31 December 2014

Google Play, Mobile, Real Money Gaming

Google Play and the Slow Transition to Mobile for Real Money Gaming | Jeff Ifrah - JDSupra:

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30 December 2014

Alipay, Global Retailing (video)

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Will Alipay Revolutionize America?: Video - Bloomberg: “Buyology” Author Martin Lindstrom discusses the impact Alipay will have on global retailing. Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal also speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg 11/28)

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27 December 2014

Omnichannel Retail, New Reality (video)

Omnichannel Retail: The New Reality: Video - Bloomberg:
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Nasdaq Advisory Services' Calvin Silva and Bloomberg's Matt Townsend discuss omnichannel retail with Bloomberg's Trish Regan on "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg 11/26)

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23 December 2014

Internet Numbers Community, First Draft IANA Proposal, Feedback

"The first draft of the Internet numbers community’s response to the Request For Proposals issued by the IANA Stewardship Coordination Group (ICG) is now published. This draft has been prepared by the Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal (CRISP) team, and we are now seeking feedback on this draft from the global community." source: First Draft Proposal of the Internet Number Community for the IANA Stewardship Coordination Group. | The Address Supporting Organization (ASO ICANN): Dec 22, 2014.

Draft proposal: https://www.nro.net/crisp-proposal-first-draft
The deadline for providing feedback is 5 January 2015

How to engage in discussions:
All global discussions the CRISP team will consider as community feedback will be conducted on the <ianaxfer [at] nro [dot] net> mailing list.

Subscription to the global mailing list: https://www.nro.net/mailman/listinfo/ianaxfer

Key points:
ICANN to continue as an operator of the IANA function
Exchange SLA with ICANN as the IANA function operator on number resources
Review Committee with representatives from each RIR region

Key dates:
First draft published: 19 Dec 2014
First draft comments close: 5 Jan 2015
Second draft to be published: 8 Jan 2015
Second draft comments close: 12 Jan 2015
Final proposal to be sent to ICG: 15 Jan 2015

Discussions by CRISP Team
Details of all the CRISP team’s work to date, including recordings, minutes and agendas of all CRISP teleconferences and a public archive of the internal CRISP team mailing list, are available at: https://nro.net/crisp-team

All CRISP team discussions are open to observers.
Other links:
ICG request for proposals: https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-3-2014-09-03-en
The IANA Stewardship Transition Discussion in each RIR region: https://www.nro.net/timeline-engagement

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22 December 2014

Submit Comment on CWG IANA Proposal by 22 Dec 2014, 23:59 UTC

The deadline to submit a comment on the Cross Community Working Group (CWG) On Naming Related Functions Public Consultation on Draft Transition Proposal is 22 Dec 2014, 23:59 UTC - TIME CONVERSION -- 6:59 pm EST (US)

Cross Community Working Group (CWG) on Naming Related Functions Draft Transition Proposal



IANA Transition | CWG Draft proposal | Comment Period

Draft Transition Proposal

Comments Forum

email address to send comments: comments-cwg-naming-transition-01dec14@icann.org

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21 December 2014

Cyber Monday, Twitter, Retailers

Cyber Monday: Exciting to See Brands Engage With Consumers: Video - Bloomberg:
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Twitter Director of Retail Chris Riedy discusses how retailers used Twitter to promote Cyber Monday. He speaks on ”Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg 12/1)

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20 December 2014

Black Friday, How Consumers Are Manipulated (video)

Black Friday: How Consumers Are Manipulated: Video - Bloomberg:
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“Buyology” Author Martin Lindstrom discusses the concept of Black Friday on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg 11/28)

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19 December 2014

Kill the #ZombieSOPA, Online Censorship

Share this graphic (go to link) and tell the MPAA to kill the #ZombieSOPA.

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18 December 2014

Zebra Technologies CEO on Motorola and Internet of Things (video)

Zebra Technologies CEO on Motorola and Internet of Things: Video - Bloomberg:
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Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies, discusses working with Motorola and explains how businesses are using the Internet of things. He speaks with Bloomberg's Trish Regan on "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg 11/20)

ref.  zebra.com

Zebra Technologies - Global Leader in Barcode and RFID Technology: "MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS’ ENTERPRISE BUSINESS is now a part of Zebra Technologies We’re bringing together real-time asset visibility, rugged mobility and cloud technology to lead the way in Enterprise Asset Intelligence – changing the limits of what you can know about your business...."

see also: Domain Mondo | Internet of Things, Samsung, SmartThings, Twilio [video] and
Domain Mondo | DNS and IoT, Domain Names and the Internet of Things

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17 December 2014

Ashwin Rangan, ICANN CIIO, Call to Action (video)

A Call to Action from Ashwin Rangan, ICANN Chief Innovation & Information Officer (December 3, 2014 HD Version). Ashwin asks for the ICANN Community's help in creating a common stakeholder, community-wide set of tools and technologies.

Excerpt from his blog post: "... many Stakeholder communities are saying the same thing – but from their specific point of view. For example - The ALAC wants a set of Issues Management Tools that, in its request, is almost identical to what the SSAC wants. The GAC and the ALAC are both requesting revised websites. The GNSO and the ALAC are both seeking a Knowledge/ Information Management tool. And so on.... To address this, we have a choice. The Stakeholder communities could EITHER have different parts of ICANN be pressed to define, develop and deliver specific, point solutions to satisfy each of these requests, satisfying one Stakeholder community at a time. OR, we can choose a path where a single Stakeholder community (or a small cross-community group) takes "ownership" of an idea, fleshes it out completely and, when almost fully-cooked, invites other Stakeholder groups to weigh-in. The result could be a robust set of requirements that represents the collective needs of our vast, global community. We - the ICANN staff - can then take these requirements and source a tool or a set of technological capabilities in the most cost-effective and time-efficient manner.

