be locked," he said... (source eWEEK, supra, emphasis added).

Domain Mondo previously reported on these failures of new gTLDs (which ICANN euphemistically refers to as a Universal Acceptance problem): see ICANN, New gTLD Domain Names, Universal Acceptance Another #FAIL (14 October 2014). Of course, when it comes to new gTLDs, it seems ICANN doesn't really care about the public interest nor, apparently, internet stability and security-- it's all about the money!

Based on the above, domain name registrants need to be aware that some new gTLD domain names may not "necessarily work... across the Internet"--caveat emptor!

Read more at:
ICANN's technical competence queried by Verisign report • The Register "Verisign has called into question the technical competence of domain name overseer ICANN."
VeriSign Warns of DNS Security Risks (eWEEK)


Internet, Digital Technologies, Journalism, Competing Against Free (audio)

Barry Ritholtz interviews William Grueskin, former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal Online, and former academic dean of the Columbia School of Journalism. (Since the interview, Grueskin has joined Bloomberg as executive editor for training.) Discussed are the challenges of competing against “free.” Grueskin witnessed the transition of the Wall Street Journal under Rupert Murdoch and discusses some of the changes. From his unique vantage point, he has observed how the business of journalism has evolved since the advent of the Internet and digital technologies. We discuss the substantial financial pressures on the dissemination of news that are changing the role of the press in a democratic society and imagine what journalism might look like in the future.


Innovation, Leading Into The Unknown, Group Dysfunction, HBR Audio

The Condensed December 2014 Issue: Leading Your Team Into The Unknown, Innovation, Minimum Viable Function, Group Dysfunction and more (HBR Audio)

source: Harvard Business Review hbr.org


SecureInvestment.com, Masquerade, Forex Fund (video)

Investors from around the world were suckered in by a website called SecureInvestment.com, which masqueraded as a managed Forex fund, before vanishing in May with millions of dollars. Bloomberg Markets magazine broke the story. Bloomberg's Willem Marx reports.


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


Markets Hit New Highs While New gTLD Registry Stocks Crash in 2014

With 2014 coming to an end, the new gTLD hucksters can't spin this one--though they try--the new gTLD registry stocks crashed in 2014 while stock markets reached all time highs:

More records for U.S. stocks as Dow tops 18,000 for first time -- The Dow industrials closed above 18,000 for the first time ever and the S&P 500 notched up its 51st record close of the year, underscoring confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy. (source below: Google.com 12/23):
Screenshot: Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index 2014

Meanwhile new gTLD registry stocks have been BIG LOSERS in 2014 (see below). Apparently, just as new gTLD domain name registrations have been disappointing, and falling, investors on Wall Street and in London aren't buying the ICANN new gTLDs' hokum either!

Below: Rightside (stock symbol: NAME) Yesterday close: $7.15; 52 Week High /Low: $17 / $7.085 UPDATE: Rightside [NAME] opened December 24 at low price of $7.05
and: Mind + Machines (stock symbol: MMX) Yesterday close: GBX 8.07; 52 Week High /Low GBX 17.75 / 6.75 (data source: Marketwatch.com)

Rightside (stock symbol: NAME) chart 2014
Rightside (stock symbol: NAME)

Mind + Machines (stock symbol: MMX) chart 2014
Mind + Machines (stock symbol: MMX)


IANA Stewardship Transition, CWG Draft Proposal Comments

Comments on the Cross Community Working Group (CWG) On Naming Related Functions Public Consultation on Draft Transition Proposal (concerning the IANA Stewardship Transition) were closed as of 23:59 UTC, 22 Dec 2014. All comments can be found and read on the forum: http://forum.icann.org/lists/comments-cwg-naming-transition-01dec14/ including that of Domain Mondo's Editor, John Poole.

