[At-Large] [ALAC-Announce] RESULT: Vote on ALAC Statement on the GAC New gTLD Scorecard

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Mon Apr 4 22:53:25 UTC 2011

Well, the vote has closed with no ALAC members voting against. Ten in favour
and one abstention (and the abstainer agreed with the report's conclusions),
representing support from all of ICANN's five regions.

So as of now the Response to the GAC Scorecard -- which is now in the hands
of both the Board and the GAC -- is an official ALAC statement.

Thanks to everyone who contributed input; the document reflects quite a mix
of both recent comment and historical policy development.

Now, having said all the, the statement is still a living document that --
as its disclaimer states -- is subject to ongoing updating as more feedback
came in. Some recent discussion on the NARALO list regarding DNSSEC has
potential implications for the Scorecard response so I am following that

Indeed, the "debate" over the release of the statement itself has been
interesting to watch. The first indication of entertainment was the sudden
arrival in the NARALO email list of vested interests who had previously
appeared to write ALAC off as irrelevant. That response was predictable,
ultimately a message of "how dare we try to slow -- let alone stop -- the
train to gTLD-land".

The response that followed, though, was even more interesting. It seems that
there is an increasing comfort within ALAC with the position that a glut of
dozens -- let alone hundreds -- of unrestricted new gTLDs does not
necessarily serve the public interest, increase public trust in the DNS, or
encourage the use of domain names to find content (as opposed to search
engines or referral sites). Indeed, there are some foreseeable Internet
stability risks possible in the case of over-supply of TLDs leading to
large-scale financial failure of new registries, or the widespread
repetition of the reliability and enforcement problems that exist in current
TLDs. Long after the startup consultants have been paid and the service
contracts signed, end users may be required to clean up the mess.

Advocating restraint, throttling and/or categorization as part of the gTLD
rollout may be indeed going against the grain of the rest of ICANN, but
we're not here (well, I'm not) just to tell the industry what it want to
hear. The debate is far from over. Since the creation of a RALO- and
ALS-based infrastructure ALAC hasn't really been part of the claimed
consensus about gTLDs. At least it's gratifying to know that this fact has
finally received some needed attention.

- Evan

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