There seems to be a diminishing number of internet supporters who still realize and understand that if there was no U.S. involvement in the internet there would be no internet at all. The unquenchable greed for personal gain has blinded the internet community from the brutal reality that an unregulated internet is chaos.
Like pickpockets in the Paris subway, entities all around the world are nibbling away at the internet's domain name and addressing system, advocating internet control be removed from U.S. involvement. What I'd like to know is what gives them the impression that any entity outside the U.S. has any rights to the administration of the internet at all -- or more importantly -- who in the world could even handle it?
Already, in just a few short years, ICANN's over-complicated, contorted bureaucracy has made it easy for rogue registrars, organized crime and renegade domaining schemes to run the WhoIS system amok. While ICANN holds forums and discusses trivial minutia, their domain tasting program (kiting domain names at no cost for legal and illegal purposes) provides outlaw, unaccountable registrars with near-leagalized, untouchable means of forgery, fraud, blackmail, larceny and international security violations -- not to mention an easy, untraceable venue for child exploitation, trademark infringement and relentless property piracy.
What is becoming painfully clear is either the world is too stupid to recognize the grave problems inherent in an unregulated internet -- or they intentionally ignore the threat in favor of their own self-serving, hidden agendas. No, we do not need a privatized internet. No, we do not need further deregulation -- and above all, the last thing we need are more layers and layers of bureaucracy. ICANN needs to shape up or ship out. Better yet, ICANN should be scrapped in favor of a governing body who actually governs -- who actually understands the difference between right and wrong.
Cause for concern:
ICANN to US Government: End Joint Project Agreement
Peter Thrush, Chairman of ICANN's Board of Directors, has sent an eleven page letter (pdf) to National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) asking to end the Joint Project Agreement when it expires later this year. The letter was in response to NTIA's Notice of Inquiry regarding 'the transition of the technical coordination and management of the internet's domain name and addressing system'. Already countries around the world are asking that control of the domain name system be pulled from the U.S. There are sure to be big battles ahead. The U.S. government, on the other hand, is questioning whether ICANN is even the ideal model for managing the DNS. It is questioning, ever-so-lightly, if ICANN should be scrapped in favor of an alternative.
Domain Name Wire - Austin, TX, USA
Independence or Continued Partnership?
The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) said "we cannot support termination of U.S. oversight over ICANN at this point in time for the following reasons." You should read all the reasons -- but these two are by far the most important:
* ICANN has failed to assure pricing and performance of generic top level domains
* ICANN failed to protect registrant interests with the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) -- which means allowing rogue registrars and a dysfunctional Whois.
How will it end? I cannot guess. Hopefully it will have a happy ending. We'll just have to wait and see.
Thanks for reading...
Fred Showker, Editor, Graphic Design & Publishing