The key dates of the CWG work plan:
  • 1 December 2014: Publication date of the Draft Proposal for Public Comment
  • 19 January 2015: Submission of the CWG Final Proposal to chartering organizations
  • 31 January 2015: Planned submission of the Final CWG Proposal to ICG
The draft proposal and further information may be found at these links:

Cross Community Working Group (CWG) on Naming Related Functions Draft Transition Proposal


Draft Proposal: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/cwg-naming-transition-01dec14-en.pdf [PDF, 1.72 MB]


Avoid Website Suspension, ICANN Verification Tutorial (video)

The Oatmeal was temporarily shutdown by ICANN: here’s how to avoid having this happen | Name.com Blog: 31 Jul 2014 "... Today, however, we were shocked and saddened to see that The Oatmeal had been taken down. One of the most popular websites on the ‘Net had been eviscerated. The content was gone; the enlightening and hilarious glow darkened. What happened? Well if we were shocked it was down, we were even more surprised the site wasn’t resolving because of one simple little task: ICANN Verification. (We said ‘simple’ but we’re not going to say it’s not annoying.) We’re also very happy that we can help. To avoid waking up to your website disappeared by the international agents of ICANN, here’s the scoop on what ICANN verification is and how you verify your domain...."

ICANN Verification Tutorial -

ICANN now requires that each contact information for domains be verified via email or phone. (Name.com video published on Apr 3, 2014)

further information about WHOIS accuracy:


Interview of Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, by Henry Blodget (video)

Full video interview of Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, by Henry Blodget of Business Insider, including discussion on the criteria Amazon uses to expand into new businesses, the pay and perks of employees, and why Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, book controversies, Amazon phone flop.

Amazon (principal domain name: amazon.com) is also an ICANN new gTLD Registry (Amazon EU S.à r.l.).



Solicitation: Internet Root Zone Key Signing Key Rollover Plan Design Team

ICANN has announced a "Solicitation of Statement of Interest for Membership in the Root Zone Key Signing Key Rollover Plan Design Team:"

ICANN, as the IANA functions operator, in cooperation with Verisign as the Root Zone Maintainer and the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) as the Root Zone Administrator, together known as the Root Zone Management (RZM) partners, seek to develop a plan for rolling the root zone keysigning key (KSK). The KSK is used to sign the root zone zone-signing key (ZSK), which in turn is used to DNSSEC-sign the Internet’s root zone. 

The Root Zone Partners are soliciting five to seven volunteers from the community to participate in
a Design Team to develop the Root Zone KSK Rollover Plan (“The Plan”). These volunteers along with the RZM partners will form the Design Team to develop The Plan. 

Also see: NTIA’s Role in Root Zone Management (pdf)


North Korea, Sony Cyber Attack, Sanctions?

What is to be done about North Korea?

FBI — Update on Sony Investigation: "... the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions. While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on the following:
"Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks. The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. government has previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack. Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea...."
So far North Korea is the winner. Sony Pictures Entertainment has been bullied into pulling its "offending" movie--completely caving to state sponsored cyber terrorism--so much for free speech and internet freedom.

One thing we know about a bad actor, a bully, a rogue state, is that they are only encouraged by this type of response. Next victim? Another company, an electric utility grid, a nation state that happens to displease the Great Leader, or the internet or DNS itself? ICANN itself was reportedly the subject of a recent cyber attack. So far, the response of the global internet governance community has been less than satisfactory.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo

Defeat Online Censorship, Tell MPAA to Kill the ZombieSOPA

Note: The following is an excerpt of an email received yesterday by the Editor of Domain Mondo, from Derek Slater of Google Inc.--

"SOPA is back, John.

In 2012, millions of Americans rose up to help defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The public sent a clear message to Congress: don't censor the web.

Now movie industry lobbyists at the MPAA are trying to resurrect web censorship via a back door. As revealed in the press, they've organized a campaign to achieve SOPA by other means, and are still more than eager to break the way the Internet works to achieve their agenda.

The MPAA was worried this strategy would "invigorate and galvanize ... the SOPA debates." Let's prove them right!

Together we defeated online censorship once—let's do it again.  Share this graphic and tell the MPAA to kill the #ZombieSOPA.

The MPAA needs to know that all of us who truly care about the Internet won't just stand aside and let them ruin what we love.

Thanks for stepping up,

Derek Slater
Google Inc.

P.S. Here's what we had to say today."  (emphasis added)

Domain Mondo encourages readers and all users of the internet to "step up" and help defeat online censorship--please share the graphic at the link above.


