After 2 Years .Sex, .Porn & .Adult Become “Sensitive Strings” To The New gTLD Committee

After 2 year years The New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) has decided that .Sex, .Porn and .Adult are Sensitive Strings according to the minutes of the new gTLD committee to ICANN which are dated July 1st.

Interestingly before the application period closed it was wildly speculated by many including myself that the Government Advisory Council (GAC) would object to the strings such as .Sex giving level of opposition to .XXX and the years and number of battles that ICM the registry for .XXX faced to getting the extension approved.

However the GAC never objected to .Sex or the other strings .Porn and .Adult.

Matter of fact in the two years since the new gTLD applications were submitted there has not been any objections lodged to .Sex, .porn or .adult that I have seen anywhere in the ICANN channel, at the ICANN meeting or even in the public sessions of each ICANN meeting when anyone can get up to chat about anything with the ICANN Board.

This “concern” has literally come out of nowhere, its basis is unknown and not explained in the minutes of the New gTLD committee meeting.

Under the heading “Consideration of Sensitive Strings” the committee says:

“”The Committee engaged in a discussion concerning applications for several adult-oriented strings in the current round of the New gTLD Program, including .ADULT, .PORN, and .SEX. The applications propose to serve the same sector as the .XXX sponsored TLD. Staff noted that the applications were not the subject of GAC advice, or any special safeguards, other the safeguards that are applicable to all new gTLDs. The Committee considered how the safeguards in the new gTLD Program compare to the safeguards that were included in the .XXX Registry Agreement.

“”The Committee requested staff prepare additional briefing materials, and agreed to discuss the matter further at a subsequent meeting.”””

Making it more puzzling is that two of the strings, .porn and .adult, ICM the registry of .XXX is the only applicant and is already on the record saying that domains those strings will be given to .XXX domain holders.

.Sex has two applicants and is among the last new gTLD contention auctions to be held by ICANN according to their schedule but in the event ICM wins that auction .Sex domain names would also be given to the holders of .XXX domain names.

Which of course raises another issue

What if ICM and the other applicant or .Sex had gone into a private auction settle contention on the basis that existed before July 1, before the new gTLD committee new found interest in these strings and one of the applicants spent say $5 Million to settle only now to wake up to find something that was not an issue is now an issue?

Fairness would dictate that objections need to be raised in a timely manner, it is so in a court of law,  and should be the same for ICANN and its committees.

 

 

As ICANN Meeting Ends “China Launches Campaign To Control The Internet”

Talk about a disturbing headline Chinatopix.com just published a post entitled “China Launches Campaign To Control The Internet”

According to the story, China’s communist government intends to impose on the Internet the same “guiding principles” it currently uses to stifle online dissent within China.”

The decision of the U.S.  to relinquish its oversight of ICANN, is seen by China as an opportunity to increase its influence over the Internet.

Political analysts said China wants a “new world order of Internet governance” based on international cooperation and away from US control and towards control by China.

“China is boosting its effort to promote what it calls a “double seven strategy” to wrest control of the Internet at the 50th global conference of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers being held in London.””

Lu Wei, chairperson of China’s State Internet Information Office, as early as ICANN’s opening ceremony made the astonishing claim that global participants have reached a general consensus over seven key issues of Internet governance raised by China.”

“These seven issues are part of China’s “double seven strategy” that is essentially a formula for complete control of the Internet by China.”

The double seven strategy consists of the “seven baselines” and the “seven consensuses” both unilaterally developed by China without consulting with other countries that are part of ICANN.

The seven baselines consist of promoting communism, promoting China’s national interests, observing Chinese laws and regulations; promoting the legitimate interests of Chinese citizens, promoting social order, morality and pushing for information authenticity.

The “seven strategy” echoes Beijing’s belief that the Internet should serve the interests of developing countries like China. It argues that the Internet should focus on protecting the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and not become a hotbed for criminal activity or terrorism.

“It seeks to make more beneficial to mankind by bringing peace and security to all countries and not be used as a “weapon” to attack others.

