Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2017-06-18):
Features • 1)
.AFRICA: ICANN Motion for Summary Judgment, 2)
Other ICANN news: a.
Cure for ICANN Dysfunction, b.
Realm of the Absurd, c.
Who was arrested at ICANN? d.
Public Comment Reports: .NET, new gTLDs, e.
Fake Profiles at ICANN, f.
ICANN Dept of Dysfunction, g.
ICANN jurisdiction "coup from the top"
Holding ICANN Accountable (IRS Form 990), i.
ICANN Board Public Session, 3)
Names, Domains & Trademarks, 4)
Investing: Donuts & Rightside $NAME, Neustar $NSR, 6)
1) DotConnectAfrica Trust v. ICANN et al
“… DCA and Ruby Glen [Donuts affiliate] breached their agreement not to file a lawsuit against ICANN arising out of their [new gTLD] applications, as set forth in the Covenant [Covenant Not to Sue in the Applicant Guidebook]. The district court in Ruby Glen dismissed Ruby Glen’s complaint [re: .WEB] at the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) stage because of the Covenant. Likewise, because DCA’s claims all pertain to the “processing and consideration of” a new gTLD [.AFRICA] application, DCA’s lawsuit is barred under the Covenant …”--ICANN's motion for summary judgment, p. 23, set for a hearing on August 9, 2017.
2) Other ICANN news
a. Cure for ICANN Dysfunction:
b. Realm of the Absurd
| Sheryl Sandberg on Organizational Failure|
"Any Charter that recognizes GoDaddy as a closed brand, rather than a Registrar, has truly ventured into the Realm of the Absurd."--James Bladel, GoDaddy V.P., Global Policy, and Chair of the GNSO Council.
[council] FW: [RrSG-Members] GoDaddy Status and Resignation
: "I’ve recently been notified that GoDaddy
eligible to hold office under the current RrSG
[ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group
, due to our having executed Specification 13 for the [new gTLD] .GODADDY Registry Agreement. While Specification 13 is not explicitly listed as a disqualification in our Charter, it contains provisions that are equivalent to Specification 9, which is called out as a disqualification under Section 4.3.6. I was not
aware that our adoption of Spec 13 would also encompass Spec 9, and thus make GoDaddy (and by extension, me) ineligible to hold office. We have no immediate plans
to launch .GODADDY, and the only
active registration currently is NIC.GODADDY
, and any Charter
that recognizes GoDaddy
as a closed brand
, rather than
, has truly ventured into the realm of the Absurd
. But rules are rules, so… I’m hereby offering my resignation from the GNSO Council
for the remainder of my term (ending at ICANN 60 Abu Dhabi in November). Should the ExCom & Members wish to retain me in office until the conclusion my term, I would be happy to do so on an interim basis, and stand for a special vote, as described under Section 4.3.7. Additionally, GoDaddy will not
nominate or run any candidates for office under the existing Charter, and will not cast votes for any pending elections, or on the FY2018 RrSG Budget, or any other votes until our new Charter is adopted."--James Bladel
, June 13, 2017. Postscript
: "I (Bladel) have resigned my elected office as Councilor, but have been appointed by the Registrar ExCom to continue to serve in an interim basis until a Special Election can be held. On the whole, the net impact of all of this on the Council is….not much. My status changes from “elected” Councilor to “appointed” Councilor for the next few months, but I don’t see that this change necessarily affects the Council, or its work, or our upcoming election calendar."
c. Security Update - Los Angeles Office | ICANN.org
: "On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, a person was taken into custody on ICANN’s premises in Los Angeles, CA, unrelated to ICANN’s operations. We are aware and are investigating. We will provide an update as we learn more and as appropriate."
The police arrested someone at ICANN headquarters in L.A.]
d. Public Comment Reports
(1) Report of Public Comment Proceeding
(pdf) on Proposed Renewal of .NET Registry Agreement
: "As a next step, ICANN organization intends to consider the proposed renewal of the .NET Registry Agreement taking into account the comments added to the forum. Following the completion of the public comment process, the proposed renewal of the .NET Registry Agreement will be considered by ICANN's Board of Directors."
(2) Staff Report
(pdf) of Public Comment Proceeding GNSO Community Comment 2 (CC2) on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures
Policy Development Process;
e. Fighting Fake Profiles on icann.org | ICANN.org
: "... To ensure the integrity of content on icann.org, and to mitigate the risks from fake or spam profiles, we have decided that the best short-term solution is to turn off the public aspect of profiles. This change will take effect on 23 June 2017. This temporary fix will afford us the time to work on a better solution, while ridding the site of inappropriate and obscene content. We have already deleted 6,000 of the most egregious and obvious fake profiles."
See ICANN Profiles
From the ICANN Department of Dysfunction
: 09 June 2017 unsigned letter from anonymous "members" of RySG [Registry Stakeholder Group] to Steve Crocker and Göran Marby
(pdf) [published 12 June 2017] requesting the ICANN Board set a date certain now
(before prerequisite reviews and planning are even near completion) for the "next round" of new gTLDs.
g. ICANN Jurisdiction (WS2)
--from the CCWG WS2 public mail list
--"It gives me no pleasure to report that a coup from the top was achieved at yesterday's call based meeting of the jurisdiction sub-group. The CCWG and sub group chairs together simply decided that the CCWG jurisdiction sub-group will no longer discuss the jurisdiction question, however paradoxical and comical it sounds. What they actually proclaimed was of course more circuitously worded -- something like, people can discuss the jurisdiction question as long as it is not, even by any distant implication, about any change in the jurisdictional status quo!! Wonder, what really then is the jurisdiction issue that they can discuss, but then Orwell did tell us a lot about such political speak ..." (emphasis added).