Advisors to the Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process

The Accountability & Governance Public Experts Group (PEG) announced the selection of Advisors to the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG):

Roberto Bissio, Executive Director of the Instituto del Tercer Mundo -- Area of Expertise: Global Ethics Frameworks and Human Rights (for example consumer protection)

William Currie, Consultant in ICT Policy and Regulation -- Area of Expertise: Governmental Engagement and Relations and Multistakeholder Governance

Valerie D'Costa, Program Manager at infoDev -- Area of Expertise: Governmental Engagement and Relations and Multistakeholder Governance

Ira Magaziner, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Clinton Health Access Initiative -- Area of Expertise: Governmental Engagement and Relations and Multistakeholder Governance

Nell Minow, Shareholder Advocate -- Area of Expertise: Board Governance and Corporate Management (for example operational, finance, risk management

Jan Scholte, Professor, University of Gothenburg and University of Warwick -- Area of Expertise: Global Accountability and Transparency — theoretical, practical, tools and metrics

The Public Experts Group (PEG) was tasked with selecting up to 7 Advisors to the CCWG (see Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance Process). The Advisors are to "contribute research and advice, and to bring perspectives on global best practices to enrich the discussion, all while engaging with a broader network of accountability experts from around the world." Areas included:
  • Board Governance and Corporate Management (for example operational, finance, risk management)
  • Global Accountability and Transparency – theoretical, practical, tools and metrics
  • Global Ethics Frameworks and Human Rights (for example consumer protection)
  • Governmental Engagement and Relations and Multistakeholder Governance
  • International Law/ Jurisprudence (for example choice of law)*
*The PEG continues its search for an Advisor who will bring expertise in International Law/Jurisprudence and will strive to select this Advisor as soon as possible.

Once the PEG has concluded its work, it will no longer be active in the Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process. The members of the PEG are: Ms. Jeanette Hoffman, Director, Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society; Ambassador Janis Karklins, Latvian Ambassador. Chair of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG); Mr. Larry Strickling, NTIA Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Communication and Information of the U.S. Department of Commerce; and Mr. Brian Cute, Chief Executive Officer, Public Interest Registry [source and for further info: ICANN].


ICANN, Dysfunctional, Sick Organizational Culture, Warped Values

ICANN Never Cleans Up Its Own Messes, It Just Creates More--

The story about an egregious UDRP case is hardly unique, but it is illuminating about how ICANN operates and fails, time and time again, in its mission, policy-making, implementation, coordination, and oversight roles. You can read the dismal details and how broken ICANN's UDRP policy (and its implementation) is at the first link above, but this is all "typical ICANN stuff" which most knowledgeable domain name registrants have come to expect from ICANN and the SIPs (Self-important People) on ICANN's Board of Directors, as well as some members of the "stakeholder" groups. You know, those people who have the time and resources to fly around the world for multiple meetings every year, staying in luxury hotels, often paid for by ICANN (from domain name registrant fees)--just to meet and make more bad policies, which are then poorly implemented by ICANN  and third-party contractors, with no oversight nor follow-up by ICANN's Board, staff, or stakeholder groups. Any wonder why ICANN is commonly referred to as ICANT?

And of course, there is no domain name registrants stakeholder group within ICANN, which is yet another reason ICANN is held in such low regard by so many domain name registrants. Instead, we get new gTLD policy and implementation by people who do not know what they are doing, who have limited understanding and experience "buying, owning, developing, managing, and selling" domain names, even from an average registrant's perspective, and ICANN know-it-alls who rely on information and "expert opinions" from self-interested, profit-seeking stakeholders or contractors or consultants, who are paid by ICANN to give the information and opinions the stakeholder groups or staff or Directors want, to justify ICANN's next bad policy-making action and implementation, all of which is used to justify the exorbitant salaries, expenses, and budget of ICANN. It never ends. For just a few examples of the systemic dysfunctions within ICANN, see:
And then we have the lack of honesty, accountability and transparency, the "cover-ups," the "secrets" that must never be disclosed, as indicators of a very sick organizational culture with warped values. Of course, I am not the first to notice all of this. For example, Kieren McCarthy, a former ICANN staffer, has written about this, multiple times, in recent years, see: My analysis of the broken ICANN culture | Kieren McCarthy [dotcom] and The case study that could kill ICANN | .Nxt | Internet policy and governance. Meanwhile bumbling NTIA bureaucrats at the US Department of Commerce have chosen to maintain a state of denial about all of this, although two years ago they said ICANN was unfit to be granted the IANA contract:
Ethics Fight Over Domain Names Intensifies - March 18, 2012 - NYTimes.com: "... the United States government is also dissatisfied with ICANN. The Commerce Department said it had canceled a request for proposals to run the so-called Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA] because none of the bids met its requirements..."
And then there is dysfunctional ICANN mission drift--one would think with the on-going roll-out (and concurrent problems) of the largest expansion of the domain name system in history, as well as the multiple on-going processes concerning ICANN accountability and the IANA transition, that the ICANN CEO would have more than enough on his plate, but no, he has been spending his time (and hundreds of thousands of dollars from ICANN's budget) trying to "force" or "beg" the global internet community to join his ill-conceived, top-down, unwanted, unneeded idea for another global internet organization--the so-called NETmundial Initiative (not to be confused with the original NETmundial Conference held in Brazil--The Register: "ICANN has been criticized for its efforts to control conversations over internet governance while at the same time claiming to be open. The creation of the NetMundial conference earlier this year and its sister astroturf * organization, 1Net, was bankrolled by ICANN. It then used its clout to controversially change a key recommendation of the conference at the last minute. Some months after that conference, ICANN was again criticized when it announced out of the blue that it was partnering with the World Economic Forum to create the namesake "NetMundial Initiative"."). *“Astroturfing” is the practice of hiring a third­ party group to advocate for an issue, falsely giving the impression that the effort is a “grassroots,” bottom­up initiative [source: Strategy Panel: ICANN’s Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem (pdf)--see footnote 109]. I kindly suggest to Fadi Chehade that he "call the whole charade off" and start "taking care of business" at ICANN.

