2019-03-31

News Review 1) Almost No One Wants To Be ICANN EPDP Phase 2 Chair

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2019-03-31) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) Almost No One Wants To Be ICANN EPDP Phase 2 Chair, 2) EPDP Needs Independent Legal Counsel, 3) Other ICANN News: a.Public Comment Periods Closing in April, b. Tweet of the Week, 4)a. New gTLDs' Cannibalizationb. Digital Identities & Privacy, 5) ICYMI: EU Copyright Directive, and more, 6) Most Read.

1) Almost No One Wants To Be ICANN EPDP Phase 2 Chair:
"The deadline for the EOI response has passed and there was only one respondent. In light of the EPDP and GNSO Council discussions in Kobe, I think it’s appropriate to extend the deadline for two weeks to Monday, 8 April while providing some additional details about the anticipated work load and pace/intensity of Phase 2. I hope this will inform potential Chair candidates and encourage a more robust response.  We have updated the attached EOI document accordingly, which will be posted later today."--Keith Drazek, GNSO Chair, 25 Mar 2019.
More info at Deadline Extended | ICANN.orgExpressions of Interest Sought for Chair of GNSO EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data – Phase 2. 

Editor's note: it's not hard to understand why almost no one wants the job--the dysfunctional and endless meetings, inept work plans, and ill-informed EPDP team members, all apparent in Phase 1 and its Final Report, should give pause to anyone considering the position--plus ICANN Org's push to be the 'sole gateway' for third-party access to redacted WHOIS data, and ICANN Org controlling all EPDP resources and support, including legal advice (EPDP does not have independent legal counsel). Anyone competent would likely demand assurances and changes in the EPDP meetings, work plans, processes, legal counsel arrangements, and available resources, agreed to up front and signed off by both ICANN Org and the GNSO Council, which might not be acceptable to an ICANN Organization used to manipulating PDPs in order to get the outcomes it wants. Otherwise, I suggest GNSO hire, and ICANN pay for, a competent professional knowledgeable in the GDPR, to co-chair EPDP Phase 2 along with current Acting Chair, Rafik Dammak. Under that scenario, there likely would be no need for professional mediators as were used extensively in the dysfunctional EPDP Phase 1, with mixed results.

2) The EPDP Team Needs Independent Legal Counsel: 
As noted above, the EPDP team does not have independent legal counsel. Bird & Bird, a London-based international law firm is advising both ICANN Org and the EPDP team. The Bird & Bird legal memos are here.

Editor's note: the most recent Bird & Bird memo dated 8 Mar 2019 "Advice on the legal basis for transferring Thick WHOIS" is indicative of the problems in having the EPDP team use ICANN Org's counsel (Bird & Bird) for legal advice. This March 8th memo is troublesome, in part, because it appears to approach its analysis cognizant of ICANN Org's known preference for a thick Whois model, and states one or more substantive factual errors, for example:
3.13. The thick Whois model eliminates a step that stakeholders might need to undertake in order to access the full Whois data set. Whereas under the thin Whois model, a stakeholder might need to first consult the registry to identify the relevant registrar before approaching the registrar to access the data, under the thick Whois model, the stakeholder would be able to obtain the full data set from the registry directly (provided the stakeholder can demonstrate an Authorised Purpose).--Bird & Bird legal memo, p.4.
The bold language in the quoted paragraph above from the March 8 Bird & Bird legal memo is factually incorrect. The identity of the registrar is non-redacted free public information available online under both thick and thin Whois models, so there is no need to "first consult the registry to identify the relevant registrar." Unfortunately Bird & Bird repeats this error again in its legal memo at page 5:
"The difference between a thick and thin Whois policy would mean that stakeholders would need to take only one minor additional step (i.e. checking a registry to identify the relevant registrar) in order to access restricted data."
How the lawyers at Bird & Bird came to this misunderstanding is unclear. Almost everyone understands the registrar is still listed in the public WHOIS data post-GDPR, irrespective of whether the Thin or Thick WHOIS model is being used (see graphic below).
source: http://archive.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/thick-thin-whois-30may09-en.pdf
I can think of many more factual reasons why the 'Thin model' is much more preferable than the 'Thick model' under the GDPR, none of which were apparently ever presented to, nor considered by, Bird & Bird's lawyers before conducting their legal analysis and issuing their legal opinion memo. I think most would agree that any attorney's 'legal opinion' or 'legal analysis' based upon an incomplete or erroneous set of factual reasons, may be worthless.

Apparently no one on ICANN's legal staff or the EPDP 'Legal Committee' bothered "articulating" an accurate and complete set of facts to the Bird & Bird lawyers in connection with the 'Question Presented.' The main input to Bird & Bird for the memo appears to have been GNSO's "Thick Whois Report" issued 21 October 2013, before enactment of the GDPR. To get a good legal memo, there first needs to be a dialogue between attorney and client. Who communicated with the lawyers at Bird & Bird about this memo, the factual setting and background, and the 'Question Presented,' on behalf of the respective clients, the EPDP team, and ICANN Org?

The name of the registry operator is not in the WHOIS data set (Thick or Thin, redacted or non-redacted). The registrar's name is the only 'contracted party' identified, so it makes even more sense under Bird & Bird's logic and reasoning for registrars (which also collect the data) to hold the data and not transfer the personal data constantly to 3rd parties the registrar does not control, and for good reason should not trust (i.e., registry operators and ICANN), who might then unlawfully process the data or erroneously disclose the data to fourth parties, in violation of the GDPR or other privacy laws.

From a practical point of view, ICANN set up its ill-conceived new gTLDs program of over 1200 new gTLDs so that the new gTLDs could be (and are) 'bought and sold' like used cars, so the public never knows whether a particular new gTLD is in the process of "changing hands" from one registry operator to another, until the process has been completed and notice of that fact is then published somewhere in the bowels of ICANN's website, whereas a change of the registrar of record is always reflected in the unredacted WHOIS data. Any party desiring data on a domain name or registrant should, optimally, always seek out the registrar of record, not the registry operator nor ICANN. The registrar will not only have the full WHOIS record, but also other data not within the WHOIS data set which could be provided in response to a lawful Court order, subpoena, warrant, or other legal process, sought by law enforcement, a governmental agency, or even a private party, including in an 'emergency' situation. Neither ICANN nor the registry operators have, nor should they have, access to that additional personal data. I recognize ICANN Org's apparent desire to expand its power and authority beyond that ever contemplated, to be the 'sole gateway' to registrants' personal data. In fact, like most registrants, I am particularly uncomfortable with ICANN Org holding or having unlimited access to registrants' personal data since ICANN Org has a record of acting imprudently in so many cases as to render itself de facto "untrustworthy." 

It may be that the Bird & Bird lawyers are confused about what is provided in the Whois distributed data base of publicly available non-redacted information, irrespective of whether the Whois model is "thin" or "thick." Unfortunately, the legal memo appears to rely on the apparent factual error above to support its reasoning and conclusions, stating that "ICANN and the relevant parties articulated clear benefits to implementing the thick Whois policy for security, stability and reliability purposes."

In other words, ICANN Org and unknown 'relevant parties' have been "articulating" to Bird & Bird an incomplete or erroneous version of "facts" and "reasoning" in order to get the legal opinion ICANN Org and 'relevant parties' wanted. One really can't blame Bird & Bird, ICANN Org is the "paying client" not the EPDP team. However, this is a serious problem for the EPDP teamnot having independent legal counsel. This last legal memo from Bird & Bird is also troublesome for reasons other than given above. But since it is only ICANN and its contracted parties who are going to be sued under GDPR, maybe we shouldn't care?

Remedy? 1. The EPDP team should add a few non-lawyers to its EPDP Legal Committee in order to keep the EPDP lawyer-members honest; and 2. the EPDP Team should retain its own independent legal counsel free from ICANN Org and unknown 'relevant parties' interference, inappropriate influence, and ex parte "articulating."

3) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. Public Comment periods closing in April, 2019:

b. Tweet of the Week: From .SUCKS to .ORG - How ICANN Californicates the World Wide Web

4) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. New gTLDs' Cannibalization--Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief as of end of Q4 2018
Editor's noteafter subtracting the net increases of ccTLDs (8.2M) and .COM (7.1M) from the total net increase of all TLDs (16.3M), the grand total net increase of all the other gTLDs (including new gTLDs), is only 1 million YOY, indicating ICANN's mismanagement of gTLDs, irresponsibly flooding the market with over 1200 new gTLDs since 2014, which have generated little net new growth overall in gTLDs (if you exclude .COM which is in a class by itself). The new gTLDs'  cannibalization of all gTLDs overall--both within new gTLDs and older gTLDs (except for .COM)--will only get worse when ICANN and its "community" mindlessly continue to delegate even more new gTLDs in the next round. There is no "lack of awareness" problem with new gTLDs, that's a 'false narrative' pushed by the new gTLDs domain industry and some at ICANN as an excuse as to why the new gTLDs have failed so miserably in the marketplace from original predictions and expectations. Go to GoDaddy.com and look around, you have to step around and over the new gTLDs in order to register a .COM domain name.

b. Digital identities and privacy: Time to change how domain names are registered?--aei.org:
"... A new digital identity service has both government and commercial viability for validating transactions, record keeping, and regulatory compliance. Instead of trying to fit old policies with new regulations, let’s hope innovators embrace technology to move us forward to a better, more productive way of using the internet."

5) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
EU’s Parliament Signs Off on Disastrous Internet Law: What Happens Next?--eff.org (graphic)
EU Copyright Directive: "The European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety ... Unlike EU Regulations like the GDPR, which become law on passage by the central EU institutions, EU Directives have to be transposed: written into each member country’s national law. Countries have until 2021 to transpose the Copyright Directive, but EU rarely keeps its members to that deadline, so it could take even longer. Unfortunately, it is likely that the first implementation of the Directive will come from the countries who have most enthusiastically supported its passage. France’s current batch of national politicians have consistently advocated for the worst parts of the Directive, and the Macron administration may seek to grab an early win for the country’s media establishment ..."--eff.org. See also: Europe is splitting the internet into three--how the Copyright Directive reshapes the open web--theverge.com.

FTC announces inquiry into the privacy practices of broadband providers--The Federal Trade Commission wants to know what data your ISP is collecting about you--theverge.com.

For-Profit Monopolies Which Censored RussiaGate Skeptics: "We either take down Facebook and Google and turn them into tightly regulated transparent public utilities available to all or they will destroy what little is left of American democracy."--CharlesHughSmith.

Fighting censorship and expanding internet freedom--cfr.org: "internet rights advocates would do well to reign in their exuberance for the power of markets alone to expand political liberties." See also The State of Internet Freedom Around the World--pcmag.com.

From freedom to despair: the internet’s short but fast highway to hell--crikey.com.au.

Net Neutrality: Will Congress Save Internet Freedom?--entrepreneur.com.

The global rise of Internet sovereignty--China and Russia want the global internet to look more like theirs. Some argue they are beginning to succeed--codastory.com.

Russia: Vladimir Putin signs sweeping internet-censorship bills--publishing "unreliable socially significant information" can lead to big fines--arstechnica.com and Russia is Censoring More Than Just the Internet--themoscowtimes.com.

New Zealand Christchurch massacre another internet-enabled atrocity?--thehill.com.

Every Minute Online Is a Battle for Consumer Attention--pcmag.com.

South Africa In Risk of “Passive” Internet Censorship with New Law--technadu.com, and Why South Africa’s online freedom is at risk--The Film and Publication Amendment Bill stands to change South African content creation drastically--thesouthafrican.com.

"How Cam Models Are Finding Freedom in Cryptocurrency"--"online performers are moving into the high-tech realm of digital currency"--rollingstone.com.

"Alleged Child Porn Lord Faces US Extradition"--websites that could only be accessed using the Tor Browser Bundle, which is built on the Firefox Web browser--defendant holds dual Irish-US citizenship, was denied bail and held pending his nearly six-year appeal process to contest his extradition--krebsonsecurity.com.

6) Most Read this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com

-- John Poole, Editor  Domain Mondo 

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2019-03-30

Tech Review 1) Apple $AAPL Rotting? 2) China's T3 Initiative 3) Q1 2019

graphic "Tech Review" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Tech Review (TR 2019-03-30)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech investing news: Features • 1) Apple $AAPL Rotting? 2) China's T3 Initiative, 3) Investing: Q1 2019, Investor Notes: Eurozone Alarms Rising, 4) ICYMI Tech News: Google, Apple, Microsoft, Lyft, Amazon, Netflix, Disney, AT&T, Facebook, HP, Startups, FTC v. Robocallers.

1) Apple $AAPL Rotting?
Entering commoditized, fiercely competitive low-margin services cannot substitute for the high-margin profits that will be lost as global recession and saturation erode iPhone sales.--Charles Hugh Smith
Apple's Big Announcement: More TV, News, Credit Cards, and Oprah!

Apple's new entertainment subscription services and credit card, launched to great fanfare this week, could raise new concerns for the company over market power and competition issues. Apple executives at a star-studded event in Cupertino, Calif., this week unveiled subscription services in gaming, news and television, as well as a new Apple credit card. Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute, told TheHill.com she is concerned that Apple is "controlling the game and playing the game too" as the owner of both the iOS App Store and creator of the iPhone.

Apple's Faulty MacBook Butterfly Keyboard Explained

The third generation of the butterfly keyboard on Apple's Mac laptops was supposed to fix all the problems. But nope. WSJ.com's Joanna Stern explains why the keyboards on the newest and most expensive MacBooks keep breaking—and the few things you can do about it. Wall Street Journal videos above published Mar 26 & 28, 2019.

2) China's T3 Initiative:
Alibaba, Tencent, Suning, and 3 Chinese SOE car makers, including Chongqing Changan Automobile, set up a $1.5 billion Chinese ride-hailing venture, a move that threatens China's dominant ride-sharing company, Didi Chuxing.

3) Investing
graphic: "INVESTING"  ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Q! 2019: NASDAQ Composite +16.5% | S&P 500 Index +13.1% | DJIA +11.2%
S&P 500 notches best start to a year since 1998, Dow rises more than 200 points on trade optimism--CNBC.com.
Snapshot Thursday, March 28: Stocks rose slightly, the S&P 500 holding steady over the past two weeks, but up 12% year-to-date. Treasury yields slightly higher, while the $US surged, hitting gold, which dropped nearly 1% to a three-week low of $1,290 an ounce.

Headwinds:
Investor Notes: Eurozone Alarms Rising

European Economic Storm Clouds--insidesources.com: on our way to another round of the European sovereign debt crisis?

Germany: views of “Current Economic Conditions” at Euro Debt-Crisis Level--wolfstreet.com

EU: A Proposed Megadeal Exposes the Grim Outlook for Europe’s Banks--bloomberg.com: Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank joining forces would be just the start of a long, painful process.

No-Deal Brexit Now Likely Says European Commission--see also Five Reasons to Love a No Deal Brexit.

European Prognosis negative: the Financial Times reports that Deutsche Bank A.G. is looking to raise between €3 billion ($3.4 billion) and €10 billion in equity to help consummate the planned merger with peer Commerzbank A.G., “a move designed to end the debate over whether Germany’s largest lender has enough capital.” In a commentary, Jeffrey Snider of Alhambra Investment Partners wrote that the ECB’s efforts to incentivize credit growth through penalizing idle reserves has backfired, demonstrating the differences between theory and practice.

They really have no idea what they are doing. The ECB is not a collection of newfound doves, they are chickens without their heads. Either way, it does not amount to anything good, and adds more weight to the considerable and growing list of everything bad.--grantspub.com

The average European bank’s holdings of sovereign debt are about 170 percent of its core Tier 1 capital, more than triple the exposure at U.S. banks, according to Deutsche Bank research analysts. What’s more, about 60 percent of an average European bank’s sovereign bond holdings are of those issued by their home government. Why? Because government bonds carry zero risk weightings on banks’ books. This creates some perverse incentives

Eurozone flash manufacturing PMI plunges to 47.6 in March, 71-month lows--fxstreet.com. See also: The eurozone lacks the scaffolding to withstand the symmetrical shock of the next recession, which could imperil the euro itself.--socialeurope.eu.

4) ICYMI Tech News:
graphic: "ICYMI Tech News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Google, Microsoft, and Apple Are Fighting For Classrooms--CNBC.com video--chart above source: futuresource-consulting.com. Chromebooks are winning.

Lyft closes up 9% on its first day of trading after raising $2.3B in its IPO, which valued the company at over $20B--NASDAQ: LYFT.

Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Disney, or AT&T? The Surprising Winner In The Streaming Service Race--seekingalpha.com--$AMZN. See also Apple launches Apple TV+ (video) and YouTube Bows Out of Hollywood Arms Race With Netflix and Amazon--bloomberg.com.

Facebook: 10 Reasons Why I Have Sold All My Shares--seekingalpha.com--"Mark Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook will become "privacy-centered". This is really not believable, and if it would be, shareholders should be worried even more ... Zuckerberg himself has become a problem for Facebook."

New research reveals that Google built biases into its search results that influenced the 2018 midterm elections - possibly costing Republicans three congressional districts. --zerohedge.com.

Apple Infringes Qualcomm Patent; Judge Recommends Ban on Some iPhones--bloomberg.com.
Apple $AAPL: few analysts have looked at the headwinds in Europe and the longer term challenges in China.--seekingalpha.com.

The $130 billion digital advertising market may be dominated by Google and Facebook, but Amazon will start selling video spots on its smartphone shopping app.--zerohedge.com.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Mike Lynch faced off against each other in London’s High Court on Monday in a multi-billion dollar showdown over HP's 2011 purchase of the Autonomy software business he founded. The Autonomy-HP deal was a disaster, due, in part, to a failure of due diligence by HP whose CEO at the time, Leo Apotheker, was subsequently fired.

Startups Look Elsewhere: "With the cost of living surging across California, it's hardly surprising that the state has seen the largest net loss of residents as frustrated Californians seek more affordable climes like Nevada and Texas ... many of those who haven't left wish they could."--zerohedge.com.

Recommended reading from cbinsights.com:

Personal Tech: FTC Crackdown Stops Operations Responsible for Billions of Illegal Robocalls. Unwanted calls pitched auto warranties, debt-relief services, Google listings, and a fake charity--FTC says it has fined four robocalling companies, responsible for “billions” of US calls, which will also cease operations--ftc.gov.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

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2019-03-29

Dividend Investing - How It Works (video)

Dividend Investing - How It Works

Dividend investing may not be as popular as it used to be, but investors looking for a low-risk investment strategy might want to pay more attention. Remember the "Bank pays you dividend of $50" card from Monopoly? A dividend is a portion of a company's profits paid out to shareholders on a quarterly basis. As long as you own the stock you'll continue to get paid and over time these regular payments add up. CNBC video above published Feb 27, 2019


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2019-03-28

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans: 'I'm not worried about a recession'

Charles Evans, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, says the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are still "quite strong," and he sees growth of between 1.75 percent to 2 percent in 2019. CNBC International TV video above published Mar 25, 2019.

Domain: chicagofed.org


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2019-03-27

UK Dysfunction | Brexit Or Not, Final Days Or Kick The Can Again? (video)

Time Left Under First Extension of Brexit Date, London time: 11:00 P.M., Friday, 12 Apr 2019

Original Countdown to Brexit: 11:00 pm UK time on Friday, 29 March 2019

UPDATES at Emergency European Summit on Brexit, Wednesday, April 10--EU leaders agreed to extend UK's exit date until October 31, 2019.
9-10 Apr 2019: Before an emergency European summit on Wednesday (Apr 10), UK Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Paris and Berlin on Tuesday (Apr 9), to "make the case for extending article 50" to Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.

8 Apr 2019:
4-5 Apr 2019: Talks between Labour and the government over Brexit aren’t going anywhere, reports @JGForsyth (Apr 5).

Theresa May asks for Brexit extension to June 30; EU could offer a year.
See also: EU's Juncker Warns UK Parliament To Reach Brexit Deal by April 12 (video)

2-3 Apr 2019: Wednesday House of Commons and Prime Minister's Question time.
Bring it on! May has to go!
1 Apr 2019, results of 2nd Day of Indicative Votes (no proposal approved):
Five reasons to love Brexit

"The 29th of March, 2019, should have been our independence day but as Brexit struggles on, Asa Bennett reminds readers of the five reasons they voted for Brexit in the first place."--The Telegraph video above published Mar 29, 2019.

Friday 29 Mar 2019, UK Prime Minister Theresa May put her 'Brexit deal' to MPs for a vote for the third time, and it was defeated 344 "no" votes to 286 "aye." May said the defeat of her strategy had “grave” implications for the country, while the European Commission said an economically damaging no-deal split is now “a likely scenario.” See also Theresa May faces her day of reckoning on Brexit - and is warned it will not end well--telegraph.co.ukHighlights from the EU Withdrawal Agreement Debate (video).

Editor's note 29 Mar 2019: the best or  "least dirty shirt" option at this point appears to be the default option, leaving with no deal on April 12, in view of the inability of the government or parliament to come up with an acceptable alternative, since uncertainty is starting to negatively impact the UK economy (video). Under a No Deal Brexit the UK would leave the EU on  April 12th on WTO terms. Though a "no deal" Brexit is disliked by a majority in the HoC, it still remains the "default option" under the Brexit legislation passed following the referendum on June 23, 2016. See also Brexit: Yanis Varoufakis (video) on May's mistakes and the best road ahead.

Why May's 'Deal' Was Rejected 3 times? It Wasn't Really Brexit.
Links:
Mar 27, 2019 update after the indicative votes, Peston LIVE video via Twitter.

Mar 27, 2019, House of Commons video, MPs' voted on a series of options to try to find a path forward, even though the "indicative votes" would not be binding on the government as it goes against the Tory manifesto. No alternative path gained a majority:
The statutory instrument proposing a new exit day for the UK to leave the EU has been passed. House of Commons voted 441 to 105 in favour. This amends the definition of “exit day” to ensure it is 22 May or 12 April depending if the Commons approves the "Withdrawal Agreement."

Mar 26, 2019 video: UK lawmakers once again frustrated Prime Minister Theresa May's plans for Brexit. On Monday evening MPs voted to take control of the parliamentary agenda. They're now set to hold a series of indicative votes on the country's departure from the EU, in an effort to find a solution backed by a majority. May has said she won't be bound by the results, but observers say this latest development shows just how much authority she's lost  over the Brexit process. See also ERG lawyers dispute May's delay (thread).

Previously on DomainMondo.com:


Meanwhile in Germany:

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2019-03-26

Retailers Tracking Customers' Movements, Future of Retail? (video)

Stores are starting to track your every move

Location-based apps are helping retailers track movement of its customers. CNBC's Uptin Saiidi explores how the future of retail is being shaped in China. CNBC International video above published on Mar 7, 2019.

Tracking takes place through apps for which users have enabled location services (e.g., weather, mapping, or ride-sharing apps). Seven apps have location tracking enabled on an average smartphone in China, according to Cosmose.

Cosmose, a retail tech start-up, connects anonymous movements of more than 1 billion smartphones in Asia to retailers like L’Oreal, Burberry and Budweiser.

Domain: cosmose.co


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2019-03-25

How Amazon Changed Twitch Live Streaming (video)

How Amazon Changed Twitch Live Streaming

Websites such as Twitch.com, YouTube.com, and Microsoft's Mixer.com are capitalizing on livestreaming by integrating another form of popular media: video games. Twitch is now leading the competition when it comes to livestreaming gaming and esports. Livestreaming has become one of the most popular forms of online entertainment today.

According to Newzoo, the video game industry raked in an estimated $138 billion in 2018. When Twitch launched back in 2011, the company focused on esports and gaming. During the site's launch, Twitch had close to 3.2 million unique visitors per month. In 2012, the site grew to 20 million visitors per month, and by 2014, tech giants Amazon $AMZN and Google both tried to acquire the site.

Today, it's one of the biggest platforms for streamers such as Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. The site has over 3 million monthly streamers on the platform. Watch this video to find out more about the history of Twitch.

Twitter: @Twitch and @TwitchEsports and @TwitchCon and @TwitchSupport


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2019-03-24

News Review 1) ICANN Org Policy-Making Trashes Legacy gTLD .ORG

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2019-03-24) with analysis and opinion: Features • 1) ICANN Org Policy-Making Trashes Legacy gTLD .ORG, 2) Other ICANN news: a. EPDP Team Members at WSIS? b. .HONEYWELL, c. .AFRICA Litigation3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: .AMAZON, Tucows $TCX, Escrow Q, INTA, Starbucks, 4) ICYMI: Data Privacy, EU, Russia, Splinternet, 5) Most Read.

1)  ICANN Org Policy-Making Trashes Legacy gTLD .ORG
Proposed Renewal of .org Registry Agreement | ICANN.org: "ICANN organization is posting for public comment the proposed agreement for renewal of the 2013 .org Registry Agreement (herein referred to as ".org renewal agreement"), which is set to expire on 30 June 2019. The .org renewal agreement is a result of bilateral discussions between ICANN and Public Interest Registry, a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation, the Registry Operator for the .org top-level domain (TLD)."
Public comment period closes 29 April 2019 at 23:59 UTC.

UPDATE 29 Mar 00:00UTC: ALL Comments To Date OPPOSE removing .ORG Price Caps.

What's the ProblemICANN Org has once again subverted its own ICANN community's policy-making processes by proposing drastic changes to a legacy gTLD registry agreement, to wit: removing all price controls on .org domain names and subjecting .org domain names to a new Section 2.8 and Specification 7 in the proposed renewal agreement as well as  the new gTLD program's Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) (which are currently being reviewed and revised in a PDP, and were never intended to apply to legacy gTLDs .COM, .NET, and .ORG when adopted in connection with the new gTLDs program). The RPMs are set forth in Specification 7 of the new gTLDs Registry Agreement and include the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system, the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (PDDRP) and the Registration Restrictions Dispute Resolution Procedure (RRDRP).

Reactions:
Submit .ORG comments here by April 29, and read submitted comments here. 

See also: Proposed Renewal of .info Registry Agreementpublic comment closes April 29.

Analysis & Opinion Editor's note: this ICANN & PIR .ORG proposal crafted in secret, is policy-making at its worst, by the management and staff of ICANN, a California corporation, operating as a rogue "global internet coordinator" without any governmental mandate and accountable only to itself and its non-representative "ICANN community" dominated by its own "contracted parties" and lawyers and lobbyists representing "special interests." ICANN shows once again it has little regard for domain name registrants, and is unfit for any role in global internet governance.

This proposal, apparently agreed to by the current .ORG Registry Operator PIR's management and its Board of Directors, also indicates that PIR is unfit to manage the TLD .ORG in the global public interest in accordance with RFC 1591 and its contract should therefore be terminated, and .ORG opened for bidding in conformance with the advice of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, attached to a letter sent to ICANN in 2008, by NTIA.gov.

PIR's new President, Jonathon Nevett, a co-founder of new gTLDs registry operator Donuts, who 'cashed out' when Donuts was taken over by former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade and his crony, former ICANN GDD President Akram Atallah, now, apparently, wants to turn PIR into another "Donuts" and .ORG into a new gTLD like .SUCKS.

Registrants should consider dumping all of their .ORG domain names, or renewing any retained .ORG domain name for 10 years. In 10 years, we might be rid of ICANN and its corrupt culture of monopolistic crony capitalism based upon pure greed and the shameless exploitation of both domain name registrants and trademark owners.

2) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. EPDP Team Members at WSIS
 WSIS Forum 2019
Kurt Pritz, who quit as EPDP Chair in February and has been replaced by acting Chair Rafik Dammak, inexplicably reappeared on the EPDP mail list March 19, soliciting for 2-3 EPDP members to travel at their own expense to Geneva, Switzerland, and participate in ICANN Org's Thematic Workshop: ICANN, the GDPR and WHOIS (pdf), scheduled for April 11, 2019, 16:30-18:15. The only response to date came from Ayden FĂ©rdeline (NCSG EPDP member):
"I am afraid I do not understand why this session is taking place. May I suggest we re-think whether we even need to present our work at WSIS? Do we know who from ICANN org will be in attendance? Will there be a large ICANN org staff delegation? In the past when I have gone to WSIS, Theresa Swinehart has been there sitting on the panels, and often other ICANN staff, reading the same slides we've all seen countless times, but the attendance from the 'community' is often sparse - if the room not empty. Is this session taking place to fulfill a legitimate need to update people on our work, or is it furthering a different goal, i.e. because ICANN is seeking sectoral membership to the ITU and WSIS is an ITU event? I believe ICANN is obliged, as a sponsor of this event, to host a number of workshops - are we just helping ICANN meet its quota? I don't want to sound too negative here but I'm really not sure what the goal for this session could be. WSIS is no longer an important forum and has been struggling to fill its slots for sessions. They extended the workshop submission deadline multiple times this year. Mightn't we might be better off focusing our attention planning for Phase 2 of our work?" (emphasis and link added)
No reply from Kurt Pritz or anyone else on behalf of ICANN Org as of Mar 26, 22:00 UTC (updated).

b. Goodbye .HONEYWELL: Honeywell Voluntarily Terminates Its Honeywell .BRAND New gTLDBack end registry services provider Neustar, Inc. [Editor's note: another one of ICANN's extortionate .BRAND new gTLDs meets its end, what a waste of time, resources, and money!]

c. New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation: DotConnectAfrica Trust v. ICANN et al
Los Angeles Superior Court - Trial Court Proceeding:
 DCA Trust v. IANN et al, Plaintifff's Judicial Estoppel Post-Trial Brief (pdf)
  • More documents now published by ICANN here.

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
.AMAZON--Colombia & Other Amazon Countries Go To ICANN To Keep .amazon Domain Name From Amazon.com--financecolombia.com March 19, 2019: "the Colombian government stated through its MinTIC (Ministry of Technologies of Information and Communications) delegates said in a statement: 'from the beginning there has been a firm rejection of any pretense of appropriation by third parties, of the geographical names of the states, without their due consent and without taking into account the right that they must have to participate in the governance of the domain ‘.amazon '.'“

Tucows $TCX acquired wholesale domain name registrar Ascio Technologies from CSC, for $29.44M, adding ~1.8 million domains under management and approximately 500 active resellers. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to operating cash flow, and provide synergies over the next 12 to 18 months. Pre-acquisition, Ascio generated ~$4M of annual EBITDA. Purchase price funded through Tucows’ existing credit facility. More here.

Q. Will all domain name marketplaces have to become licensed escrow agents?--TheDomains.com.

INTA: Effects of ICANN’s WHOIS Reforms Under GDPR--published March 14, 2019, by INTA's Internet Committee 2018/2019 (pdf). A report summarizing the results of the INTA Internet Committee's call for comments during the summer and fall of 2018 regarding ICANN's Temporary Specification for WHOIS and its impact on access to thick WHOIS registrant information.

How Starbucks protects its brand in China (about half of Starbucks’ enforcement workload): (a) relationship building with government departments in provinces is key to success; (b) “light touch” used when dealing with non-willful infringement of brands such as Frappuccino--more here.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Data Privacy: "It’s clear after this hearing that companies who deliberately over-collect data and sidestep user privacy are making a business choice"--Why the Debate Over Privacy Can't Rely on Tech Giants--eff.org. See also: Here’s Why You Can’t Trust What Cops and Companies Claim About Automated License Plate Readers--eff.org.

EU: with final vote on the controversial EU Copyright Directive, Articles 11 and 13, scheduled for this coming week, a number of European Wikipedia sites went 'dark' for the day, blocking all access and directing users to contact their local EU representative to protest the laws. Many fear that the directive will adversely impact freedom of speech in Europe.

Russia: Russians, Fearing Internet Isolation, Protest Government Plan--npr.org. Also: Russia Passes Law Preventing Criticism Of The State As Citizens Worry About Loss Of Internet Freedom, Or Worse--tsarizm.com.

Splintered internet result of freedom of speech: Khan--pacbiztimes.com.

5) Most Read this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com


-- John Poole, Editor  Domain Mondo 

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