Post Tagged with: "internet governance"

ICANN Sacrifices Privacy for Shot at Independence

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, BBC version, homepage version) examines the recent agreement between ICANN and the U.S. government.   Late last month, ICANN took a major step toward addressing some ongoing concerns by signing a new agreement with the U.S. government entitled the Joint Project Agreement.  ICANN immediately heralded the JPA as a "dramatic step forward" for full management of the Internet's domain name system through a "multi-stakeholder model of consultation."  It added that the agreement grants it unprecedented independence by removing many of the U.S. government’s oversight controls.  These include the elimination of a twice-annual reporting requirement to the U.S. Department of Commerce (ICANN will instead release a single annual report targeted to the full Internet community) and a shift away from the highly prescriptive policy responsibilities featured in the original ICANN contract.

While the JPA may indeed represent an important change, a closer examination of its terms suggest that there may be a hidden price tag behind ICANN newfound path toward independence – the privacy of domain name registrants. 

Read more ›

October 9, 2006 Comments are Disabled Columns

CIRA Seeking Additional Board Candidates

The CIRA electoral process continues to unfold with members now able to nominate additional candidates for the September election.  After six years on the board, my time on the CIRA board will be coming to an end but I’d encourage anyone with an interest in domain name issues to get […]

Read more ›

July 27, 2006 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

CIRA’s Second Public Letter

Readers of this blog may recall that the Canadian Internet Registration Authority wrote a public letter earlier this year to ICANN that expressed concern over the current lack of accountability (note that I am on the CIRA board).  The letter indicated that CIRA was witholding payment of any voluntary fees […]

Read more ›

June 17, 2006 Comments are Disabled News

Dot-XXX Decision Exposes Cracks in Net Governance System

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, BBC version, homepage version) looks at the recent ICANN decision to reject the creation of a new dot-xxx domain name extension. The year-long debate over whether to approve the adult-oriented domain may have long-term implications for Internet governance since it sparked enormous controversy and provided ample evidence of U.S. government intervention into ICANN matters.

With millions of dollars at stake, the Internet community has relied on ICANN to establish a transparent system for creating new domain name extensions.  The resulting process has left many observers unhappy.  They argue that it is too expensive (application costs alone are now estimated at US$250,000), too cumbersome (creation of the domain name extension may require months of negotiation after preliminary approval is granted), and too subjective (rather than establishing objective criteria, the decisions are fraught with subjective policy choices). 

The prospect of a dot-xxx domain name extension created an immediate firestorm in the United States. 

Read more ›

May 22, 2006 16 comments Columns

ICANN Faces Pressure From Friends and Foes

My latest Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, BBC version, homepage version) highlights the growing frustration with ICANN’s accountability and transparency. The column highlights the many policy issues associated with Internet governance and notes that over the past month even ICANN’s most ardent supporters have begun to express doubts about the organization' s lack of transparency and accountability. 

Read more ›

April 4, 2006 Comments are Disabled Columns