I further suggest that at the next ICANN meeting (and perhaps thereafter), every attendee when checking in, be required to complete a poll and the results be recorded and published, with the second question sorted by category (as either "domain name registrant" or "not a domain name registrant"):

1. Are you currently a domain name registrant? Yes / No

2. Please answer this question: Why are you here? [Please be honest, your answer will be recorded, not your name.] Answer:

Acceptable answers might include: "I like to travel and stay in nice hotels, and ICANN is paying for my flight, hotel, and per diem expenses, to be here" or "I am (or my employer is) an ICANN contractor and I am here to 'game the system,' keep the money flowing, and increase profits." Those are just two honest answers out of many possible answers--someone could make a game out of this--The ICANN Game.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo


Internet Governance, US-EU Cyber Dialogue, Agreements

At the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-EU Cyber Dialogue in Brussels, Belgium on December 5, 2014, the participants jointly agreed to specific areas of collaboration and cooperation in various areas including internet governance as follows:

Internet Governance Developments in 2015

"All reiterated that no single entity, company, organization or government should seek to control the Internet and expressed their full support for multi-stakeholder governance structures of the Internet that are inclusive, transparent, accountable, and technically sound. As such we:
  • emphasized the value of the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and encouraged its ongoing improvements in line with the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development recommendations. Urged renewal of the IGF’s mandate and the continuation of its work, according to paragraph 72 of The Tunis Agenda, beyond the end of its current mandate in 2015.
  • recognized the importance of the NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance hosted by Brazil in April 2014 which set common principles and important values for an inclusive, multistakeholder, and evolving governance framework. Both sides are committed to implementing the NETmundial roadmap.
  • welcomed the multi-stakeholder community’s engagement on efforts to address accountability of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and transitioning the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), recognizing the positive progress of these two interrelated initiatives."
Other topics covered included:
  • International Security in Cyberspace
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cybercrime
  • Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Online
  • Global Cyber Capacity Building
  • and Upcoming Cyber Events
"The two sides look forward to the UN General Assembly ten-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2015. They both believe that the timing of the review is appropriate as the UN General Assembly will be finalizing a post-2015 development agenda, and the review will build on efforts to continue bridging the digital divide. The General Assembly’s recognition and allowance for multistakeholder participation in the review was appreciated, and participation from all stakeholders is strongly encouraged and welcomed. With the increasing relevance that cyber issues play in society overall, the United States and the EU welcomed the upcoming Global Conference on Cyberspace in The Hague in April 2015 and the annual Freedom Online (Coalition) Conference in Mongolia in May 2015."

It was agreed that collaborative efforts will continue and to convene the U.S.-EU Cyber Dialogue again in approximately one year’s time in Washington, D.C. Further information available here.


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...."