“Lu also said the Internet should run with civility and integrity without spreading rumors or perpetrate fraud.

“He said the Internet should pass on positive energy and carry forward the culture of mankind and aid the healthy development of minors.”

The Duo Wei Times, a Chinese-language newspaper published in the U.S., said China intends to control the Internet by pushing its “double seven strategy” and by forcing the U.S. to relinquish the final vestiges of its authority over ICANN’s functions.”

This idea of the US giving up control over the Internet and handing it over to the likes of China and Russia is off is great start.

Here Is The GAC Communique From The ICANN London That Was Just Released

The Government Advisory Counsel (GAC) has just issued its Communique from the ICANN London meeting.

It has been the practice of the GAC to issue such a Communique at the end of each ICANN meeting outlining its decisions its advice to the ICANN Board and any developments or other thoughts arising out of the meeting.

Here it is:

1. Transition of US Stewardship of IANA and Strengthening ICANN Accountability

The GAC is committed to engaging with the current processes dealing with transition of US Government stewardship of IANA; and strengthening ICANN accountability.

The GAC will participate in both processes by nominating the Chair and four additional GAC members for formal membership of the coordination group and working group respectively, to provide a balanced representation of governmental interests. The GAC will ensure that geographic, linguistic and gender diversity are reflected. GAC participants in the groups will consult with, and facilitate information flows across, the broader GAC membership.

The GAC recognizes the need for it to comment on the final draft proposals from the IANA stewardship transition coordination group and the ICANN accountability working group before the public comment periods.

2. Safeguard Advice Applicable to all new gTLDs and Category 1 (consumer protection, sensitive strings and regulated markets) and Category 2 (restricted registration policies) strings

a. The GAC advises:

I. the Board to call on the NGPC to provide the GAC with a comprehensive and satisfactory response to the legitimate concerns raised in the Beijing and Singapore Communiqués.

The GAC considers that the current responses offered to the GAC fail to address a number of important concerns, including:

1) the process for verification of WHOIS information;

2) the proactive verification of credentials for registrants of domain names in regulated and highly regulated industries (the relevant Category 1 strings);

3) the proactive security checks by registries;

4) the Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Process (PICDRP), which is not defined as to length of procedure or outcome; and

5) discrimination in restricted TLDs.

In additionThe GAC advises that:

I. the Board to provide its responses to GAC advice at least four weeks prior to ICANN meetings in order to give sufficient time to the GAC to assess and provide feedback on these complicated matters.

These concerns are further clarified in an Annex to this Communique.

The GAC looks forward to the activation of the review panel on promoting competition, consumer trust and consumer choice envisaged in the Affirmation of Commitments.

The GAC notes that the Government of Israel expressed concerns about the potential for discrimination in the operation of .kosher, which Israel will study further.

3. Specific Strings

a. .Africa

Consistent with the new gTLD applicant guidebook, the GAC provided consensus advice articulated in the April 11 2013 communiqué that the Dot Connect Africa (DCA) application number 1-1165-42560 for dot Africa should not proceed.

The GAC welcomes the June 2013 decision by the New gTLD Program Committee to accept GAC advice on this application.

The GAC notes the recent action taken to put on hold the ZACR African Union Commission endorsed application due to the Independent Review Panel (IRP) mandated by ICANN Bylaws.

The GAC advises:

1. The ICANN Board to provide timely communication to the affected parties, in particular to provide clarity on the process and possible timelines;

2. The ICANN Board that, following the release of the IRP recommendation, the Board should act expeditiously in prioritising
their deliberations and delegate .africa pursuant to the registry agreement signed between ICANN and ZACR.

b .Spa

The GAC welcomes the NGPC’s acceptance of the GAC advice on .spa.

The GAC reiterates its advice (https://gacweb.icann.org/display/GACADV/2014-03-27-spa) on the issue that “the relevant parties in these discussions are the city of Spa and the applicants.”

The GAC therefore seeks NGPC’s clarification on whether its explanation that “the applications will proceed through the normal process” means it will follow the Applicant Guidebook taking into consideration the GAC advice.

c .wine / .vin

There was further discussion on the issue of .wine/.vin, but no agreement was reached because of the sensitive nature of the matter.

The matter of .wine and .vin was raised at the High Level Governmental Meeting, where some members expressed concerns in terms of ICANN’s accountability and public policy.

These concerns are not shared by all members.

4. Protection of Children

The GAC reiterates its advice in the Buenos Aires Communiqué that new gTLD registry operators should be made aware of the importance of protecting children and their rights consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

5. Protection of Inter-Governmental Organisation (IGO) Names and Acronyms

The GAC reaffirms its advice from the Toronto, Beijing, Durban, Buenos Aires and Singapore Communiqués regarding protection for IGO names and acronyms at the top and second levels, as implementation of such protection is in the public interest given that IGOs, as created by governments under international law, are objectively different rights holders; notes the NGPC’s letter of June 16th, 2014 to the GNSO concerning further steps under the GNSO Policy Development Process while expressing concerns that the process of implementing GAC advice has been so protracted; welcomes the NGPC’s assurance that interim protections remain in place pending any such process; and confirms its willingness to work with the GNSO on outcomes that meet the GAC’s concerns.

6. Protection of Red Cross / Red Crescent Names

The GAC refers to its previous advice to the Board to protect permanently the terms and names associated with the Red Cross and Red Crescent, including those relating to the189 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, and recalls that the protections afforded to the Red Cross and Red Cross designations and names stem from universally agreed norms of international law and from the national legislation in force in multiple jurisdictions.

Accordingly,

a. The GAC now advises, that:

I. the Red Cross and Red Crescent terms and names should not be equated with trademarks or trade names and that their protection could not therefore be adequately treated or addressed under ICANN’s curative mechanisms for trademark protection;

II. the protections due to the Red Cross and Red Crescent terms and names should not be subjected to, or conditioned upon, a policy development process;

III. the permanent protection of these terms and names should be confirmed and implemented as a matter of priority, including in particular the names of the international and national Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations.

7. WHOIS

The GAC notes that there continue to be range of initiatives being progressed relevant to WHOIS, including outcomes from the WHOIS Review Team and the recently finalised report of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services. Many of the issues under discussion and analysis have public policy dimensions, including privacy, law enforcement, consumer protection and public safety.

a. The GAC requests that:

I. ICANN make further efforts to explain and clarify the linkages between the full range of WHOIS activity for the benefit of GAC and the community between now and the Los Angeles meeting, to ensure that WHOIS activity adequately reflects GAC’s earlier comments and concerns. ICANN should also consider the implications of short, restrictive comment deadlines for community workload. The GAC suggests that ICANN conduct a session for the community on these issues in Los Angeles.

8. Accountability and Transparency

The GAC was briefed by the Board-GAC Recommendation Implementation Working Group (BGRI) and agreed to specific ATRT2 recommendations being progressed by the BGRI as follows:

o Development of a formal process for the Board to notify and request GAC advice (Recommendation 6.4) – Document current process and seek comment on options for improvements.

o Bylaw changes to formally implement the documented process for Board-GAC Bylaws consultation developed by the BGRI (Recommendation 6.5) – GAC advises the Board that there are no further requests for Bylaws amendments, in light of the new gTLDs, and hence sees no need for Board action on this to be further delayed.

o Regularisation of senior officials’ meetings (Recommendation 6.7) – GAC agrees that regular high level meetings are beneficial, and will examine ways to maximize their benefits and continually improve the way they are arranged and scheduled.

o GAC to use opportunities to provide input to ICANN policy development processes (Recommendation 10.2) – GAC noted that the GAC-GNSO Consultation Group is addressing this.

9. Human Rights

GAC noted the written analysis on ICANN’s procedures and policies in the light of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic values, prepared by experts of the Council of Europe. The GAC noted that there is a developing interest in the ICANN community to include human rights issues in future discussions.

10. Protection of Geographic Names in gTLDs

The GAC provided a briefing, led by the sub-group on geographic names of the working group on future gTLD issues, to the community on protection of geographic names in future new gTLD application rounds.

Further work will be done on this matter and new updates will be provided at the next ICANN meeting.

Victim’s Of Terrorists Holding a Billion Dollars+ In Judgements Seeks Seizure of .IR Registry By ICANN

According to a press release, A lawyer representing a “group of American victims of terror and family members of those who have been injured or killed in attacks sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) have moved to attach and seize the ccTLD domain registry of Iran, .Ir

“The families, who hold unsatisfied American federal court judgments amounting to more than a billion dollars against the Iranian government seek to own all the “top-level domain” (TLD) names provided by the US to Iran including the .ir TLD, the ایران TLD and all Internet Protocol (IP) addresses being utilized by the Iranian government and its agencies.”

“The court papers have been served on Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)”

The families are represented in this unprecedented civil action by attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel-Aviv, Israel and Robert Tolchin of New York.

Darshan-Leitner said: “This is the first time that terror victims have moved to seize the domain names, IPs and internet licenses of terrorism sponsoring states like Iran and are attempting to satisfy their court judgments.

The Iranians must be shown that there is a steep price to be paid for their sponsorship of terrorism. In business & legal terms it is quite simple – we are owed money, and these assets are currency worth money. ”

“In cases brought in the US by the terror victim plaintiff/judgment holders against Iran, the districts courts have repeatedly ruled that the suicide bombing and shooting attacks perpetrated by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations in Israel were funded by the Islamic regime through MOIS.

“However, although the families have received compensatory and punitive damage judgments against the defendants, Iran has refused to satisfy the court awards.”

“Iran has been designated by the Department of State as an outlaw nation that provides material support and resources to terrorist groups worldwide since 1996.

“Under an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (28 U.S.C. § 1610(g)), legislated to assist terror victims to collect judgments against foreign states abrogates Iran’s sovereign immunity for claims arising from acts of terrorism and subjects to attachment “the property of a foreign state… and the property of an agency or instrumentality of such a state, including property that is a separate juridical entity or is an interest held directly or indirectly in a separate juridical entity.”

According to Baruch Ben-Haim whose son Shlomo was severely injured in a 1995 terrorist bombing of an Israeli bus: “It’s not right that the US government would provide these licenses to Iran while it is refusing to pay off the judgments handed down against it for funding global terrorism. The federal court awards given to our families must be satisfied.”

Darshan-Leitner said, “For years the Iranian government has refused to pay its judgments, thumbing its nose at these terror victims and the American court system. Our clients continue to suffer from the suicide bombing that Iran financed in Jerusalem nearly seventeen years ago. It is not our intention to shut down Iran’s internet usage, but we want what is rightfully due. If by seizing any funds earned from these licenses and contractual rights we can satisfy the judgments, we will have served our clients.”

We remain committed to helping these American families satisfy their judgments.”

.Global Online Auction Signup Is Live; You Must Sign Up Even If You Pre-Bid With Namejet

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The signup for the .Global online Live Domain Name is now active.

If you want to participate remotely in the .Global Live domain name Auction which is being held during ICANN London, you need to go and sign up here.

The auction will be held starting at around 12:30 PM EST; 5:30 PM London time.

Even if you have pre-bid bid on NameJet.com for the .Global auction, you need to register at the online auction provider which is here:

http://apps.ams1.auctionsolutions.com/registration/rotd/rotdprod001/bregister.php

If you do not register you will not be able to bid.

You will not be able to bid during the live auction through Namejet.com.

Namejet is  just handling the pre-bidding and post bidding (for any domains that do not sell in the live auction) only.

You will not be able to access the online live bidding platform with your Namejet  login information.

Once again you must register with the actual online action provider to participate in the online bidding for the live .Global domain auction