The outrage seen yesterday in public comments in respect of .org can now be seen
as a result of the most cynical form of "news management". The rumor generated by
the vague announcements over .org can only have been intended to undermine ICANN's
No change in the status of .org is explicitly mentioned in the proposed
agreement, only in the summary co-published by ICANN and Verisign. Meanwhile, at
least one ICANN official was reported in the media speculating about the possibility
of grandfathering existing .org domains. These are typical decoy tactics, designed
to draw the media and public away from the issue that will, I believe, emerge today
- that of VeriSign's ability to negotiate a clearly preferential deal with ICANN,
contrary to the previously stated aims.
ICANN and VeriSign go to great lengths
in their "agreement summary" document to explain why, because "the introduction of
competition in the registrar business has been much more successful, and more rapidly
successful, than anyone anticipated", and "VeriSign's once-dominant market position
has been severely eroded" is it now appropriate to privately agree a change in ICANN
policy in respect of separating the registry and NSI's registrar business. The tone
of self-justification in this document will, I predict, give rise to the most serious
questions about ICANN's motives.
That a site of the importance of Nerd.com should
publicly state here that if this deal goes ahead in its current form they will "mount
a campaign to have everyone in ICANN removed for being completely ineffective in
addressing the serious problems we have with inappropriate management of the domain
name system" should give ICANN serious pause for thought.
This is a disasterous
deal. It must, and my analysis suggests will, be stopped.