"Of course, not everything will fit into this mind-map. However, there are many requests coming at us concurrently which do fit this model. If we choose the "one-off" path, we would be robbing ourselves of an invaluable opportunity and adding to the confusing plethora of tools already in the ICANN toolbox, not to mention adding to ICANN's operating costs. So here's what I am proposing. We will create a page on the ICANN Community Wiki, where all the requests coming our way are catalogued with the specific Stakeholder community making the request. That can be the base from which we could journey together towards a common Stakeholder, community-wide, set of tools and technologies. Our remit could then be to ensure delivery and support of a harmonized set of robust tools which interoperate where possible and sensible.

"Here are my questions of you:
  1. Do you agree with this concept – of build once and re-use many times? The IT artifacts and services I have reviewed do not currently show much of re-use.
  2. If you agree, would you be willing to work as a member of a cross-community working group, focused on Community collaboration Tools? For the sake of brevity, let us call it a Community Tools Focus Group, or CTFG.
  3. If that too is agreeable, would it make sense to have just ONE such CTFG across all SOs? Like an SO-CTFG? And ANOTHER such, for all ACs? Like an AC-CTFG?
  4. As a working charter for such CTFGs, could you commit time to work with other CTFG members to help frame a Problem Statement (along with clear and specific examples)?
  5. The ICANN staff can take this as input and seek appropriate solutions to address the problem. And get back with the concerned CTFG with a small (2 or 3) set of considered options. From which the CTFG can pick the solution that best meets the needs.
"I welcome your thoughts....You can send them my way by using the subject handle "Tsunami" and addressing your email to: Ashwin.rangan@icann.org ..."

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16 December 2014

ICANN Response to EU Council Conclusions on Internet Governance

Re: EU Council conclusions on Internet Governance as adopted by the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) on 27 November 2014:

ICANN response:
02 Dec 2014 – "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today welcome the EU Council on Telecommunication (TTE) for its Conclusions on Internet Governance adopted on 27 November 2014.

"The Conclusions underline "that the governance of Internet is expected to include all stakeholders" and "the importance of strengthening the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)", while endorsing the principles adopted by the global multi-stakeholder community at NETmundial.

"In this period of transition for Internet Governance, and for ICANN in particular, Europe has a substantial role to play. We welcome Europe's public commitment to contribute proactively and constructively to the process of IANA stewardship transition and ICANN's accountability and review process," said Fadi Chehade, ICANN's President and CEO.

"The Conclusions by the Council of European Union governments mark an important step in supporting the continued development of the multistakeholder model of Governance of the Internet, based on inclusivity and underpinned by individual rights and democratic values.

"We recognize this is the first time that EU Council Conclusions focus in such detail on Internet Governance and on ICANN specifically, and I would like to thank the Italian Presidency and in particular Under Secretary Antonello Giacomelli for setting the agenda and their vision," said Chehade. "They have worked hard to foster a single coherent approach among 28 Member States, based on the NETMundial principles."

"They also reaffirm that the Internet should remain a single, open, neutral, interoperable and un-fragmented network accessible to everyone, everywhere. The ICANN community is proud to have contributed to this goal and "the robust operation of the Internet" through ICANN's role in the coordination of the domain name system over the past 16 years, and we will strive to fulfill this mission going forwards, as the organization evolves.

"Building on the Council Conclusion, the Internet community and ICANN welcome Europe's decision and fully support the forging ahead with the implementation of national and regional multistakeholder models of Internet governance." (source: icann.org)

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14 December 2014

Lessons of the 2014 ITU Plenipot, FCC Commissioner Michael O'Reilly

Lessons of the 2014 ITU Plenipot by Michael O'Rielly, FCC Commissioner:

Last month, I was honored to join FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as part of the U.S. delegation to the 2014 International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference (Plenipot) held in Busan, South Korea. Since the conference recently concluded, it seems the appropriate time to share my thoughts about this experience. Before doing so, however, I must express my deep appreciation to the head of the delegation, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda of the Department of State, the FCC staff, the members of the U.S. delegation, and all dignitaries with whom I was able to meet, including the newly-elected Secretary-General of the ITU, Mr. Houlin Zhao of China, and Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Malcom Johnson of the United Kingdom.

As a member of the delegation, I attended the official plenary meetings of the conference, which included the elections for various ITU positions and discussions of various resolutions, and joined U.S.-led bilateral meetings with representatives of countries present at the Plenipot, including Germany and Chile. I attended meetings with a subset of our delegation to discuss U.S. positions on specific issues (e.g., cybersecurity and Internet governance). In addition, I participated in a number of FCC-led bilateral meetings with officials from the regulatory agencies of other countries, including Pakistan, Lebanon, Ghana, Australia and Guinea-Bissau. These meetings put into perspective the high standing that the FCC has internationally, and I was able to share the Commission’s pro-market approach to spectrum auctions, unlicensed spectrum, broadband deployment, and many other issues.

Reports indicate that the 2014 Plenipot was relatively successful in staving off ill-timed or questionable policy proposals, and much credit goes to the U.S. delegation for their commitment and dedication. Based on my short time in Busan and now reviewing the end product, here are my key takeaways:

The Internet Continues to Threaten the Status Quo

At the heart of the issues debated at the 2014 Plenipot was the continued development of the Internet and its remarkable, disruptive capabilities. There was noticeable policy tension between the desire to expand the Internet to all and the impact of the Internet on global economic and political practices. While the countries of the world embrace the benefits that the Internet brings to society and mankind, some are troubled by other changes it can bring.

The concerns some countries have about the Internet are quite strong. In general, they can be put into one of two categories: loss of control and reduction of revenues. The decentralized and global nature of the Internet reduces the ability of a government to control the information and experiences of its citizens. In other words, countries that restrict freedom could be the most affected by it. Moreover, the Internet is quickly supplanting the traditional telephone as the main source of communications traffic. For some countries that rely on telephone revenues, their solution seems to be based on imposing new fees of some sort on the Internet. Many of the proposals on Internet issues put forth at the Plenipot fit into one of these two problematic rationalizations.

Given the benefits of an informed society, the international community would be wise to continue to embrace the Internet rather than trying to limit its access and reach. Additionally, a more forward-thinking approach is that government fees and regulations are deterrents to users communicating and optimizing the Internet, and thus, should be opposed.

The Structure of International Forums Needs Review

While I appreciate the history of the ITU and its work, the ITU’s structure—like that of the U.N.—provides each country an equal say in matters before it. That means some member countries, relying on bad information, advocate the fusion of existing policies or practices with the complexities inherent in the operations, functionality and architecture of the Internet, which can lead to unintended consequences. This also enables those countries that have questionable ulterior motives to push proposals that undermine the longstanding principles embedded in the Internet. The U.S. delegation, which included a number of Internet-centric companies, was forced to not only defend the Internet from harmful policies but also explain how implementing these policies could undermine the foundation of the Internet.

As I left Busan, it appeared that the role of the ITU in some people’s minds was on the way to shifting from the preeminent forum for public telecommunications to what our Korean hosts lauded as “the preeminent intergovernmental Internet forum.” The remit of the ITU continues to be a core discussion point at every global ITU conference, as some countries want to expand the ITU's reach to include Internet governance and content. These continued attempts need careful consideration, including whether and how best to obtain agreement prior to the start of any international forum discussing Internet matters, particularly those that have international treaty implications, to preclude issues that are outside of the organization’s purview or that may violate certain factors appropriate for international Internet negotiations, conventions, or conferences. Whether this is done via further establishing official U.S. policy along these lines or whether funding for such organizations needs to be examined closely beforehand would seem to be something for Congress to determine, but it may be a necessary conversation to have. Alternatively, perhaps the U.S. should focus on steering certain international discussions to other non-treaty based forums... The U.S. positions on Internet issues facing the Plenipot were rather refreshing. It focused on reaffirming our commitment to the free market and private sector: the guiding principles of the Internet. We rejected greater involvement by governments and railed against the desire by some to impose new fees (not unlike access charges) on Internet traffic. We opposed efforts to impose Internet traffic tracking, knowing that this was designed to subvert individuals’ freedom. We fought against efforts to inject the ITU into Internet content and applications. And we pushed the international community to keep the ITU’s role over the Internet limited...
(emphasis added; read more at source: Lessons of the 2014 Plenipot | FCC.gov)

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13 December 2014

Yahoo, As Innovation Company, CMO Kathy Savitt (video)

Yahoo Is an Innovation Company: CMO Kathy Savitt: Video - Bloomberg:
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Yahoo Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Media Kathy Savitt discusses Yahoo’s media properties on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg 11/24)

ref.  yahoo.com

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12 December 2014

Cyber Criminals Will Now Have More Than 1000 New gTLDs To Exploit

While ICANN, its registrars and registries collect fees, cyber criminals fleece the public--

Security must include domain name protection, say experts - computerweekly.com: "... the issue of domain names is typically overlooked when designing an online security strategy, said Rob Cotton, chief executive at information assurance firm NCC Group. “Making sure you’ve got the right internet domains is often dismissed by executives as simply a job for the marketing department, but we’ve got an incident here that’s affected share price – and that’s going to send tremors right up to board level,” he said. How cyber criminals use fake sites - Cotton said vigilance in this regard is becoming increasingly important as cyber criminals now have more than 1,000 new generic top-level domains to exploit, such as .shop and .london. In October 2014, security researchers uncovered a cyber espionage campaign against military, diplomatic and defence industry targets in the US, Europe and Pakistan, that included fake websites. Although the campaign mainly used phishing emails, the attackers also compromised legitimate sites in Poland to redirect targeted visitors to a fake military contractor website. The fake site was almost identical to the compromised legitimate website, designed to infect victims’ computers with information-stealing malware." (read more at link above)

see also: expVC: Cybercrime, Rogue Registrars: Is ICANN Unfit For Internet Governance?

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11 December 2014

ICANN Seeking Panel Members for New gTLD Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution

Resources - ICANNPublic Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Process (PICDRP):
The PICDRP addresses complaints that a Registry may not be complying with the Public Interest Commitment(s) in Specification 11 of their Registry Agreement

[expvc.com Contributing Editor's Note: Specification 11 is "buried" at the end of the Registry Agreement (pp. 90-91 of a 92 page pdf--note that pagination is absent from pages 90-91--just go to the end of the document)--which you may be able to locate and download from the ICANN website here. From how ICANN has obfuscated all of this as much as possible from "public view," it appears ICANN really doesn't care about the "public interest"  and when you actually find and read Specification 11 it looks like it was written by the DNA* -- actually in a sense it may have been since the current Executive Director of the DNA was "architect" of the new gTLDs program when he was Chief Strategy Officer of ICANN before his resignation due to a conflict of interest--the particulars of which ICANN has never disclosed to its multi-stakeholders. So much for transparency and accountability and the public interest!]

*UPDATE: a registry’s ability to amend or revoke its PICs and the lengthy, expensive, and adversarial process required to enforce PICs by the limited class of parties able to bring enforcement actions, does not protect the public interest! [See ICANN Business Constituency letter (pdf)].

Also Review the PICDRP [PDF, 208 KB]

Seeking Panel Members for New gTLD Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution - ICANN:
"ICANN plans to expand the Standing Panel responsible for administering the Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP), which supports the New gTLD Program. Parties with relevant experience and the desire to serve the Internet community are invited to submit expressions of interest.

"PICDRP Standing Panel members play an important role in upholding the integrity of the Domain Name industry and protecting the public interest," said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Global Domains Division.

"The PICDRP is designed to serve the interests of the Internet community. When a report arises alleging that a registry has violated its public interest commitment(s) as outlined in its contract with ICANN, members of the PICDRP Standing Panel can be called upon to review the report, and if necessary, recommend remedies to ICANN. Therefore, all Standing Panel members must be impartial and independent.

"Download the official Call for Expressions of Interest [PDF, 110 KB] to serve on the PICDRP Standing Panel.

"ICANN welcomes applicants with international dispute resolution experience and a sound technical understanding of the Internet and the Domain Name System. Expertise in any of the following areas is also highly desired:
Contract interpretation
Cross-cultural issues
Cyber security
Judicial and/or legal work
Online content
Public policy
Regulatory environments
Social research
Trademark protection"

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10 December 2014

CCWG Enhancing ICANN Accountability Project Timeline

The Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) on Enhancing ICANN Accountability had its first meeting on December 9, 2014. The meeting page (https://community.icann.org/x/M4MHAw) has been updated with notes, recording, and chat transcript. (The formal transcript will follow.)

Below is the CCWG Enhancing ICANN Accountability Project Timeline:

15 Apr 2015 Publish Draft WS1 Proposal for public comment and begin WS2 deliberations

30 May 2015 Publish Final WS1 Proposal and submit to Chartering Organizations

20 Jun 2015 Obtain approval of WS1 Proposal by Chartering Organizations

30 Jun 2015 Submit WS1 Proposal to ICANN Board for approval

?? Xxx 201X Publish Draft WS2 Proposal for public comment

?? Xxx 201X Publish Final WS2 Proposal and submit to Chartering Organizations

?? Xxx 201X Obtain approval of WS2 Proposal by Chartering Organizations

?? Xxx 201X Submit WS2 Proposal to ICANN Board for approval

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09 December 2014

IANA Stewardship Transition ICG Conference Call Wednesday 12/10

IANA Stewardship Transition ICG Conference Call:
The IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) has scheduled its ninth conference call:

ICG Call # 9 – Wednesday, 10 December at 11:00-12:00 UTC (time converter here). 
6 am EST (US)

The community is welcome to attend by way of a listen-only mode Virtual Meeting Room through which audio of the call will be streamed. Translations will be available through relevant Adigo Bridge dial-in numbers and Conference ID codes.

A list of country dial-in numbers can be found here. Should there be no appropriate dial-in number for an interested participant, ICANN will provide a dial-out service to that individual. Correspondingly, language service Conference ID numbers are listed below:

Français – Conference ID: 75929475
Español – Conference ID: 68385764
中文 – Conference ID: 825702
Pусский – Conference ID: 345720
العربية – Conference ID: 82855066
Português – Conference ID: 759752

Participants who are interested in an English line but are unable to join by way of the Virtual Meeting Room may request a dial-out service.

For more information about the ICG and the IANA Stewardship Transition: NTIA IANA Functions' Stewardship Transition Microsite.
(source: icann.org)

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08 December 2014

Call for Volunteers, CCWG, Enhancing ICANN Accountability

Call for Volunteers to Participate in Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) -  (source:ICANN):

The Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) was formed to deliver proposals that would enhance ICANN's accountability towards all stakeholders. The organizations that chartered the CCWG now call for volunteers to join this effort.

How to participate - There are two ways to volunteer (participant or observer):

Individual Participants – anyone interested can volunteer to join the CCWG as a "participant," regardless of whether they are members of the ICANN community. Participants are expected to actively contribute to mailing list conversations as well as meetings. It is anticipated that participants will provide essential input to the process. They will participate similarly to ICANN chartering organization-appointed members and will be required to provide a Statement of Interest (SOI).
Mailing list observers – for those who are merely interested to monitor the CCWG conversations, there is the possibility to sign up as a mailing list "observer" which offers read-only access to the mailing list. Mailing list observers will not be permitted to post, will not receive invitations to the various meetings or calls of the CCWG (note that audio streaming will be provided for those interested to follow the CCWG meetings) and will not have to complete a statement of interest (see below). At any point in time, a mailing list observer can join the CCWG as a participant simply by informing ICANN staff.

In addition, there will be opportunities to provide input through public consultations and public comment processes that the CCWG is expected to organize.

How to join - If you are interested in joining the CCWG as an individual participant or mailing list observer, please contact Grace Abuhamad (email: accountability-staff@icann.org ).

Members of ICANN Supporting Organizations or Advisory Committees should contact their respectiveSO/AC secretariats and state clearly whether they are joining as a participant or mailing list observer. All participants – chartering organization-appointed members and individual participants – will be listed on the CCWG's webpage. All participants in this process are required to submit a SOI following the procedures of their chartering organization or, in cases where that is not applicable, the GNSOprocedures. Alternatively, a statement should be provided which, at a minimum, should include name, whether the participant is representing a certain organization or company as part of his/her participation in this effort, areas of specific interest in relation to this effort, material relationship with other parties affected by ICANN and primary country of residence.

Next steps  - The CCWG currently is in formation. To date, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), the Country Code Supporting Organization (ccNSO) and the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) have adopted the charter and are in the process of appointing members. The first online meeting of the CCWG has been scheduled for Tuesday 9 December 2014 at 20.00 UTC, [time conversion] which also can be followed via audio streaming (please click here at the start of the meeting). Following that, regular online meetings are expected to alternate between 11.00 and 14.00 UTC to allow for maximum participation taking into account the different time zones....

The CCWG Charter foresees that work is carried out in two work streams:

Work Stream 1: focused on mechanisms enhancing ICANN accountability that must be in place or committed to within the time frame of the IANA Stewardship Transition;

Work Stream 2: focused on addressing accountability topics for which a timeline for developing solutions and full implementation may extend beyond the IANA Stewardship Transition.

For further information, please see the CCWG Charter at https://community.icann.org/x/XQHxAg and also the first link above (top of this page).

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07 December 2014

ICANN, IANA, Accountability, Remarks by Larry Strickling, NTIA

Remarks by Assistant Secretary Strickling at the PLI/FCBA Telecommunications Policy & Regulation Institute | NTIA: Excerpts from remarks by Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information at the PLI/FCBA Telecommunications Policy & Regulation Institute, Washington, DC, December 4, 2014 (go to the link above for complete copy):

"... we [NTIA] play a central role in shaping Administration policies on complex issues of international Internet governance, online privacy and data security to maintain consumer trust in the Internet and protect the digital economy.

"Today, I would like to spend a few minutes talking about three major priorities for 2015:

  • First, we will promote spectrum sharing as a key part of our ongoing efforts to find more spectrum for commercial wireless broadband;
  • Second, we will continue to expand broadband access and adoption to help close the digital divide; and
  • Third, we will support and strengthen the bottom-up, consensus-based approach to Internet governance known as the multistakeholder process, which has allowed the Internet to flourish and thrive.

". . . . in 2015 with respect to Internet policy. Our core mission at NTIA is to ensure that the Internet remains an engine for economic growth, innovation and free expression.

"Internationally, the United States has been a vocal advocate of the bottom-up, consensus-based approach to Internet governance known as the multistakeholder model.

"The multistakeholder model has enabled the Internet to develop into an engine for innovation, free speech and economic growth. Under this model, all stakeholders, whether they be from industry, civil society, or government, come together in an inclusive, transparent, accountable forum to make decisions and solve problems. As the Internet agency, NTIA’s job is to strengthen and promote that model.

"In 2014, we have seen a growing acceptance of the multistakeholder model around the world, but particularly in developing countries. Earlier this year, Brazil hosted the successful NetMundial conference, which brought together a wide range of stakeholders including technical experts, civil society groups, industry representatives and government officials, all on an equal footing with each other. At this meeting not only did participants agree that Internet governance should be built on democratic multistakeholder processes,” the entire meeting was a demonstration of the open, participative, and consensus-driven governance that has allowed the Internet to develop as an unparalleled engine of economic growth and innovation.

"A month later, a High-Level Panel, headed by the president of Estonia, Toomas Ilves released a report once again affirming the power of multistakeholder policy development. The panel said it “recognizes, fully supports, and adopts the Internet governance principles produced in the NetMundial Statement.”

"Most recently, at the International Telecommunication Union’s 2014 Plenipotentiary conference in Busan, Korea, last month, we saw the fruits of all our work to preserve multistakeholder Internet governance. The United States achieved all of its objectives in Busan, including keeping the ITU’s work focused on its current mandate and not expanding its role into Internet and cybersecurity issues. The U.S. delegation, led by Ambassador Danny Sepulveda, successfully built consensus across nations to protect the robust, innovative, multi-stakeholder Internet we enjoy today.

"This validation of the multistakeholder model comes at a critical time. Last March, NTIA announced its intention to complete the privatization of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS), currently managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This process began in 1998, when ICANN took over important technical functions related to the domain name system, known as the IANA functions, under a contract with NTIA. In our March announcement, NTIA asked ICANN to convene a multistakeholder process to develop a proposal to transition the U.S. stewardship role over the IANA functions to the international community. We did this to ensure that the multistakeholder model for DNS coordination continues.

"When we announced this transition, we outlined some specific conditions that must be addressed before this transition takes place. First, the proposal must support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, in that it should be developed by the multistakeholder community and have broad community support. More specifically, we will not accept a transition proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution. Second, the proposal must maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the domain name system. Third, it must meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services. And finally, it must maintain the openness of the Internet.

"Now that we are eight months past our IANA announcement, it is important to take stock of where this transition stands.

"We are pleased that the community has responded enthusiastically to our call to develop a transition plan that will ensure the stability, security and openness of the Internet. Acting as a facilitator, ICANN announced this summer the formation of a group representing more than a dozen Internet stakeholder communities that will help develop a transition proposal. As set forth in its charter, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group is “conduct[ing] itself transparently, consult[ing] with a broad range of stakeholders, and ensur[ing] that its proposals support the security and stability of the IANA functions.”

"The community is in the process of developing proposals for the specific IANA functions. Earlier this week, a working group focused on domain names released a 100-page proposal for community review and comment. We expect proposals for other of the functions to surface over the next month or so. The community hopes to submit its transition proposal to NTIA by the end of next July, which would allow us to review the proposal before the current contract expires at the end of September 2015. I want to emphasize that we did not set a deadline for this transition. If for some reason the community needs more time, we have the option to extend the current contract for up to four years.

"ICANN has also launched a process to examine how to ensure it remains accountable to the global Internet community. Specifically, this process will examine how ICANN can strengthen its accountability mechanisms to address the absence of its historical contractual relationship with NTIA. NTIA believes that this accountability process needs to include the stress testing of solutions to safeguard against future contingencies such as attempts to influence or takeover ICANN functions that are not currently possible with the IANA functions contract in place.

"The two work streams on the IANA transition and enhanced accountability are directly linked and NTIA has repeatedly said that both issues must be addressed before any transition takes place.

"I am confident that engaging the global Internet community to work out these important issues will strengthen the multistakeholder process and will result in ICANN’s becoming even more directly accountable to the customers of the IANA functions and to the broader Internet community.

"Getting the transition right will be a major project for NTIA in 2015 . . . ."

[Above as prepared for delivery]

For further reading: US govt tells ICANN: No accountability, no keys to the internet • The Register

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

06 December 2014

Cyber Monday, Good Deals, Marketing Ploy (video)

Cyber Monday: Good Deals or Marketing Ploy?: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is largely a marketing ploy. It first popped up in 2004. The idea was to get people to keep shopping on Monday from their office computers where Internet connections were faster than at home. Today, Cyber Monday has evolved into a marketing campaign urging people to shop all day and all week long, from anywhere using their mobile device. So has cyber Monday become irrelevant? Bloomberg Businessweek’s Kyle Stock finds out. (Dec. 1 - Bloomberg)

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05 December 2014

Mark Zuckerberg: We Take Connecting the World Seriously (video)

Mark Zuckerberg: We Take Connecting the World Seriously: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discusses his mission to connect the world. He speaks with Emily Chang on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg 12/4)

ref. domain names: facebook.com and facebook.org

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02 December 2014

IANA Transition, CWG Draft Proposal, Comment Period, Webinars

IANA Stewardship Transition--Cross Community Working Group (CWG) On Naming Related Functions Public Consultation on Draft Transition Proposal--the CWG has announced a comment period on the draft transition proposal and 3 webinars:

In order to brief the community on the contents on this draft transition proposal and encourage community feedback, the CWG will be organizing three identical webinars at different times to facilitate participation across time zones. The webinars will take place on:
3 December from 7:00 – 8:30 UTC (time zone converter here) Tues Dec 2 11PM PST (US)
4 December from 12:30 – 14:00 UTC (time zone converter here)
4 December from 16:00 – 17:30 UTC (time zone converter here)

All three webinars will be run in this Adobe Connect room (enter as Guest, no password/login needed) For more information about these webinars and how to join, please see: https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-3-2014-12-01-en

Comment Period: 1 Dec 2014- 22 Dec 2014 23:59 UTC

Submit Comment to Forum email:  comments-cwg-naming-transition-01dec14@icann.org

More information: 

The key dates of the CWG work plan:
1 December 2014: Publication date of the Draft Proposal for Public Comment
19 January 2015: Submission of the CWG Final Proposal to chartering organizations
31 January 2015: Planned submission of the Final CWG Proposal to ICG

Relevant Resources:
Draft Proposal: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/cwg-naming-transition-01dec14-en.pdf [PDF, 1.72 MB]
CWG Charter: https://community.icann.org/x/2grxAg
Resource Information (e.g. IANA Functions Contract; SSAC Report):https://community.icann.org/x/_iLxAg
CWG Wiki Space: https://community.icann.org/x/37fhAg
CWG mailing list archive: http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/cwg-stewardship/

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01 December 2014

Google and Project Loon, Internet Service via Balloons (video)

Project Loon: The Technology -

Google believes it's possible to create a ring of balloons that fly around the globe on the stratospheric winds and provide Internet access to the earth below. Balloons present some really hard science problems, but Google is excited about the progress so far.

Read more:

Google's Project Loon can now launch up to 20 balloons per day, and they fly 10 times longer than in 2013 | VentureBeat | Business | by Emil Protalinski: "In terms of quality improvements, the balloons now last 10 times longer in the stratosphere than they did in 2013. Some fly for over 100 days (Google says the current record is 130 days)."

3 million kilometers is a long journey. That distance would take you around the…: "..."It’s one thing for our balloons to last longer, but to build a ring of connectivity around the world we’ll also need to get more in the air. Imagine how long it would take you and your friends to inflate 7,000 party balloons. That’s what it takes to fill just one of our Loon balloons for flight, so we’ve developed autofill equipment that will be capable of doing it in under 5 minutes. We now have the ability to launch up to 20 balloons per day as we continue to improve our ability to launch consistently at scale."..."--Google Project Loon


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30 November 2014

Prezi, $57 million funding round, 50 million users

"Be a more effective, engaging, and memorable presenter with Prezi, the unique presentation software that helps you connect more powerfully with your audience. Unlike slides, Prezi's open, zoomable canvas lets you show the relationships between the big picture and fine details, taking viewers on a compelling, informative journey they're not only likely to enjoy more, but remember and act upon. So you can go from being a good presenter to being a great presenter."

At the Slush conference, Helsinki, Finland, startup Prezi announced a funding round of  $57 million (and impressive user and engagement numbers) from Sprectrum Equity, a 20-year old growth capital firm based in the United States, as well as prior backer, Accel Partners. Prezi offers cloud-based presentation software.

ref. prezi.com

read more: Prezi raises $57 million as it hits 50 million users

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28 November 2014

China Web Conference, Internet Freedom

China hosts web conference, calls for more internet controls"... Facebook, Google and Twitter, which have been banned in the country, can be accessed in Wuzhen during the conference. China has been assailed over its tight control of the internet, including its censorship of online content. Amnesty International earlier described the gathering as a chilling attempt by Beijing to promote internet regulation. “China appears eager to promote its own domestic internet rules as a model for global regulation,” William Nee, China researcher at the London-based human rights group, said in a statement. “This should send a chill down the spine of anyone that values online freedom.” Meanwhile, seven activists were arrested on Wednesday for protesting outside the conference hall, the report said. They were calling on Chinese authorities to lift the ban on Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, 64tianwang and other blacklisted websites..."

see also: Domain Mondo: China Proposes Multilateral International Internet Governance, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade Agrees (Video) and

expVC: World Internet Conference, Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, China


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26 November 2014

Donuts Alleges ICANN Board Breached Its Own Bylaws and Articles

Today on Domain Mondo is a post "Former ICANN CSO Kurt Pritz says ICANN Violated Its Own Policies" about the IRP (Independent Review Process) Donuts Inc vs ICANN filed before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution in regard to applications for new gTLDs (new generic Top-Level Domains) .SPORTS, .SKI and .RUGBY. Donuts Inc., subsidiaries applied for 307 new gTLDs, including .SPORTS, .SKI and .RUGBY, which at an applicant fee of $185,000 per new gTLD means Donuts has an "upfront" new gTLD investment of $56,795,000 in ICANN applicant fees alone.

ExpVC.com has added a link on its web page footer (below) "ICANN Independent Review Process Documents" to allow readers a link to the ICANN web page that provides information about the Donuts Inc., IRP, and all other pending Independent Review Processes.