Avoid New gTLDs, Use Only .COM Domain Names says Marketing Expert

see also: Domain Pro Spills Secrets for Getting a URL | Inc.com: "... What advice would you give to a startup founder trying to acquire a domain name that a professional domain-owner has in his or her portfolio? ... the No. 1 rule in domaining is open communications, because if you can't even communicate with the domain owner, you can't negotiate. Second: Have a list of names, branding and how you name your company. Having some options and doing a little variation can get you a far better value. Get prices on several options--and then you really have options. Another thing: If you're going to buy a [domain name ending in] .co [or ANY domain name extension other than .commake sure you know who owns the .com. Know your competition before you step in. Are there trends to be aware of, price-wise? Premium names are going up. Middle-markets are going up, and lower-value names are going down...."


Luxury Brands, Online Shopping (video)

Luxury Brands: Does Online Shopping Help or Hurt?: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Robert Burke, chairman and chief executive officer at Robert Burke Associates, examines the impact of e-commerce on luxury brands. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (11/26)


A Case Against New Generic Top-Level Domains, New gTLDs

From the University of Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, and worthy of reading in full:

The Tangled Web: A Case Against New Generic Top-Level Domains - University of Richmond JOLT: "... While there are positives, the negative implications of introducing new generic top-level domains far outweigh these positives.  The following subsections discuss four distinct reasons that ICANN should not introduce more new generic top-level domains at this time.  First, ICANN’s own Government Advisory Committee has questioned the necessity and likelihood of success for new generic top-level domains.  Second, by issuing new generic-top level domains to private companies, a core principle of trademark law is violated.  Third, the FTC has warned ICANN that new generic top-level domains will greatly increase the difficulty of prosecuting cases of online fraud.  Finally, ICANN’s actions regarding the introduction of new generic top-level domains, thus far, have raised serious ethical concerns about the organization’s ability to fairly oversee the project..." (emphasis added, read more at the link above)


LeWeb LIVESTREAM, Loic Le Meur Says There Is No Tech Bubble (videos)

LeWeb is an international digital  innovation conference - visionaries, startups, tech companies, brands and leading media explore today’s hottest trends and define the future of business. Full schedule here

LeWeb conference, Paris, 9-11 Dec 2014--UPDATE: Conference has concluded--Watch all LeWeb videos here.

#LeWebHangout - Hangout with Brian Solis, Principal Altimeter Group - Dec 11, 2014 (5 am EST US)
Ask your questions to Brian Solis, Principal Altimeter Group right after his keynote at LeWeb14 Paris. Register to participate to the next Hangouts On Air here : http://hoa.fcst.tv/leweb-2014 #LeWebHangout

Twitter: #leweb2014 OR #lewebhangout

LeWeb Founder Loic Le Meur Says There Is No Tech Bubble: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Health care will be the "central space" of technology investment in the years ahead, according to Loic Le Meur, founder of the LeWeb conference. He also discusses tax incentives with Caroline Connan in Paris on Bloomberg Television's "Countdown." (Source: Bloomberg 12/10)


New gTLD Domain Names, Separating Truth from Fiction

One would expect that a "former COO" of a Wall Street firm (now bankrupt) who is involved with one of the more expensive new gTLDs--dot LUXURY--would know better than to make, or allow others to make, claims about her new gTLD, her "brand" in the new gTLDs marketplace, that don't "check out"--after all, false claims are one sure way to taint a brand--

Rush for ‘luxury’ domain names continues | New York Post: "... [Monica] Kirchner, a former COO of Lehman Brothers, told Julie Earle-Levine that she and her partners won an auction for the domain rights and are selling them to companies. Tiffany, Armani, Four Seasons, Bitcoin, Berkshire Hathaway and Hermès are among 1,250 companies that have signed on to dot-luxury and will use the luxury domain extension instead of, or together with “.com.”..." (emphasis added)

As of December 7, 2014, here are the results from just checking ICANN's WHOIS and testing whether each cited company domain name (in the .COM and .LUXURY extensions), "resolves" to an actual web page--

tiffany.com (real website--authentic)                    
tiffany.luxury (resolves to blank page)

armani.com (real website--authentic)                    
armani.luxury Go Daddy Parked Page
WHOIS: Original Query: armani.luxury
Registrant Contact: individual in Barbados (Caribbean Island)--no apparent connection to the Armani brand

fourseasons.com (real website--authentic)            
fourseasons.luxury available at Namecheap for $488.88

bitcoin.com (real website--authentic)
Registrant Contact Name: individual in Santa Clara, California
bitcoin.luxury Go Daddy Parked Page
Registrant Contact Name: individual in Australia

berkshirehathaway.com (real website--authentic)  
berkshirehathaway.luxury available at Namecheap for $488.88

hermes.com (real website--authentic)                      
hermes.luxury "work in progress" (under construction page)

None of the dot Luxury domain names cited in the New York Post story above are being used  "instead of, or together with “.com," while two are "available for registration" and more than one is registered by a registrant with no apparent connection to the "named brand company."

