News Review | IANA Transition Unwind? ICANN Nightmare or Fantasy?

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-01-28) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) IANA Transition Unwind? ICANN Nightmare or Fantasy? 2) ICANN news: a. As goes France.com so goes new gTLD .AMAZON? b. GDPR & WHOIS Webinar, c. New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation Update, d. NomCom & ICANN Dysfunction3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: Q4 2017 $VRSN,  $GDDY, 4) ICYMI: Russiaphobia and more, 5) Most Read.

1)  IANA Transition Unwind? ICANN Nightmare OR Ted Cruz Fantasy?
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (above left), and NTIA's David Redl (right) at Redl's confirmation hearing June 8, 2017
Fantasy or Nightmare? Will the REAL David Redl please stand up:
Make the internet American again? Trump pick opened the door | Politico.com Jan 23, 2018: "[David] Redl promised the senators [Cruz and Lee] that he would recommend convening a "panel of experts to investigate options for unwinding the [IANA] transition," according to a letter that POLITICO obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request ... Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) briefly blocked Redl himself over concerns that he'd cut some deal with Cruz ... Schatz said the idea of undoing the internet transition "may be an interesting political topic" but is ultimately a "fantasy."
Remarks of Assistant Secretary David Redl at CES 2018 | NTIA.doc.gov Jan 9, 2018: "I'll also focus on being a strong advocate for U.S. interests within ICANN. We need to ensure transparency and accountability in ICANN's work. And in light of the implementation of the European General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR, we need to preserve lawful access to WHOIS data, which is a vital tool for the public."
Editor's note: Messrs. Redl, Cruz, and Lee, would do well to read on Domain Mondo:
After which they would understand how we got to this point, and what the U.S. government needs to focus on going forward. ICANN may have already sown the seeds of its own destruction with its hundreds of gTLD contracts in perpetuity, against the advice and counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (pdf) delivered to ICANN by NTIA in 2008 (pdf). If so, the good news is that what comes after ICANN could be a lot better for the global internet community and restore the principles of Jon Postel's RFC 1591 to the governance of the global DNS and root. The bad news is that what comes after ICANN could be as bad, or even worse.

2) ICANN news
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. As goes France.com so goes new gTLD .AMAZON? (or even Amazon.com?)
French government claims back "France.com" (as trade mark and domain name) [from France.com, Inc.] | ipkitten.blogspot.ca comment "the French government interestingly argued that under Art L.3111-1 of the Public Property Code, "the property within the public domain are inalienable and imprescriptible" and that the TM and domain name "France.com" fall within this category."
"this term ["France"] refers to the national territory in [terms of] its economic, geographic, historic, political and cultural identity"--French Court of Appeal ruling in favor of the French government against trademark holder and domain registrant France.com, Inc.  
b. GDPR & WHOIS Webinar: 
Data Protection/Privacy Update Webinar Scheduled for 2 February | ICANN.org:
"The community is encouraged to provide input on the proposed models [PDF, 623 KB] by 29 January 2018. Please send your feedback to gdpr @ icann.org. More information on ICANN's data protection/privacy activities is available here."
Comments submitted: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/gdpr-legal-analysis-2017-11-17-en
Webinar 2 February 2018 15:30 UTC / 10:30am ET (U.S.) via Adobe Connect Send dial-in requests to gdpr-questions @ icann.org. Dial-in Information. Participant Codes: English – Participant Code: 9001; Français – Participant Code: 9002; Español – Participant Code: 9003; 中文 – Participant Code: 9004; Pусский – Participant Code: 9005; العربية – Participant Code: 9006; Português – Participant Code: 9007.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). It becomes enforceable 25 May 2018. EU website: Data protection | European Commission | ec.europa.eu

ARTICLE 29 Data Protection Working Party Letter to ICANN 6 Dec 2017 (pdf): "At first glance it would seem that since ICANN and the registries jointly determine the purposes and means of the processing of personal data for the WHOIS directories, ICANN and the registries are joint controllers. This would mean that both ICANN and the registries must ensure that personal data are processed in accordance with the obligations of the European data protection laws."