The IRP filed by Donuts Inc., is of particular interest, as the allegations made in the Request for Independent Review Process by Donuts Inc., are both extensive and serious. Donuts Inc., alleges in its Request for IRP that ICANNby and through its Board of Directors ("the Board"), has breached its own Bylaws, Articles and other ICANN governing principles:

"“[T]he powers of ICANN shall be exercised by … the Board.” App. A Art. II § 1. The entire new gTLD program emanates from the Board’s exercise of that power. In June 2008, the Board adopted GNSO policy recommendations for a new gTLD program... The Board Allowed Decisions on .SPORTS and .SKI to Result from Conflicts… The Board Failed in All Three Case to Exercise Independent Judgment to Ensure Consistent Application of Documented Governing Policies, Violating the Bylaws and Articles in a Number of Ways… The Board failed to “inform” community objection panels sufficiently for them to apply “documented policies” appropriately… The Board has failed to make divergent results consistent with “documented policies,” resulting in “disparate treatment.”… Inconsistent application of “documented policies” contravenes applicable law… the Board has breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in contravention of “local” law and the Articles… The Board Must but Has Failed to Act with Accountability and for the Benefit of the Internet Community As a Whole… The subject objection rulings go against key provisions of the Bylaws, Articles, Guidebook and other principles on which ICANN and its new gTLD program rest.  The Board has neglected to assure consistent application of Guidebook rules, implement an appeals process or otherwise correct decisions that fail to apply documented policies, despite Donuts’ significant investment in reliance upon such rules and their  predictability.  This Panel should direct the Board to reinstate Donuts’ three applications and either (i) reverse the objection rulings or (ii) vacate them and appoint properly trained panels to rehear the objections as to those TLDs." (source: Request for Independent Review Process by Donuts Inc.)

Follow the Donuts Inc. IRP, and other IRPs, through the link provided on the footer of the expvc.com web page.

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25 November 2014

IANA Stewardship Transition, ICG Conference Call, Tuesday (US)

Upcoming IANA Stewardship Transition ICG Conference Call: The IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) has scheduled its eighth conference call:

ICG Call # 8:
Wednesday, 26 November at 02:00-03:00 UTC (time converter here)
Tuesday 25 November 9:00pm-10:00pm EST (US) 

The community is welcome to attend by way of a listen-only mode Virtual Meeting Room through which audio of the call will be streamed. Translations will be available through relevant Adigo Bridge dial-in numbers and Conference ID codes.

A list of country dial-in numbers can be found here. Should there be no appropriate dial-in number for an interested participant, ICANN will provide a dial-out service to that individual. Correspondingly, language service Conference ID numbers are listed below:

Français – Conference ID: 75929475
Español – Conference ID: 68385764
中文 – Conference ID: 825702
Pусский – Conference ID: 345720
العربية – Conference ID: 82855066
Português – Conference ID: 759752

Participants who are interested in an English line but are unable to join by way of the Virtual Meeting Room may request a dial-out service.

For more information about the ICG and the IANA Stewardship Transition: NTIA IANAFunctions' Stewardship Transition Microsite.
(source: icann.org)

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24 November 2014

Search Results, Free Speech, Google Uses Anti-SLAPP Statute

Take note website publishers, bloggers, and business developers: Google's Search Results are Free Speech, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution--at least in the US. Elsewhere in the world, it depends on each nation's laws. Further reading below--

Google has free speech right in search results, court confirms — Tech News and Analysis"The new ruling, which is the first since 2007 to address Google’s rights under the First Amendment, came after a website called CoastNews argued that Google had unfairly pushed it far down in its search results – even though, CoastNews claimed, its site appeared at the top of results created by Bing and Yahoo. CoastNews suggested the poor rankings were because Google wanted to eliminate CoastNews as a potential competitor. Google responded by filing an “anti-SLAPP” motion, a legal tactic used to quickly challenge lawsuits that seek to stifle free speech. In a one-paragraph ruling, Judge Ernest Goldsmith granted the request, saying CoastNews’ claims against Google related to “constitutionally protected activity.”"

Responding to Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) | Digital Media Law Project"SLAPP stands for "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation." It refers to a lawsuit filed in retaliation for speaking out on a public issue or controversy. You might be "SLAPPed" for actions such as posting a blog entry, posting a comment on another person's blog, writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper, testifying before the legislature, reporting official misconduct, or circulating a petition. Often, SLAPPs are brought by corporations, developers, or government officials against individuals or community organizations that oppose their actions...."

Anti-SLAPP Law in California | Digital Media Law Project: "You can use California's anti-SLAPP statute to counter a SLAPP suit filed against you. The statute allows you to file a special motion to strike a complaint filed against you based on an "act in furtherance of [your] right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue." Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16. If a court rules in your favor, it will dismiss the plaintiff's case early in the litigation and award you attorneys' fees and court costs.  In addition, if a party to a SLAPP suit seeks your personal identifying information, California law allows you to make a motion to quash the discovery order, request, or subpoena...."

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23 November 2014

Smart phones, Worldwide, units (millions) by country, Q3 2014

Smart phones, Worldwide, units (millions) by country, Q3 2014

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22 November 2014

Internet Facts 2014

HostAdvice – Impressive Internet Facts That Are Sure to Blow Your Mind!
source: HostAdvice

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21 November 2014

A Domain Name? Many Small Businesses Use Facebook, Not Websites

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Says Many Small Businesses Use Facebook, Not Websites:
"Facebook plays an increasingly important role in how companies, particularly small businesses, connect with customers, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said November 6th, during the first public town hall livestreamed from Facebook's Menlo Park, California, headquarters. Zuckerberg said 30 million businesses use Facebook pages, and "something like 30 or 35 percent of small businesses in the U.S. don't even have a website and just use something like a Facebook page to communicate with their customers."(source: Bloomberg BNA)
Who needs a domain name and website, when you can just use a Facebook page?

