News Review | ICANN EPDP Phase 2 Chair Janis Karklins

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Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2019-04-21) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) ICANN EPDP Phase 2 Chair Janis Karklins,  2) EPDP Phase 2 Budget & EPDP notes, Domain Hijacking, 3) Other ICANN news: a. Domain Metrics, b. Name Collisions, c. DNS Hijacking, d. .AMAZON Update4) Names, Domains & Trademarks: Declining TLDs: .EU & New gTLDs, 5) ICYMI: Chinese-style Internet and more, 6) Most Read.

1) ICANN EPDP Phase 2 Chair Janis Karklins
Ambassador Janis Karklins, EPDP Phase 2 Chair (photo)
Ambassador Janis Karklins
"... the extended call for EOIs closed on Monday, 8 April. We received a total of two EOIs, one from Chris LaHatte, former ICANN Ombudsman, and another from Janis Karklins, former GAC Chair and current Latvian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. The GNSO Council Leadership Team and the Standing Selection Committee (SSC) Leadership Team met on Tuesday after conducting individual scoring assessments for each candidate. After approximately one hour of discussion and deliberation, we agreed to unanimously recommend that the Council appoint Janis Karklins as EPDP Phase 2 Chair. We are confident in Janis' ability and commitment to perform the EPDP Phase 2 Chair duties in a neutral manner and consistent with the GNSO PDP Operating Procedures. We are also confident Janis will ensure the work is performed efficiently, effectively, and in a timely manner. Therefore, we will now update the 18 April 2019 GNSO Council agenda to reflect this recommendation and to add Janis Karklins' name to the Consent Agenda item on this topic. If anyone has questions, please raise them prior to the GNSO Council meeting. We thank both candidates for their willingness to serve."--Keith Drazek, GNSO Chair, Apr 10, 2019 (emphasis and link added). Editor's note: the appointment of Janis Karklins was unanimously approved by the GNSO Council on April 18, 2019, after discussion of possible conflict of interest (Karklins is past chair of the WIPO General Assembly) [see also CV].
2) EPDP Phase 2 Budget: 12 April 2019 Letter (pdf) from GNSO Chair Keith Drazek to ICANN Chairman Cherine Chalaby re:Resource Support for Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2, excerpt:
"Pending the appointment of the Phase 2 Chair and the subsequent finalization of a detailed workplan with milestones, the EPDP Team has identified a preliminary list of the following four key resources needed to support the timely delivery of Phase 2 policy recommendations:
1. Continued availability of legal counsel, following the same process and approach in phase 1 (any questions are vetted through the legal committee);
2. Continued support for telecom services and transcriptions, but to reduce costs, transcriptions would have a 72-hour turnaround time (instead of 24-hour);
3. Mediation support for the EPDP Team meetings at ICANN65 in Marrakesh;
4. Travel support to be made available for ICANN65 for EPDP Team members who would otherwise not be able to attend and where no alternate is able to step in.
We look forward to receiving your feedback."
Additional EPDP related notes:

From the EPDP mail list:16 April 2019:"... Members from the CPH [Contracted Parties House, i.e., Registrars and Registry Operators] ... want to express our concern with discussing proposed working methods / prioritization without a Chair. We believe it is counterproductive to have these discussions without the new Chair in place, and that discussions and feedback should be placed on hold pending the new Chair. We are all anxious to get Phase 2 work underway, but trying to make decisions now increases the likelihood that we will need to revisit all decisions regarding work plans once the new Chair is in place. Accordingly, we respectfully request that all comprehensive discussions be paused until the new Chair is seated ..."--James Bladel (RrSG EPDP member) (emphasis added). April 16, 2019: "I support the CPH position"--Alan Greenberg (ALAC EPDP member).

EPDP Links: EPDP wiki & mail listPhase 1 Final Report (pdf), GNSO mail list & calendar. Link to legal questions and memos.

IRT Wiki: gTLD Registration Data Policy Implementation | Pre-IRT  ("IRT" Implementation Review Team)--"the pre-IRT is going to be a short-lived team to be replaced with the IRT, and all the members will be transitioned to the IRT ... we are putting this team together to get a fast start on the real IRT"--Dennis Chang, ICANN Org, 10 Apr 2019, transcript.). Pre-IRT mail list.

