Two articles you should take the time to read.
Over the past 24 hours I’ve read two great domain name articles I want to pass along.
The first is an editorial by Jeremy Rabkin, Professor of Law at George Mason University. Rabkin discusses what ICANN independence from U.S. oversight would actually mean. He points out that independence may be a bad thing, even for countries that disdain U.S. control:
Down the road, one can imagine demands from Brussels that ICANN cooperate with EU efforts to tax commercial sales negotiated over the Internet. Or perhaps it will demand a new understanding aimed at forcing top level domain managers to uphold EU privacy standards against U.S. government security measures. Or perhaps the EU will demand that a certain number of ICANN directors be appointed from a list of nominees provided by the EU, itself.
ICANN might try to defend itself by rallying political support in other quarters. It often talks about Internet “stakeholders.” The term is so amorphous it can encompass a variety of advocacy groups, concerned about Internet policyâ€”or governments associated with national domain names (whether the association is notional, as in Mexico or Australia, or directly managerial as in China). A threatened ICANN is likely to be a more politicized ICANN.
I’ve long agreed with the views Rabkin so eloquently explains. This week at the ICANN meeting in Sydney, the Governmental Advisory Committee welcomed a Chinese delegation back to its club. That should send shivers down the spine of free speech advocates around the world.
The second article worth reading is a post by Rick Latona about new gTLDs. I don’t want to write much to give away the punch line, but you should take a few minutes to read it.