[NA-Discuss] IMPORTANT: US Senate hearings on new gTLDs

Garth Bruen at Knujon.com gbruen at knujon.com
Thu Dec 8 20:22:36 UTC 2011


The most poignant take away from this hearing is a comment from Kurt Pritz 
in which he unwittingly defines the entire issue. When asked why the law 
enforcement recommendations have not been implemented ahead of the rollout, 
he states that the issue will be addressed in a private meeting with the 
Registrars, which is by his own words his third attempt at consensus. So at 
the end of the day an open and public legislative hearing reviewing ICANNs 
supposed transparent, bottom-up process is choked by a private meeting with 
the group that stands to receive the bulk of the profit from new gTLDs.

I doubt there is a restriction on who can submit comments, but if there is 
I'll be happy to forward any directly as I live in a state with a Senator on 
the subcommittee.


From: "Evan Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 2:58 PM
To: "NARALO Discussion List" <na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Subject: [NA-Discuss] IMPORTANT: US Senate hearings on new gTLDs

> Hello all,
> This morning, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
> Transportation held a hearing on the ICANN new gTLD program.
> The web page describing the hearing, which includes a video of the entire
> 90-minute session, is at http://1.usa.gov/vzddPH
> I am told that it will soon be uploaded to the Committee's YouTube channel
> at http://www.youtube.com/user/SenateCommercePress
> Among the speakers are
>   - Kurt Pritz, ICANN VP
>   - Dan Jaffe of the Association of National Advertisers who is trying to
>   block the new gTLD program
>   - Fiona Alexander with the US NTIA
>   - Angela Williams of the US YMCA (speaking after deliberation with
>   ICANN's Non-Profit Organization Constituency)
>   - Esther Dyson, former ICANN Board member (and ALAC member from the
>   pre-RALO days when ALAC was all-appointed)
> It's VERY interesting listening. Kurt's message -- that adequate
> protections are in place in the program to deter large amounts of money
> spent on defensive registrations -- was not well received. In contrast, 
> the
> committee heard about several instances -- in some cases by the Senators
> themselves -- who were the victims of cybersquatting and domain
> speculators. All other speakers were critical of the program and some were
> even asking if the US government has the authority to block the roll-out
> from happening in January as ICANN intends.
> Interesting note amongst the comments... many orgs have found themselves
> needing to but defencive registrations in .XXX and are livid at the 
> thought
> of having to do a bunch more for future TLDs. (For instance, Indiana
> University has purchased "hoosiers.xxx").
> Of note to us.... much was made by Kurt of the consensus between
> stakeholders. Dan shot that down in relation to business users and Angela
> said the NPOC wasn't allowed to become a real stakeholder in time to have
> an impact on decisions already made. Esther made mention at the end that
> the real constituency not yet heard from (at least by the Senators) was 
> the
> billions of Internet end users. Mention was made that the committee now
> needs to hear from them.
> Sounds like an opportunity to me.
> Now... I don't know if one has to be a US citizen to testify; if not the
> ICANN Chair or vice chairs (of which I am one) would all be good 
> candidates
> and in fact the international character of ALAC sends a useful message 
> IMO.
> But if the requirement is to be a US resident, I have complete and utter
> faith that NARALO's own leadership includes people (Beau, Ganesh, Eduardo)
> who could easily step into the role and do the community proud.
> Further to this, I would like to raise the issue as an agenda item on
> Monday's NARALO call and I would like us to consider letting the Committee
> know that there is indeed a group within ICANN that exists to provide the
> voice of Internet end-users,
> Thank you.
> - Evan
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