Public Comments closed April 17, 2019, on EPDP Phase 1 Final Report Policy Recommendations.
"... the European Commission considers that the purposes for processing WHOIS personal data by ICANN and/or the contracted parties should not include enabling access by third parties. This is also at the core of the concerns expressed for some time by the DPAs and the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which have clarified that the purposes of ICANN and contracted parties must not be conflated with the interests of third parties in accessing registration data ..."--European Commission comment, infra.
All comments may be found here, including the comment (pdf) by DomainMondo's editor, embed below, and the comment (pdf) by the European Commission, embed further below:

European Commission comment:

See also:
  • Failure to Redact Personal WHOIS Data Led to Domain HijackingJury Convicts Social Media Entrepreneur in Plot to Hijack Internet Domain | justice.gov Friday, April 19, 2019--"... On June 21, 2017, Adams drove Hopkins to the domain owner’s house and provided Hopkins with a demand note, which contained instructions for transferring the domain [doitforstate.com] to Adams’ GoDaddy account ... Hopkins pulled out Adams’ demand note, which contained a series of directions on how to change an Internet domain name from the domain owner’s GoDaddy account to one of Adams’ GoDaddy accounts. Hopkins put the firearm against the victim’s head and ordered him to follow the directions on the demand note.  Hopkins then pistol whipped the victim several times in the head.  Fearing for his life, the victim quickly turned to move the gun away from his head.  The victim then managed to gain control of the gun, but during the struggle, he was shot in the leg.  The victim shot Hopkins multiple times in the chest.  He then contacted law enforcement ..."  
  • TorrentFreak.comCopyright holders and the US Government (NTIA) want ICANN to make domain WHOIS data more accessible again.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under close scrutiny--FTC probe into Facebook's privacy practices is also looking at past statements by Zuckerberg and weighing whether to seek oversight of his leadership--washingtonpost.com.

3) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a) ICANN Publishes Updated Domain Name Marketplace Indicators--ICANN.org see also Global Domains Division (GDD) Metrics. [Editor's note: these metrics or "indicators" are mostly worthless, but as often is the case with "ICANN metrics" it is a situation where instead of counting what is really important and relevant, someone has decided to make what they have selectively chosen to count, "important."]

b) Name Collisions Analysis Project (NCAP) Discussion Group--ICANN.org. [Editor's note: better late than never ICANN, after dumping 1200+ new gTLDs into the global DNS, knowing (since 2003) new gTLDs "fail to work as expected on the internet" and "break stuff."] See also the ICANN NCAP-Discuss mail list.

c) DNS Hijacking: a nation-state backed group of attackers identified as 'Sea Turtle' by Cisco Talos, have been actively exploiting domain name information, by going after domain registries for entire countries.
"The actors behind this campaign have focused on using DNS hijacking as a mechanism for achieving their ultimate objectives. DNS hijacking occurs when the actor can illicitly modify DNS name records to point users to actor-controlled servers. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an alert about this activity on Jan. 24 2019, warning that an attacker could redirect user traffic and obtain valid encryption certificates for an organization's domain names ... Talos was able to identify two distinct groups of victims. The first group, we identify as primary victims, includes national security organizations, ministries of foreign affairs, and prominent energy organizations. The threat actor targeted third-party entities that provide services to these primary entities to obtain access. Targets that fall into the secondary victim category include numerous DNS registrars, telecommunication companies, and internet service providers. One of the most notable aspects of this campaign was how they were able to perform DNS hijacking of their primary victims by first targeting these third-party entities ..."--talosintelligence.com.