Read more of the thread here
h. Holding ICANN accountable
re: FY16 Form 990
: Still no response from ICANN since the June 1, 2017, acknowledgement:
Dear Sir, As the signatory of the ICANN Form 990, I have been provided with your question on this document. I hereby acknowledge receipt of your email and question, and thank you for your time and effort in reviewing this document and inquiring about it. Your question and its upcoming response further enhance the transparency on this document. I will submit your email and question for publication on the “Correspondence” page of our website. Our response will also be published on this page, and you will be notified of such publication as soon as it will have occurred.--Xavier Calvez, ICANN CFO, 12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90094
i. ICANN Board to Hold Public Session During Johannesburg Workshop | ICANN.org
: "The session, Board Review of the FY18 Final Budget, will be held on Friday, 23 June, from 15:15 – 16:45 (13:15 – 14:45 UTC)."
More info at link above.
3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
4) ICYMI Internet Domain News Quick Takes
- What would the web be like without Net Neutrality? | OpenMedia.org.
- EFF and Broad Coalition Call for Day of Action to Defend Net Neutrality | Electronic Frontier Foundation: On July 12, 2017, EFF and hundreds of organizations – including nonprofits, artists, tech companies large and small, libraries, and even ISPs – will be joining together to take action to defend the open Internet. Details to follow, but the goal is simple. Let’s send a strong message to the FCC and Congress: Don’t Mess With the Internet.
- FCC's Open Internet Docket Explodes | Multichannel.com: "huge wave of comments ... since Friday (June 2), with more than 4.9 million posted, up by about 2 million from Friday afternoon's 2.9 million-plus ..."
- Hidden Cobra–North Korea’s DDoS Botnet Infrastructure | US-CERT | us-cert.gov: Alert (TA17-164A) re: North Korea’s DDoS Botnet Infrastructure.
- Internet Fragmentation Exists, But Not In the Way That You Think | Council on Foreign Relations | cfr.org: "The tension between global cyberspace and the territorial state is the primary factor that drives internet governance and cybersecurity debates. It is time to face that problem directly."
- The battle for the soul of the internet has well and truly begun | wired.co.uk
- Beating Ethiopia's internet outage – Diplomacy, cash and technology | AfricaNews.com
- Silicon Valley leadership is key in the fight against terror | ft.com by Robert Hannigan, a former director of UK's GCHQ: "There are two separate complaints about the internet: that it facilitates covert communication between terrorists through encrypted messaging, and that it enables the spread of radicalising propaganda by hosting extremist material."
- The Maldives Government Issued Arrest Warrants for Bloggers on Twitter | Electronic Frontier Foundation | eff.org
- Indexing Ethiopia | CyberEthiopia.com: "Ethiopia is one of the least connected countries in the world with an internet penetration rate of only 12 percent, according to 2015 data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). FNI reported, “A handful of signal stations service the entire country, resulting in network congestion and frequent disconnection. In a typical small town, individuals often hike to the top of the nearest hill to find a mobile phone signal.”"
- Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) 2017 | NGOpulse.org: This year’s edition of the Forum will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 27-29 September.
- Indian strategy to defame freedom struggle! | KashmirWatch.com: "... The internet is often suspended or restricted in Kashmir to quell civilian protests and anti-India demonstrations, which sometimes turn violent. According to a report by the Software Freedom Law Centre, the internet has been blocked in Kashmir at least 31 times between 2012 and 2016. However, this is for the first time that the authorities have placed a complete ban on social networking sites."
- Germany's Merkel says digital world needs global rules | Reuters.com. Germany wants the Group of 20 major economies to develop a plan on digital policy at a July summit. Merkel cited an agreement by G20 nations to fight cyber attacks on the global banking system.
- Fake News Is Unbelievably Cheap to Produce | MIT TechnologyReview.com [Editor's note: one person's "fake news" a/k/a "false news" (Washington Post) is another person's "real news" and vice versa.]
• Form 8-K EX-99.1
: "Rightside and Donuts Announce Definitive Merger Agreement Donuts to Acquire Rightside for $10.60 Per Share in Cash Transaction Valued at Approximately $213 Million ... The transaction ... is currently expected to close during the third quarter of 2017. Following the transaction, Rightside will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Donuts, a privately-held company, and Rightside’s common shares will no longer be listed on any public market."
(June 14, 2017 chart below
share price: (a) $15.85 August 1, 2014, right after spinoff of Rightside from Demand Media
; (b) Closing price $12.09 July 27, 2016; and (c) $10.60 all cash tender offer via Donuts June 13, 2017, shares closed up Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
• Neustar (NYSE: NSR) Form 8-K
June 12, 2017: "As previously reported, on December 14, 2016, NeuStar, Inc.
(“Neustar”) entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with Aerial Topco, L.P. (“Parent”) and Aerial Merger Sub, Inc. (“Merger Sub”) ... On June 12, 2017, and in accordance with the terms of the Merger Agreement, Neustar extended the Outside Date
from June 14, 2017 to September 14, 2017
. On June 12, 2017, Neustar received written notification from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States
”) that it will not take action to prevent the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement from being consummated. Receipt of the written notification from CFIUS satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the Merger, which remains subject to the receipt of approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the satisfaction or waiver of other customary closing conditions. Neustar continues to expect the Merger to be completed no later than the extended Outside Date
6) Most popular post
(# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com:
-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo