Will ICANN Lose Its Power Over The New gTLD Program?

According to several reports the GAC/ICANN meeting is Brussels went so poorly,  ICANN’s entire existence may be in jeopardy.

Cnet.com was the latest to write about the possibility that ICANN may lose its power when its contract comes up for renewal in September and if so the catalyst will be the whole new gTLD program.

“The dynamics of watching it in person are a lot like this–a couple in an arranged marriage who grudgingly realize that they have to work as equals or watch their whole family and fortune be a ward of the United Nations,” says Steve DelBianco, executive director of the NetChoice coalition, whose members include AOL, eBay, Oracle, VeriSign, and Yahoo.””That’s a reference to a push by some governments to divest ICANN of domain name authority and instead hand it to a United Nations agency, most likely the International Telecommunication Union.”

“Last year, China and its allies objected to the fact that “unilateral control of critical Internet resources” had been given to ICANN, suggesting instead that the U.N. would be a better fit. According to a transcript (PDF) of last week’s Brussels meeting, Kenya’s representative threatened that, without some changes, developing countries “will take another direction–and I can tell you they will just go to the ITU.”

Last week the Washignton Post wrote in a story last week which also pointed out a movement afoot to take ICANN’s power away and give it to the UN:

“The California nonprofit organization that operates the Internet’s levers has always been a target for such global heavies as Russia and China that prefer the United Nations to be in charge of the Web. But these days, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is fending off attacks from a seemingly unlikely source: the Obama administration.”

“Concerned about the growing movement to cede oversight to the U.N., the U.S. government, which helped create ICANN in 1998, has been reprimanding the nonprofit group to give foreign nations more say over the Web’s operations.”

“There’s a deeper question of how the world is reacting to a small company – even a nonprofit – completely in charge of a key part of the Internet. Is that acceptable? There’s no 100 percent comfortable solution here,” said Steve Crocker, ICANN’s vice chairman, who lives in Bethesda and is the chief executive of Shinkuro, a technology company.””The tiny nonprofit group can be especially provocative for a trade press that covers its every move, and for a rival U.N. agency, the International Telecommunications Union. When the ITU, a 145-year-old agency of nearly 200 nations and territories, held its annual meeting in October in Mexico, a Syrian emissary representing Arab states raged against ICANN as if it were an enemy nation.”

“Other nations have been mobilizing against ICANN. China, which monitors dissident activity on the Web, has been leading a campaign among dozens of developing nations to lobby the U.N. for oversight over ICANN, according to former and current ICANN officials. And a coalition of former Soviet states led by a Russian minister has been pushing the U.N. to obtain veto power over ICANN.”

As I have spoken about before, undoubtedly trademark groups have been very successful in getting governments around the world to adopt their position that the new gTLD program should be greatly modified to protect their rights even further.

The ICANN meeting starting this weekend in San Francisco will feature two meetings between the ICANN and the GAC and ICANN’s future existence may well depend on how those meeting go.


  1. Jon says

    You have to always follow the money.
    Who wants .xxx for example?
    Stuart Lawley to line up his pockets and a handful of large domainers who will get insider landrush deals.
    Who does not want .xxx?
    All conservative members of US government, plus probably most of the liberal.
    Who after all wants to be accused of being in favor of promoting child sex slavery come election time.
    So who is going to prevail?

    And, at a bigger picture, domain industry insiders and people they can grease is the only group in favor of new .tlds. All the large corporate ip interests are against it. Plus third world countries are all against new .tlds because it potentially decreases their control over the internet in their own countries.
    So who is going to prevail again?

  2. Sumner says

    This news greatly increases the intrinsic value of strong-keyword ccTLD’s. Is that a domain shortage I see over the horizon?

  3. says

    ICANN only has it’s self to blame. The whole new gTLD proposal is fundamentally flawed and should never have been presented as sensible proposal for expanding the DNS.

    Rather than fix the flaws properly, ICANN has tried to apply a few band-aid fixes as and when powerful interests groups complain.

    When wider failings have been pointed out ICANN has repeatedly failed to even discuss them preferring instead to manipulate process to gloss over the issues; which is nothing short of scandalous.

    Take the Board/Staff 180 degree switch in position on the relationship between contracted parties and further compounded by the omission of any substantive rationale for this fundamental change almost four months after the decision.

    This isn’t a minor detail change this is a cornerstone policy change and at the 11th hour. Even a board member had serious concerns entered in the board minutes.

    Is such a major change at the last minute bait and switch?

    In lawmaking, “caption bills” that propose minor changes in law with simplistic titles (the bait) are introduced to the legislature with the ultimate objective of substantially changing the wording (the switch) at a later date in order to try to smooth the passage of a controversial or major amendment. Rule changes are also proposed (the bait) to meet legal requirements for public notice and mandated public hearings, then different rules are proposed at a final meeting (the switch), thus bypassing the objective of public notice and public discussion on the actual rules voted upon. While legal, the political objective is to get legislation or rules passed without anticipated negative community review.