Note to all the new gTLD proponents, hucksters, whatever--if this is the best the new gTLDs can do, they are in deeper trouble than even I imagined! As they say: Get Real, get honest, or go home!

As for Ms. Kirchner, she might want to consider hiring a PR firm with a "fact checker."


Gordon Crovitz, Larry Strickling, IANA Stewardship Transition

Interesting Point (Crovitz), Counterpoint (Strickling), Point (Crovitz) between Larry Strickling (NTIA, US Dept of Commerce) and Gordon Crovitz in the Wall Street Journal--here's an excerpt from the  latest point by Mr. Crovitz:

Gordon Crovitz: No Deadline for the Open Internet - WSJ: ".... Philip Corwin, an Internet lawyer, summarized on the industry website CircleID the flaw in this [IANA stewardship transition] process: “An unrealistically compressed timeline tied to an unnecessary September 2015 deadline has in turn led to adoption of a dual work stream approach that will likely leave its most important work unfinished by that date.”

"The broader point is that even with more time, there is little prospect of finding an alternative through new governance rules, as some academics have suggested. Icann is a California nonprofit subject to the state’s governance laws. Its lawyers say this means the board must always be in charge: “The activities and affairs of a corporation shall be conducted and all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the board of directors.” Ultimate authority by the Icann board means the stakeholders can neither control nor protect the board, whose members would be subject to pressure from authoritarian regimes. The current system works because the U.S. could give the contract to operate the root zone to another group if Icann ever gave in to demands for censorship or otherwise closed off the Internet. If Washington gives up the contract, there is no backup plan.

"Mr. Strickling’s letter also fails to address a fundamental question: why the executive branch thinks it can act on its own. The Constitution says only Congress can transfer federal property, such as the Icann contract. The administration has not provided any legal argument to the contrary. Congress has voted unanimously to keep U.S. oversight and should block unilateral action by the White House.

"The U.S. can renew the Icann agreement for another four years beyond September 2015. That would give everyone the chance to see if there is any way to protect the open Internet without U.S. stewardship. We know for sure that there will be no protection on the schedule set by the Obama administration." (emphasis added)

see also: ICANN Accountability, IANA Transition, Deadline Dysfunctionality
US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED • The Register


Online Ads, Google Study, Viewable Instead of Served Impressions

Google: "thanks to new advancements, we can now measure which digital ads were actually viewable on screen" --
Google Ads Viewability Study infographic

source: Google - Viewability Insights for Digital Marketers and Publishers" study, November 2014
  • Over half of online ad impressions are not visible. 
  • 56.1% of all display ad impressions never appear on a screen.
  • A small number of publishers are serving most of the non-viewable impressions.
  • The average publisher viewability rate was 50.2%. 
  • The most viewable ads are vertical ones--the most viewable ad units are vertical ones (users scroll vertically down web pages). 
  • Ads that were 160×600 pixels and 120×600 pixels are viewable around 53% of the time.
  • Ads 300×250 are viewable just 41% of the time, on average.
Full research deck:  http://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/the-importance-of-being-seen_study.pdf


Economic Impact of Hyperconnectivity (video)

A challenge or an opportunity? Alan Marcus, Senior Director at The World Economic Forum, discusses how new technology and the new set of rules that comes with it affects businesses globally. Dec 4, 2014


New gTLD Registry Rightside Stock Tanks on NASDAQ

Rightside Stock (symbol: NAME) tanks on December 5th (source: NASDAQ.com)
Rightside Stock (symbol: NAME) tanks on December 5th (screenshot source: NASDAQ.com)

Friday was supposed to be a "Big Day" for new gTLD Registry Rightside (domain name: rightside.co and stock symbol NAME ) on the NASDAQ. Rightside Group, Ltd. hosted its first Investor & Analyst Day event Friday, 5 Dec 2014, from 10:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. ET at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square, featuring Rightside's management team members. In addition, CEO Taryn Naidu rang the Nasdaq Stock Market Closing Bell at 4:00 P.M. ET. The recorded webcast and accompanying presentation slides are at: http://investors.rightside.co/events (available through December 5, 2015, source: NASDAQ.com) UPDATE: presentation now posted here.