17 Dec 2018 Letter from Manal Ismail [GAC] to Göran Marby | ICANN.org (pdf)--Issue: WHOIS Compliance with GDPR--excerpt (highlighting added):
The Internet: 10 predictions for 2018 | DiploFoundation | diplomacy.edu by Jovan Kurbalija: "1. GDPR: Data in the centre of digital politics ....
"The GDPR is likely to have a global impact in two main ways. First, the EU is extending its jurisdiction globally by requesting that the data of European citizens be managed according to European regulation, wherever data processing takes place. Secondly, other countries may follow suit. With a high Internet penetration of 500 million citizens with strong purchasing power, the EU is the most lucrative Internet market in the world. The EU has the digital ‘hard power’ to negotiate with Internet companies on an equal footing." (emphasis added)
The Looming Battle over the GDPR and the Purpose of Whois in ICANN | InternetGovernance.org: ".... The Hamilton report has not identified a viable way forward, neither long term nor short term. The real solution to this problem is to identify a purpose of Whois that is consistent with ICANN’s limited mission ... the analysis in the Hamilton report actually points away from a complicated layered model to continued public access to a far more limited set of data. This is the easier, and most legally correct path to follow. That is where ICANN should go."--Professor Milton Mueller

Europe's GDPR Meets WHOIS Privacy: Which Way Forward? | Electronic Frontier Foundation | EFF.org: ".... There are other cases in which it makes sense to allow members of the public to contact the owner of a domain, without having to obtain a court order. But this could be achieved very simply if ICANN were simply to provide something like a CAPTCHA-protected contact form, which would deliver email to the appropriate contact point with no need to reveal the registrant’s actual email address [or even name]. There's no reason why this couldn't be required in conjunction with ICANN's Model 3, to address the legitimate concerns of those who need to contact domain owners for operational or business reasons, and who for whatever reason can't obtain contact details in any other way."

Editor's Note: Read EFF's submitted comment here (pdf), with which I concur.

c. New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation UPDATE: (emphasis added)
Editor's note: Mike Silber was selected for the ICANN Board by the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation in 2009 and elected to a second term in 2012 and a third and final term in 2015, which will expire at the Annual General Meeting in 2018. According to his ICANN bio, he was responsible for the redelegation of the .ZA ccTLD and served a Director and Treasurer of the Authority from its formation in 2004 to 2015. ZA Central Registry is also the registry operator for new gTLD .AFRICA.

d.  2018 Nominating Committee (NomCom) vs ICANN org Dysfunction (pdf)(embed below, highlighting added):

e. New gTLD Program Auctions | ICANN.org 23 January 2018 – Updated Auction Schedule:

f. ICANN Public Comment Periods closing in February 2018 at 23:59 UTC on the dates indicated below (subject to change):

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Q4 2017 Earnings season (domain name industry companies) on DomainMondo.com: 
  • GoDaddy | NYSE: GDDY Feb 22, 2018 5:00pm ET (world's largest domain name registrar)

b.  Trademarks: "Infamous troll" Michael Gleissner involved in 5% of all live contested trademark cases in UK | Lexology.com

c. Trump Antitrust Policy after One Year (video) | The Heritage Foundation | heritage.org: "The Trump Administration has brought leadership changes at the two federal antitrust agencies, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission."   See also: Trump nominates 4 to FTC: Joseph Simons, antitrust attorney from the Paul Weiss law firm, as new FTC chairman; as well as Noah Phillips, chief counsel for Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Delta Air Lines executive Christine Wilson for a third GOP slot. Trump also nominated consumer advocate Rohit Chopra for a Democrat slot, which will leave one (Democrat) vacancy on the completely revamped Commission.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Privacy and Surveillance:


Net Neutrality: It's up to Congress to save the internet | LATimes.com

5) Four Most Read Posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
1. News Review | China Disrupts Global Companies’ Web Access (video)
2. Tech Review | Cryptocurrency & Government Regulation (video) 
3. World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018, Davos, Jan 23-26 (video)
4. China's Mobile Wallet-Free Lifestyle via WeChat Pay & Alipay (video) 

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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