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[I-coordination] The self correcting nature of the American system? Judge rules against NSA tapping program. Snowden vindicated?

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at
Tue Dec 17 18:42:17 CET 2013

It seems to me that US 'oversight' of ICANN is rather different from that
of the US courts.

Anyone can go to a US court and start an action. The US government is not
responsive to complaints in the same way. Nor are the US courts likely to
require the US government to exercise its theoretical oversight capability.

I can't see the ICANN situation as being remotely self-correcting. ICANN
has historically been inert to complaints seeking to minimize its
litigation risk at all costs. This meant pushing through a dispute
resolution process that is bizarrely tilted towards those challenging
registrations even though theft of registrations has been a big problem
from early on.

One argument for transferring some of the powers to a UN sanctioned body is
that it would be immune from lawsuits and more capable of acting in the
public interest. The main argument against being that being more capable
does not mean that it would do so.

The obvious way to fix the current mess would be to move to a model where
registration in the root is no different from registration in any
sub-domain. There is certainly no technical reason why a root with 100
million names is any less possible than having TLDs of that size.

If the root was open for unrestricted registration, there would be no point
in most of the squatting. The contracts for maintaining the root could be
properly managed without the perpetual lock-in clauses of .com and .net.
There could be multiple registry providers with only the task of
maintaining the zone file itself and interfacing to the registrars being
single sourced.

The CC TLDs and the rest would eventually wither away under that model.

The reason we don't go there is that everyone involved in the decision
making is bought in to the existing model. So they made sure that TLDs
would cost enough that they would only be bought by reselers whose
customers would be mostly companies looking to protect their brands from
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