I didn't listen to the webcast but what was presented apparently didn't impress Wall Street analysts and investors because shortly after the presentation began, the stock started tanking and went "downside" for the rest of the day (see intraday chart screenshot above). I listened to the beginning of the recorded webcast before posting this and it sounded like Rightside's CEO tried to "sell" the investors and analysts on the concept and rationale and "benefits" ("the new gTLDs are all about branding") of new gTLDs--apparently the investors and analysts on Wall Street didn't "buy it."

As regular readers know, although Domain Mondo's editor and publisher have no positions nor interest in this stock, Domain Mondo has posted about it previously here:

New gTLD Registry Rightside, Wrongside Still A Downside? 7 Nov 2014

New gTLD Registry Rightside, Rename It Wrongside? 15 September 2014
Rightside NAME stock chart

Rightside a/k/a NAME stock has been trending on the "wrongside" and "downside" since its spin-off from Demand Media--chart at left--source: marketwatch.com

Finally, I would note that Rightside CEO Taryn Naidu told TheStreet.com that .COM has "no meaning"-- he might want to "educate" himself:

.com - Wikipedia: "The domain name com is a top-level domain (TLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. Its name is derived from the word commercial, indicating its original intended purpose for domains registered by commercial organizations. However, eventually... .com, .org and .net were opened for unrestricted registration. The domain was originally administered by the United States Department of Defense, but is today operated by Verisign, and remains under ultimate jurisdiction of U.S. law. Verisign Registrations in com are processed via registrars accredited by ICANN. The registry accepts internationalized domain names. The domain was one of the original top-level domains (TLDs) in the Internet when the Domain Name System was implemented in January 1985, the others being edu, gov, mil, net, org, and arpa. It has grown into the largest top-level domain."

How big is .COM among all Top-Level Domain Name extensions? It is the one and only truly global Top-Level Domain, the gold standard against which all other TLDs (including ICANN's new gTLDS) are mere dwarfs.

A Simple Brandable dot COM Domain Name, Key to Success

Everywhere you look, a key to success is a simple, brandable dot COM domain name, here's another example:

Meet ICONIQ cofounder Divesh Makan, consigliere to Silicon Valley’s brightest billionaires--already ICONIQ has full discretion over $1.4 billion in client funds and advises on another $7.6 billion.

Makan, 41, has turned his otherwise run-of-the-mill registered investment advisory into an exclusive members-only Silicon Valley billionaires club that operates as a cross between a family office and a venture capital fund. His most famous client and the key to his success is billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whom Makan met in 2004 when he was a broker at Goldman Sachs.... Makan shuns the title of wealth manager, according to those who have worked with him. He sees himself instead as part do-it-all financial consigliere, part deal broker/venture capitalist and part human Rolodex. Makan’s currency is access and relevance. While Silicon Valley stalwarts like Sequoia and Benchmark can point to a long list of successful IPOs and a deep bench of management experts, he hawks the “Zuck & Friends” brand to piece together deals...." read more at: The Spider Of Silicon Valley: Inside 'Zuck & Friends' Secret Billionaire Fund.

And you don't have to spend millions developing your website either, take a look:

domain name: iconiqcapital.com


New gTLD Domain Name Sales Fall 40% in November

Based on data reported by ntldstats.com, new gTLD Domain Name sales fell 40% in November from October, which is bad news for new gTLD proponents and ICANN which had estimated new gTLD domain name sales of 15 million for FY15 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015). Based on results thus far, total new gTLD sales are falling far short of ICANN's estimate, and now are dropping even though more new gTLDs are delegated every month and therefore total monthly sales should be increasing every month. There are over 400 new gTLDs delegated thus far, and yet sales fell in November--

*data capture early Dec 2, 2014--totals continue to change slightly thereafter

Of course, new gTLD domain names monthly total "sales" (technically "domain name registrations") are affected by tactics such as "free giveaway" programs by registrars and registries of new gTLDs (if you can't sell them, give them away for free and hope the registrant-donees will renew the registration the following year), and  also by registry-registrar-affiliate "land grabs" meaning wholesale speculation and warehousing of thousands of domain names by a registry-registrar or affiliates registering thousands of the best domain names in a new gTLD extension in a registry-registrar affiliate's name for speculative warehousing and resale at premium prices on the aftermarket--a practice that was prohibited in the past by ICANN, but which ICANN has now enabled and encouraged in its new gTLD registry and registrar agreements as is price-gouging of new gTLD domain name registrants in future years. ICANN really knows how to look after the global public interest! LOL!

