News Review: ICANN55, IANA Transition, New gTLDs, dot AFRICA

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The Domain Mondo news review of the past week--and a look at the week ahead:

ICANN55 started officially on Saturday, March 5th, and runs through Thursday, March 10, 2016. Expect lots of faux applause and cheering when the long-overdue CCWG-Accountability Final Report on WS1 Recommendations is finally approved and the IANA transition plan can finally be sent by the ICANN Board at its Public Meeting on Thursday, to NTIA. Expect an appearance by ICANN's new CEO Göran Marby (though he doesn't start until May, 2016). Also expect a faux farewell to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade. The Economist, which is paid a lot of money by ICANN as a new gTLD evaluator (The Economist Intelligence Unit), ran a soft story about ICANN55 and Fadi which concludes:
"Perhaps Fadi Chehadé, ICANN's president [& CEO] and one of the instigators of NETmundial, will be more successful getting such efforts off the ground in his new job. He will step down after the meeting in Marrakech, to be succeeded by Göran Marby, a Swedish telecoms regulator, and join the World Economic Forum to create all sorts of multi-stakeholder groups. "We need many little ICANNs," he says." --The Economist
The reality of  ICANN, the IANA transition, NETmundial, ICANN's new gTLDs, and Fadi Chehade, is very different from what will be portrayed at ICANN55 in Marrakech. Here's what one leading participant in the IANA transition process (both CWG and CCWG) wrote:
"There are parts of this final Proposal I am not happy with. There are battles that were fought and lost, and consensus-building compromises that make me queasy; I believe other members of my stakeholder structure (IPC) would tend to agree. If I were so inclined (and if I were a Member or my structure had a Member able to speak for my structure alone) I could stand our ground (or lick our wounds) in a Minority Statement." --source: CCWG public mail list (emphasis added)
The only really interesting thing at ICANN55 will be to observe the GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) deliberations, particularly the sessions concerning the CCWG WS1 recommendations (1,2,11). But, remember, GAC's approval is not needed if a sufficient number of other Chartering Organizations approve, which is likely.

There will be two Public Forums at ICANN55, but Public Forums are just another opportunity for the ICANN Board, officers, and staff to evade accountability, and avoid answering the hard questions that so desperately need to be answered and dealt with. Read more at How ICANN and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé Evade Accountability.

While ICANN55 attendees are partying and enjoying the luxury resort which is the venue, the reality in Morocco is very different: Morocco’s ANRT Uses Skype, FaceTime in ICANN Conference, Bans Them for Moroccans: "The Moroccan National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) has announced that it will hold a conference [ICANN55] in Marrakech next month will utilize Skype services, despite Skype being banned for the Moroccan public. The move is the latest in a long saga after Moroccan Telecom Companies fully blocked the usage of VoIP services last week..." 

Finally, on Friday, March 11th, U.S. Senators Cruz, Lankford, and Lee, are expecting answers to their questions raised in a letter to Chairman Steve Crocker which follows an earlier letter to Fadi Chehade, who avoided answering all of the Senators' questions.

More information about ICANN55 on Domain Mondo: ICANN 55, Marrakech, Morocco, March 5-10, Info, Links, Twitter Feeds

Most popular posts on DomainMondo.com this past week (highest number of pageviews Sun-Sat):
  1. US vs Apple, House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Encryption, Video 
  2. News Review: ICANN Accountability, NETmundial Initiative, G20 & China 
  3. NETmundial Initiative, WEF and ICANN Withdrawal, Consequences
  4. One 'Must Read' For Those Attending ICANN55, Marrakech, March 5-10 
  5. US Senators Cruz, Lankford, Lee's New Letter to ICANN Chairman re: China
Final Note: On Friday, ICANN was enjoined by a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles from delegating new gTLD .AFRICA--read more at: US Federal Court Enjoins ICANN From Delegating New gTLD dot AFRICA.

Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo


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