26 June 2014

ICANN 50 Closes, France Calls ICANN "unfit for Internet Governance"

ICANN 50 closed Thursday with the largest attendance ever, but on a sour note caused by a growing dispute over its controversial new gTLD domain names program:

France says U.S.-based ICANN is unfit for Internet governance: London (AFP) – France strongly attacked the US-based body that assigns internet addresses on Wednesday, saying it was not a fit venue for internet governance and that alternatives should be sought. The eurozone’s second-largest economy has been at war with the body, which assigns domain names like ‘.com’ and runs crucial internet infrastructure, over the ‘.wine’ and ‘.vin’ suffixes being rolled out as part of an unprecedented expansion of domains. On Wednesday France failed in a bid to freeze the assigning of the domains, which it believes should be restricted to protect trade agreements on region-specific products like champagne. “ICANN’s procedures highlight its inability to take into account the legitimate concerns of states,” the French delegation to ICANN’s 50th meeting, taking place in London, said in a statement. “Today ICANN is not the appropriate forum to discuss Internet governance.” France will initiate discussions with European countries and other stakeholders on the future of internet governance, the statement said....

At the conclusion of the public meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors on Thursday, someone in the room noted there would not be wine at the Cocktail Party immediately following, but perhaps vinegar.

The next meeting of ICANN, ICANN51, is scheduled for Los Angeles, 12-16 October 2014, followed thereafter by ICANN52, 8-12 February 2015, in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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