    There are numerous design reasons why the proposal for new gTLDs is fundamentally flawed at almost every level and as such needs serious revision. Many of these flaws have been missed or simply glossed over through process failings.

    If ICANN is truly a bottom up consensus driven organization then it should be sending the new gTLD process back to the GNSO for revision rather than trying to out point governments whose day to day business is not the DNS and as such have to rely on input from lobbyists who are trying to pull this flawed process in ways that are less damaging to their client’s interests.

  4. Meyer says

    Excuse my ignorance but could someone point out one thing the U.N. does well?

    The U.N. wants it for its revenue stream.

    And, do you really think they will keep renewal prices where they are today?
    They will figure out a way to charge what the market will bare.

    Furthermore, if domainers feel they don’t have any influence today with Icann,
    wait til the U.N. controls it.

  5. Landon White says

    What Amazes me is this! ….

    Un-american President (soon to be ex)-
    -Yes we can- ” become a FASCIST OBUMA” officially endorses this…

    see for your self at Howard Neus Blog ….


  6. says

    “The ICANN meeting starting this weekend in San Francisco will feature two meetings between the ICANN and the GAC and ICANN’s future existence may well depend on how those meeting go.”
    Is anyone going to be in San Francisco for this event next week? It’s a fab city for parties – I would love to meet up!

  7. says

    Will Bill Clinton be announcing the end of ICANN ?

    or, will ICANN continue to try to swim into the growing Tsunami ?

    Note the U.S. Government is trying to deflect some of the issues with the creation of TWO new greenfield Internets. One is for First Responders and the other will be deployed mostly to showcase WIMAX. The FCC has already chosen the 9 ICANN-like companies, not including ICANN.

    ICANN is not really needed and .COM could be brought into Sub-One-Dollar pricing under the U.S. Department of Commerce.

  8. Liz says

    Is it just me, or does it seem like “Landon White”, “The Big Lie Society”, and “Dean” are all the same person? I’ve been watching their posts for the past week, and I’d say they’re either the same person, or three people in the same office or basement…

  9. John Berryhill says

    “I’d say they’re either the same person, or three people in the same office or basement…”

    …or cell.

  10. says

    Registration list as of: 03/08/2011

    John Berard Credible Context United States
    John Berryhill United States
    John Boruvka Iron Mounain United States
    John Crain United States
    John Curran Arin United States
    John Demco Webnames.ca Canada
    John Deneen DotGreen Afghanistan
    John Kane Afilias United States
    John Kim Citrix United States
    John Matson Architelos United States
    John Matson Architelos United States
    John Murino Crowell & Moring LLP United States
    John Myers Canadian International Pharmacy Association Canada
    John Nakamura Icann United States
    John Nicholson Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman United States
    John Styll Far Further LLC United States
    John Tai Tpc-Usa United States
    Johnny Du StableTone Ltd. United States
    Joke Braeken EURid Belgium
    Jon Lawrence AusRegistry International Australia
    Jon Nevett Domain Dimensions United States
    Jonathan Spencer VeriSign, Inc. United States
    Jonathan Zuck Association for Competitive Technology United States
    Jonny Martin Packet Clearing House || InternetNZ United States

    Total Registered:1282

  11. Sid says

    Landon White
    Angela (DNS Mom)

    Are these people the same person or group? Seems like it.

  12. says


    Does THE.Big.Lie.Society have one person write a letter to another person to make it APPEAR that a negotiation is ongoing ?

    Does a 3rd member of THE.Big.Lie.Society write the letter(s) ?

    Does THE.Big.Lie.Society then cash in on the “Negotiation” the public thinks was real ?

    Did you ask your Sock Puppet for permission? YES!! Isn’t that cool, it tells you what you want to hear. You speak for it. Very Cool !!! Yes, very efficient.

  13. Landon White says

    Who the dang is … SID?

    Seems like one of the trouble makers

    with a alias hiding out, stirring the pot!

  14. says

    ICANN hiring Therapists to Start 12-Step Programs ?


    Anyone attending an ICANN Meeting surely has to have their head examined.
    (The head on their shoulders that is)

  15. says


    Yesterday I was tipped off about a “secret meeting” between a group of “Super Angels” being held at Bin 38, a restaurant and bar in San Francisco. “Do not come, you will not be welcome,” I was told.

  16. says

    Often times it is the simplest solution tha prevails, dismantling icann and giving to the un seems simplest.

    I dont think landon and big lie are the same person. BigLie’s true identity is easy to find on the web however Landon’s is not. It is quite possible however Thant Landon isn’t Landon’s real name.

  17. Bobo says

    When the CEO’s salary is linked to him pushing through new TLDs at the expense of all others, the organization needs to be shut down. Beckstrom needs to be investigated to discover if his motivations have been purely for his financial gain.

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