d) 17 Apr 2019 Letter from Amazon VP Brian Huseman to ICANN Board Chair Chalaby (pdf)
Re: new gTLD applications for .AMAZON:
"... Unfortunately, despite best efforts, Amazon and the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (“ACTO”) member states have not reached a mutually acceptable solution regarding Amazon’s applications, but we have listened intently and heard their concerns. Thus, in accordance with the Resolutions and in support of the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance, we submit the following modified proposal for how we will address the concerns of the ACTO member states regarding our applications .... our modified proposal consists of a Public Interest Commitment (“PIC”) and joint Steering Committee that reflects our commitment to operate the TLDs in a way that respects the culture and heritage of the people in the Amazonia region. We commit to: (1) not use as domain names in each .AMAZON TLD those terms that have a primary and well-recognized significance to the culture and heritage of the Amazonia region; (2) provide nine domain names in each .AMAZON TLD to be used for non-commercial purposes by ACTO and its member states to enhance the visibility of the region; and (3) block from all use up to 1500 domain names in each .AMAZON TLD that have a primary and well recognized significance to the culture and heritage of the Amazonia region ..."
Editor's note: I have little to add to what I already said last week (News Review 3)c. .AMAZON Redux), but see the New York Times:
Battle for .amazon Domain Pits Retailer Against South American Nations"Amazon is the world’s biggest online retailer. It is also the world’s largest rain forest. The question is who owns the name. This is the core of an epic battle between the tech behemoth Amazon.com and eight South American countries that contain parts of the rain forest. At stake is the [new gTLD] domain ... .amazon, and who should control it on the internet ..."
But ICANN neither listens nor learns, just continues its mindless and relentless Californication of the internet and global DNS:
“… we have learned that there is tremendous concern about the specifics of the [new gTLDs] program that may lead to a number of unintended and unforeseen consequences and could jeopardize its success …”--Larry Strickling, NTIA, Jan 3, 2012, letter to ICANN (pdf).

4) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
ccTLD .EU: EURid Annual Report (2018) (pdf): Compared to 2017, total net registrations decreased by 130,305 (from 3,815,055 to 3,684,750)--"The decline in the overall number of registrations can be attributed both to a reduction in the number of new registrations in the UK (mainly due to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, which resulted in the UK falling from being the No. 4 market for .eu to No. 6 in one year), and to the increased efforts of EURid to build a trustworthy and secure .eu namespace which resulted in over 35 000 domain names being suspended in H2 2018."

Editor's note: .EU is not the only declining TLD, look at new gTLDs since the first of the year:

New gTLDs total net (adds minus drops) registrations decline Jan-Apr15, 2019: 
Source: ntldstats.com - new gTLDs total net registrations Jan-Apr15, 2019
Total net registrations in new gTLDs declined -669,064 from Jan 1 thru Apr 15, 2019. At that rate of loss in registrations, total net registrations in new gTLDs will decline in 2019 by over 2.3 million registrations. You won't hear ICANN or its Global Domains Division (GDD) talking about this (at least publicly), even though it is incontrovertible proof that ICANN's new gTLDs program was, and is, ill-conceived, and this has nothing to do with "lack of public awareness" of new gTLDs. Go to your registrar of choice, GoDaddy, Namecheap, Hover, et al, and look around, you can't avoid seeing all the crappy new gTLDs. Too bad ICANN didn't listen to the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (via NTIA) nor FTC, nor many others including Esther Dyson.

5) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Governments across Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and Thailand, are adopting Chinese-style internet and data controls, raising alarms in the U.S.--bloomberg.com.

Scribd taking down the Mueller Report is the future the EU has voted for--Scribd took down multiple copies of the Mueller Report, which is in the public domain, claiming that its algorithms identified it as a copyrighted work--qz.com.

Singapore's fake news bill poses 'risks to freedom of speech'--require social media sites to carry warnings on posts the government deems false and remove certain comments--aljazeera.com.  

Russia: Kremlin Moves Toward Control of Internet, Raising Censorship Fears--NYTimes.com.

German Data Privacy Commissioner Says Article 13 Inevitably Leads to Filters, Which Inevitably Lead to Internet "Oligopoly"--eff.org.

EU gives final approval to the new Copyright Directive, with its controversial Article 11 and 13 provisions, after 19 of the 28 member countries voted in favor --europa.eu.

Era of internet freedom is over.--spiked-online.com. 404 The Internet--forbes.com.

The prosecution of Julian Assange is about much more than attempting to hack a password--eff.org.

EFF’s Tweet About an Overzealous DMCA Takedown Is Now Subject to an Overzealous Takedown--eff.org.

Websites like Reddit and Telegram are being blocked in India by internet service providers.

Turkey: Turkish Economist Arrested After Insulting Erdogan On Twitter--zerohedge.com.

Will a Free Press Cheer on Government Censorship of the Internet? Will a thirst to punish Silicon Valley destroy our liberty?--reason.com.

How digital technology is destroying our freedom--“We’re being steamrolled by our devices” says Douglas Rushkoff--vox.com.

Notice: Vacancy of the European Data Protection Supervisor.

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

-- John Poole, Editor  Domain Mondo 

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