New gTLDs, ICANN Boondoggle, MIT Technology Review

Now that we know ICANN knowingly compromised Internet stability and security just to make money off its new gTLDs--time for a look to the recent past and some of the warnings ICANN had before it made the worst decision in its 16+ year history--

ICANN's Boondoggle | MIT Technology Review: (August 21, 2012) "... It’s [new gTLDs expansion] happening because the body in charge of these things—the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN—thought it would be fun and profitable. That may sound flip, but it’s the simplest explanation for the coming chaos... ICANN is itself a monopoly... There is no general shortage of Web addresses. If there were, we might have seen businesses flocking to other new domains ICANN has already introduced over the past decade [.INFO, .BIZ, .MOBI, etc.]. ICANN says it’s opening up these domains to promote competition and choice in the domain-name industry. But confusion and profiteering are the more likely results... there’s a lot of money to be made now, starting with the fees that marketers, lawyers, and consultants familiar with the domain-name business have already begun to extract from big brands... Through all this, ICANN could also cash in... $357 million in application fees that the Los Angeles–based organization has already collected... What amazing new benefits will all this spending bring to consumers? None whatsoever, at least in the eyes of venture investor Esther Dyson, who served as chair of ICANN from its inception in 1998 until 2000. Dyson once supported the idea of allowing companies to create arbitrary top-level domains, but she says she came to believe that the change would be unnecessary and confusing for the public. “I don’t think it’s illegal, but it’s wasteful,” she says. “One version of the future is: a lot of people spend a lot of money marketing [new gTLD domain names], and a lot of new consultancies are created, and a lot of lawyers are very busy protecting and enforcing property rights, and there is no net benefit to anybody.”... Who gave ICANN the power to make this mess? The U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the ultimate keeper of the root zone file... Thus was born a financial conflict of interest that continues to this day: ICANN subsists on the very industry it purports to govern. Dyson says she “lost any faith, over time,” in ICANN’s ability to regulate the domain-name business..." (emphasis added, read more here)

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