QuoteBruce Tonkin recused himself from the discussion and dropped off the call during the discussion of items 5 & 6 due to potential conflict of interest. Kurt Pritz indicated that tasting is a practice that has grown over the years and that many recent discussions and writings demonstrate that the Board is already well versed on the related issues. Kurt indicated that ICANN has collected some information that a few parties have taken the practice to its logical conclusion, and operate exclusively on this model - deleting as much as 95.5% of names registered within the five-day grace period. Others exercise degrees of restraint. There are a spread percentage of names deleted in the grace period across all registrars that ranges from 0% to 99.5%. ICANN has had many discussions and consultations on this issue. It was proposed that ICANN charged a transaction fee on add-grace deletes in the 2004-2005 budget but there was substantial criticism that such a fee would be de-facto policy making by ICANN staff. Recently the GNSO voted to recommend that staff take action to change its transaction fee to change in for tasting deletes. If ICANN changed transaction fee in this manner, most think practice would cease. The vote represents Supporting Organization policy support for alternative budget.
QuoteFor years, the U.S. government has been saying it ultimately intends to unleash ICANN from its control. It has operated the Net addressing system under an agreement with U.S. authorities since 1998. At a recent public hearing, John Kneuer, the department's acting assistant secretary for communications and information, said the agency remained "committed" to that transition but gave no indication of when that may happen. Over the years, controversy has plagued ICANN, which grew out of a clandestine meeting in Cambridge, Mass. Critics in the past have accused it of lacking transparency in its operations and moving sluggishly to approve new top-level domain names. More recently, Capitol Hill politicians and advocacy groups have criticized the organization for agreeing to what amounts to a perpetual contract with VeriSign to run the .com registry, which some say would result in unnecessary price hikes and a veritable monopoly.
QuoteIt is the first time that the public has been able to directly contribute to the debate surrounding governance of the internet, and it has already seen dozens of people email their ideas and views. The question of how the internet should be run has recently gained wide international interest following public arguments over the US government's current position as overall authority. The subject is also likely to become all the more important in the next few years as the internet expands to incorporate different languages and different countries more fully.
QuoteAll of these practices are costing honest businesses untold sums. The World Intellectual Property Organization reported earlier this year that the number of cybersquatting cases it handled rose 20 percent in 2005, and the disputes have involved most of the 100 largest international brands by value. Pharmaceutical, hospitality and telecommunications companies--all of which have a large number of customers who are harmed by online scams perpetrated by domain name registrants--are among the most aggressive enforcers of intellectual property online. Identifying, prioritizing and pursuing bad Web site owners already is a resource-consuming task for these companies; any new restrictions on the Whois system would only cost them and, therefore, their customers more.