Domain Mondo | domainmondo.com: Are Domain Names Dinosaurs?: "... Need a web page? Facebook or Google or Amazon or Tumblr or Twitter or LinkedIn or Pinterest (and many, many others) will gladly provide you a web page with its own distinct URL, on an easy to use platform with lots of traffic, accessible on any device, including mobile devices through a native app, all for free! So the real competition for new gTLDS are Facebook et al, and apps--a "Billion-Dollar Trend" that alone is a major domain name killer...." (read more at link above)

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20 November 2014

LIVE video: Internet Governance After Busan Symposium (CFR Live)

Session One: The Global Debate on the ITU and Internet Governance
Scheduled for Nov 20, 2014, Thursday 8:27 am EST (US) Time Conversion
Experts discuss the global debate on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and internet governance. This meeting is part of the Internet Governance After Busan Symposium.
*This Council on Foreign Relations event is made possible by Google, Inc., with additional support from Intel.
Introductory Speakers: James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, David Rockefeller Studies Program, Council on Foreign Relations
Andrea Glorioso, European Union Information and Communications Technologies Attaché to the United States
Jeferson Nacif, Head, International Affairs, Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications
Eric Osiakwan, Former Executive Secretary, African Internet Service Providers Association; Executive Secretary, Ghana Internet Service Providers Association
Presider: Aparna Sridhar, Counsel, Google, Inc.

Session Two: Technological Change and the Move to Mobile
Scheduled for Nov 20, 2014, 10:13 am EST (US) Time Conversion
Experts discuss technological change and the move to mobile devices.
This meeting is part of the Internet Governance After Busan Symposium.
Dominique Lazanski, Director, Public Policy, Groupe Speciale Mobile Association
Robert Pepper, Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco Systems, Ltd.
Jonathan Spalter, Chairman, Mobile Future, Inc.
Presider: Craig Mundie, Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft

Session Three: Busan: What Happened and What Comes Next?
Scheduled for Nov 20, 2014, 11:27 am EST (US) Time Conversion
Experts discuss the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference in Busan, South Korea, and what comes next. This meeting is part of the Internet Governance After Busan Symposium. source: Council on Foreign Relations - YouTube

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19 November 2014

VOA Trademark Case, Website with “Undeniable Governmental Aesthetic”

Ref. Namer v. BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS, Dist. Court, ED Louisiana 2013 - (Google Scholar)

Federal Government Wins Trademark Battle to Shut Down “Voice of America” Website with “Undeniable Governmental Aesthetic” | Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition - JDSupra:

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ICANN Quarterly Stakeholder Call, November 20

ICANN, a non-profit California corporation (with no stockholders, no membership nothing, other than a Board of Directors which owes its fiduciary duties to the corporation), is nonetheless, planning "ICANN Quarterly Stakeholder Calls," the first of which is scheduled for Thursday, 20 November 2014, at 1400-1530 UTC / Time Conversion Link / 9am EST (US) for a report for the Quarter ending 30 September, 2014.

Register no later than 16:00 UTC 19 November / 11 am EST (US)
To attend the call you must register. "Instructions will be sent to those who register."(source: ICANN's Quarterly Stakeholder Calls)

ICANN QUARTER END DATES | Stakeholder Call Date (all times listed are UTC)
Q1: 30 September, 2014 | 20 November 2014, 1400-1530
Q2: 31 December, 2014
Q3: 31 March, 2015
Q4: 30 June, 2015

ICANN Resources:
Monitoring the Health of the Organization - ICANN
ICANN's Annual Reports
ICANN's Bylaws
Beginner's Guide to ICANN (PDF)
Beginner's Guide to Domain Names [PDF, 1.02 MB]
ICANN's Strategic Plan (final) FY16-FY20 (PDF)
For Journalists
Board of Directors Infographic (PDF)
Multistakeholder Model Infographic [PDF, 1.74 MB]
NTIA IANA Functions Stewardship Transition
Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance

see also: 
Column: You Are What You Measure (Harvard Business Review)

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18 November 2014

Domain Names and the Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

The US government together with other governments, are by-passing ICANN and the ITU, and entering the realm of direct internet governance of Domain Names and the DNS, through the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement--essentially mandating a WHOIS and UDRP (cybersquatting remedies) for all ccTLDs--

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - IP Chapter: "...WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states..."

DNS Policy Notes | Bloomberg BNA: "The text of the TPP's Intellectual Property Chapter calls for signatories to do just two things regarding domain names: (1) provide a cybersquatting remedy [UDRP] for ccTLDs along the lines of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and (2) provide a reliable and accurate database of domain name registrants [WHOIS] in the ccTLDs. All of the countries participating in the TPP -- except for Brunei (.bn) -- have what the TPP is looking for... Fast-forward to the May 2014 IP chapter draft. According to WikiLeaks, the cybersquatting provision appears to have been amended to each country's satisfaction:

Article QQ.C.12: {Domain Name Cybersquatting}
1.In connection with each Party's system for the management of its country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) domain names, the following shall be available:

(a) an appropriate procedure for the settlement of disputes, based on, or modeled along the same lines as, the principles established in the Uniform Domain Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, or that is: (i) designed to resolve disputes expeditiously and at low cost, (ii) fair and equitable, (iii) not overly burdensome, and (iv) does not preclude resort to court litigation; and

(b) online public access to a reliable and accurate database of contact information concerning domain-name registrants; in accordance with each Party's laws and, or relevant administrator policies regarding protection of privacy and personal data.

2.In connection with each Party's system for the management of ccTLD domain names, appropriate remedies, *shall be available, at least in cases where a person registers or holds, with a bad faith intent to profit, a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark.

*It is understood that such remedies may but need not include, for example, revocation, cancellation, transfer, damages, or injunctive relief.

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