News Review: China Will 'Vigorously' Promote the Reform of ICANN

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

Features •  1. China Will 'Vigorously' Promote the Reform of ICANN; 2. A New Independent Organization for the World's Internet; 3. ICANN & Online Content Regulation; 4a. ICANN "WHOIS Privacy / Domain Registration Extortion"; 4b. Are you an ICANN insider or ICANN outsider? 5. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”--ICANN58;  6. CPH Letter to ICANN Board; 7. ICANN, Verisign & Cyber Sovereignty; 8. Internet's 329.3 Million Domain Names; 9. i2 Coalition Award to Elliot Noss; 10. Internet Society Online Forum; 11. 3 Most Popular Posts.

1. China releases its first strategic report on the internet, saying China "will vigorously promote the reform of ICANN"--
The International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace, jointly issued by the Foreign Ministry and the Cyberspace Administration of China, excerpt below (emphasis added):
"4. Reform of Global Internet Governance System: China will participate in the follow-up of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society [WSIS], support the international community to consolidate consensus and implement the outcomes, ensure equal sharing of the benefits of information society, and list information society building and Internet governance as important items for review. China will push for institutional reform of the UN Internet Governance Forum to enable it to play a greater role in internet governance, strengthen its decision-making capacity, secure steady funding, and introduce open and transparent procedures in its member election and report submission. China will participate in international discussions on fair distribution and management of critical Internet resources. It will vigorously promote the reform of ICANN to make it a truly independent international institution, increase its representations and ensure greater openness and transparency in its decision-making and operation. China will actively participate in and contribute to activities of global Internet governance platforms, such as the "Future of the Internet" Initiative under the World Economic Forum."
See also:
Editor's note: Considering that the U.S. government ceased exercising its "historic stewardship role" over the internet sometime in 2012 coincident with ICANN's decision to proceed with its ill-advised and misbegotten new gTLDs program, and then the U.S. completely abdicated its role at the end of NTIA's "IANA transition" (March, 2014-September, 2016), the field is now clear, and the need is obvious for some kind of multilateral, intergovernmental oversight, if not regulation, over the world's internet, by treaty or otherwise (see Microsoft's proposal below). ICANN, incompetent at best and corrupt at its worst, with its inept Board and dysfunctional leadership epitomized by Fadi Chehade and Rod Beckstrom, and its "community" dominated by domain name registrars, registry operators, plus a gaggle of special interest lawyers and lobbyists (see my note and Steve Crocker's comment under ¶ 4. below), has failed the global internet community, including most domain name registrants.

2.  Microsoft wants a "Digital Geneva Convention"supported by a New Independent Organization for the World's Internet:
"The world needs a new independent organization like the International Atomic Energy Agency"--Brad Smith, Microsoft (emphasis and link added)
A "Digital Geneva Convention"
source: Microsoft (see video below)
source: Microsoft (see video below)
Others have now picked up on the Microsoft proposal: Digital Geneva Convention: multilateral treaty, multistakeholder implementation | DiploFoundation | diplomacy.edu--
".... future cyber governance architecture will be discussed in many contexts during 2017. The UN GGE will have to propose next steps after the conclusion of its mandate this year. The 12th International Governance Forum (IGF), which will be held in Geneva in December 2017, could be also a place where security, economic, technical, and other communities can converge to address Internet issues in a multidisciplinary way, without the pressure of reaching a binding commitment at the end of the meeting. Microsoft’s proposal for the Geneva Digital Convention provides inspiring analogies and initiates discussion on the future of digital governance, in particular in the security field. While there are major differences among stakeholders, there is also considerable convergence and many common interests. Major actors from government and the business sector stand to lose in the absence of a unified and stable Internet. This common interest provides some optimism for the future discussions and negotiations on digital governance."--Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Founding Director of DiploFoundation and the Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. A former diplomat, Dr Kurbalija has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology.
Protecting and Defending against Cyberthreats in Uncertain Times:

Video above published Feb 14, 2017--Brad Smith, President, Microsoft speaks at the Cybersecurity Conference - US 2017 | RSA Conference in San Francisco, Feb 13-17, 2017--"While many hacks, data breaches and leaks are the work of criminals seeking financial gain, new threats continue to emerge targeting civilians, businesses and governments. Microsoft President Brad Smith discusses these growing and evolving cyberthreats and what’s needed to protect and defend this critical infrastructure." See also: The need for a Digital Geneva Convention - Microsoft on the Issues.

source: Microsoft.com supra

3. ICANN & Online Content Regulation: 
 ICANN President & CEO congratulates Donuts & MPAA
Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name SystemICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation by Annemarie Bridy |  papers.ssrn.com"... After discussing ICANN’s history, mission, and circumscribed role in the resolution of disputes over trademarks in domain names, this article reckons both descriptively and normatively with the fact that registry operators are now acting — without precedent but with ICANN’s blessing — as private copyright enforcers. No matter how vehemently ICANN officials insist that they are minding the limits of their mission, the truth of the matter is that ICANN knowingly created a contractual architecture for the new gTLDs that supports a program of private, DNS-based content regulation on behalf of copyright holders and, potentially, other “trusted” parties. Moreover, in creating that architecture, ICANN did nothing to secure any procedural protections or uniform substantive standards for domain name registrants who find themselves subject to this new form of DNS regulation. That omission should be a red flag for those who worry that ICANN’s newly minted independence from the U.S. government will make its internal governance more susceptible to capture by powerful commercial and governmental interests ..."--Annemarie Bridy, University of Idaho College of Law; Stanford University Center for Internet and Society, Date Written: February 20, 2017--Washington and Lee Law Review, forthcoming (emphasis added).  See also Private Anti-Piracy Deals With Domain Registries are Dangerous, Professor Warns | TorrentFreak.com.