Anyway, November was just another new gTLD #FAIL.


Internet Governance Forum, Wednesday MAG Meeting

Day 3: 3 December 2014 – MAG meeting (open to observers)
Internet Governance Forum, Wednesday MAG Meeting Agenda

Remote Participation
To register and join the meeting remotely, please follow the link below. Once registered,you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.
Multistakeholder Advisory Group Meeting (open to observers), 3 December 2014

IGF Open Consultations and MAG Meeting Transcripts

Time Link: Current local time (CET) in Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

10.00 – 13.00
d. Workshop selection criteria and mechanism
e. Main sessions + preparation of main session /guidelines
f. Other sessions: best practice forums, dynamic coalitions, open forums etc.

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
15.00 – 17.00 (Continuation of morning discussion)
6. Overall preparatory calendar of meetings and milestones for IGF 2015
7. IGF outreach and communication

17.00 – 18.00
8. Any other business:
General updates (website, finances etc.)

Twitter: @intgovforum #IGF2014 #IGF2015


Internet Governance Forum, Tuesday MAG Meeting

Day 2: 2 December 2014 – MAG meeting (open to observers)
Internet Governance Forum, Tuesday MAG Meeting Agenda
IGF Open Consultations and MAG Meeting Transcripts

Remote ParticipationTo register and join the meeting remotely, please follow the link below. Once registered,you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.
Multistakeholder Advisory Group Meeting (open to observers), 2 December 2014

Time Link: Current local time (CET) in Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

10.00 – 13.00
1. Opening Statements
a. Introduction of new MAG members
b. 2014 IGF Host’s remarks
c. 2015 IGF Host’s remarks
d. Overview of main lessons learnt from 2014

2. IGF 2015 Host presentation of facilities + logistical issues
3. Discussion on general outline of IGF 2015 preparatory process and structure of the meeting
4. Inter-sessional activities leading to IGF 2015
a. Definition of types of activities
b. Creation of working groups

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
15.00 – 18.00 (Continuation of morning discussion)
5. IGF 2015
a. Shaping the programme of IGF 2015 (main theme and tags)
b. Shaping the structure of IGF 2015 (session types and schedule)
c. General discussions

Twitter: @intgovforum #IGF2014 #IGF2015


Internet Governance Forum, Open Consultations

Internet Governance Forum, Open Consultations meeting in Geneva, Switzerland
Monday, December 1st, 2014:

Videos of all sessions

IGF Open Consultations and MAG Meeting Transcripts

Open Consultations, 1 December 2014 - Morning Session

Remote ParticipationTo register and join the meeting remotely, please follow the link below. Once registered,you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.
Open Consultations, 1 December 2014

Time Link: Current local time (CET) in Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

10:00 – 10:30
1. Opening statements and adoption of the agenda
a. Welcome by Host (ITU)
b. Welcome by MAG Chair
c. 2014 Honorary Co-chair – Presentation of Chair’s Summary
d. 2015 Honorary Co-chair – General statement

10:30 – 13:00
2. Stocktaking of IGF 2014 (while setting expectations for IGF2015)
Comments on programme (main theme, sub-themes), structure (session types, schedule), logistics of IGF 2014 and lessons learnt.
Introduction by the Secretariat of the results of the online survey and the summary of the submitted contributions.

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
15:00 – 18:00 (Continuation of morning discussion (not beyond 16.00))
3. Overview of existing Internet Governance initiatives and their impact on the IGF2015 process:
a. CSTD WSIS + 10 review presentation
b. CSTD WG on Enhanced Cooperation outcome presentation
c. ICANN / WEF initiative – state of play
d. ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) relevant decisions
e. WSIS +10 (UNDESA or Office of President of UNGA)

Twitter: @intgovforum #IGF2014 #IGF2015

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