The Top 10 Things Wrong With ICANN

Nov 02 2009

ICANN has many problems and I could go on all day with the problems but I thought this group CADNA, the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, did a great job of compiling a list of their top ten lists of problems with ICANN.  Here is their list

  1. ICANN is a captured regulator: ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), which develops ICANN’s policy, is aligned with business models such as registrars and registries that stand to profit or lose from ICANN’s choices. Counter to what ICANN will attest, they do not fairly and accurately represent the interests and needs of all Internet users.
  2. ICANN is not independent: Its Board of Directors is poorly structured, allowing for rulings that align with what the captured policy-making group proposes, and ICANN lacks the internal accountability mechanism found in most private not-for-profit organizations that ensures they are operating honestly.
  3. ICANN is not transparent: ICANN refuses to release transcripts of its board meetings, thereby shrouding the rationale behind its policy decisions and avoiding public accountability.
  4. ICANN is more interested in making a profit than working for the benefit of Internet users: ICANN’s funding structure, which raises revenue through fees on every registered and renewed domain name, creates conflicts of interests and forces ICANN to support policies favoring the sales of domain names.
  5. ICANN is not accessible: ICANN lacks an easily understood manual that explains its operations for those that work within it. Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of staffers and volunteers would allow them to better communicate amongst themselves and to be more effective within the parameters of their positions. In addition, there is no means by which the general public–Internet users–is informed about ICANN’s operations. Such improved accessibility would increase participation by the Internet community and improve feedback.
  6. ICANN is failing to address numerous issues corrupting the Internet: ICANN often ignores issues regarding the safety and stability of the Internet, such as the proliferation of cybersquatting, which can enable phishing, malware deposit schemes, and the sale of unwanted counterfeits. ICANN has also largely ignored the problem of inaccurate WHOIS information, which encumbers the identification and prosecution of bad actors. Rather than helping to make the Web more secure, ICANN is increasing the online risks that businesses and consumers face by irresponsibly releasing new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
  7. ICANN’s proposed gTLD rollout is poorly conceived: ICANN has not properly vetted this decision in an objective fashion. This rollout expands the size of the Internet exponentially without first performing a sound cost/benefit and security and risk analysis to determine both desirability among and risk to Internet users.
  8. ICANN is not looking at itself critically: Former ICANN CEO, Paul Twomey, made it clear at Congressman Boucher’s hearing that even with the renewal of the JPA, it would be business as usual for ICANN. Unfortunately, business as usual would do nothing to improve the domain name space.
  9. ICANN is risking cybersecurity, national security, and global security: Expanding the number of gTLDs, the latest of a series of risky policies, will make it easier for those who pose threats to national security to conceal their online operations and identities.
  10. ICANN’s relationship with the US government does not span all relevant agencies: Given the security implications of ICANN’s role in the Internet, the Department of Homeland Security should have joint jurisdiction over the JPA and IANA contract with the Department of Commerce.

I completely agree with most of the points made on the this and I do feel that ICANN is making decisions based on financials for them and their partners, not the domain industry as a whole.  I also am against all the new TLDs that they are proposing.  The IDNs make sense as most of the world doesn’t speak English but for those that do,  they don’t need hundreds of TLDs.  It merely makes the internet more confusing and difficult to build a brand. I have to admit, until I read this article I hadn’t even heard of CADNA but glad their is a group watching out for the wellfare of domain owners.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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