Also note: A Response to Paul Vixie’s "Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale” | Center for Internet and Society | cyberlaw.stanford.edu: ".... What I actually wrote is that the Domain Name Association, of which Donuts is a member, misses the mark when it characterizes the trusted notifier program as a form of “self-governance” for registry operators. That’s because the obvious regulatory targets of the trusted notifier program are [domain name] registrants, whose alleged bad behavior the program is aimed at sanctioning. It is true that Donuts came to its agreement with the MPAA voluntarily. The same cannot be said, however, for registrants who are ultimately subject to actions taken under that agreement. I stand by my conclusion that the trusted notifier program is not simply a form of voluntary self-governance by registries but is actually a form of DNS governance in which registries are as much governors of others as they are governors of themselves."-- Annemarie Bridy, March 3, 2017

Editor's Note: None of this should surprise anybody. These are the natural consequences of the dysfunctional leadership of Fadi Chehade when ICANN became a member of INTA--Why Did ICANN Become a Member of Trademark Lobbyist Group INTA?--and as a result, ICANN staff coaching and strategizing with INTA members.

4a.  ICANN "WHOIS Privacy / Domain Registration Extortion"
19 Feb 2017 Letter from Bryan T. Meehan, Sr. to Göran Marby | ICANN.org published by ICANN on March 2, 2017: meehan-to-marby-19feb17-en.pdf [pdf - 463 KB]--Editor's note: Bryan, good luck on getting any "help" from ICANN. You should have filed a complaint with the FTCICANN is in the business of enabling various rackets for financial exploitation of domain name registrants. The "ICANN community" is dominated by registry operators, registrars, plus a gaggle of special interest lawyers and lobbyists. Here's a prime example:
"[ICANN's] new gTLD[s] program, which no Internet end-user asked for, and which proceeded from inception to implementation with no commercial support outside of the commercial registrars and registries"--Dr. Paul Vixie in circleid.com. (link added).
Also note the point made recently by current ICANN Chairman Steve Crocker:
"I appreciate your reference to the wider community. One of the more strongly debated aspects during the [IANA] Transition was whether ICANN should become a membership organization. The Board pushed back against this idea because ICANN is responsible to the entire Internet community, not  just the SOs and ACs or, more narrowly, the people who are active among the SOs and ACs ... "--Steve Crocker, March 3, 2017, writing on the CCWG-ACCT public mail list (emphasis and link added). 
4b. Quote of the Week: (Are you an ICANN insider or ICANN outsider?)
[CCWG-ACCT] Terminology for the ICANN trinity"Make it as simple as possible so that ICANN outsiders will understand it. Thanks to the 1000+ acronyms ICANN has created enough confusion not only among the "people in the street" who are using domain names but also among Internet policy makers who are not ICANN insiders but have to deal with implications coming from domain names." --Wolfgang Kleinwächter
5. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”--ICANN58 
ICANN58 meeting in Copenhagen--pre-meetings begin March 10, 2017. The ICANN Community Forum meetings are March 11-16. More information here. After ICANN58 has endedDomain Mondo will have a full report on all the "mischief" ICANN and the "ICANN community" have been up to in Copenhagen.

6. Speaking of ICANN and registry operators and registrars who make up GNSO's Contracted Party House (CPH), read the Letter of 14 Feb 2017 from Contracted Party House to Members of the ICANN Board | ICANN.org (published by ICANN on March 2, 2017) highlighting added:

7. ICANN, Verisign & Cyber Sovereignty:

8.  Internet Grows to 329.3 Million Domain Name Registrations in the Fourth Quarter of 2016 (NASDAQ:VRSN) | investor.verisign.com"The increase of approximately 2.3 million domain name registrations globally equates to a growth rate of 1.8 percent over the third quarter of 2016. Domain name registrations have grown by 21 million, or 6.8 percent, year over year. The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of approximately 142.2 million domain name registrations in the domain name base in the fourth quarter of 2016. This represents a 1.7 percent increase year over year. As of Dec. 31, 2016, the .com domain name base equaled 126.9 million domain name registrations, while the .net domain name base equaled 15.3 million domain name registrationsNew .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 8.8 million during the fourth quarter of 2016. In the fourth quarter of 2015, new .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 12.2 million."  More at The Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief Q4 2016.

9.  i2Coalition To Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award | i2Coalition.com: The “Ron Yokubaitis Internet Community Leadership Award” 2017 recipient will be Elliot Noss, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Tucows, Inc. (Hover, OpenSRS, eNom). The award will be delivered at a ceremony on May 3rd in Washington, D.C., during the closing ceremonies i2Coalition’s yearly Washington, D.C. Fly-In.
“Elliot has been challenging industry norms since the early days of the commercial Internet. He is one of the Internet’s most effective champions for users’ rights during that entire period.”--i2Coalition Executive Director Christian Dawson
10.  Letter to the Editor: Would you be able to help?

Hi John,
The Internet Society is looking for a group of young people between 13 to 25 years old to join us for a conversation about the Internet. We want to know what the Internet means to them today and what they hope it will be like tomorrow.
Do you know someone who fits this profile? If so, please invite them to register for our next online forum, scheduled for Thursday, March 16 at 16h UTC (more details below).
The event will also serve to launch the Internet Society’s "25 Under 25”, a programme to recognise passionate, committed young people who are using the Internet to change the world. Feel free to forward and share this message widely!
Participation details:
Date: Thursday, March 16; Time: 16:00 UTC, 11:00 am EST (US). Pre-register here.
--Toral Cowieson, Senior Director, Internet Leadership, Internet Society

11. The 3 Most Popular Posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com:

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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