ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Kudos to DOC/NTIA/DOJ and GAC for listening to our concerns

  • To: 5gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Kudos to DOC/NTIA/DOJ and GAC for listening to our concerns
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 11:49:01 -0800 (PST)

As this comment period comes to a conclusion, we expect that ICANN will once 
again ignore the thoughtful comments which appear in this archive. Several 
months from now, they'll appear in highly filtered "summaries" prepared by 
staff, and will then be subject to one-sided analysis from the perspective of 
maximizing the benefits to ICANN insiders.

However, I would like to thank the DOC/NTIA/DOJ and GAC for taking the time to 
have reviewed the many concerns of stakeholders in an uncensored and unfiltered 
manner, rather than through ICANN's "rose-coloured glasses." Through their 
efforts, the DOC/NTIA/DOJ and GAC have made it clear that no plan is acceptable 
unless it serves the public interest, in an objective, rigorous and scientific 
manner. ICANN's work to date has not come close to this standard.

We would like to suggest that the DOC/NTIA/DOJ open up formal public comments 
via the Federal Register Notices, and allow for direct submissions by affected 
stakeholders on this matter, and regarding ICANN governance in general. Public 
televised hearings in Washington might also be helpful, to understand what 
alternatives might be appropriate, including termination of the IANA contract 
(and performing the functions in-house, rather than outsourcing the task to 
others). Former ICANN CEO Paul Twomey did not fare well when confronted with 
tough questions by politicians in Washington. It is time for ICANN CEO Rod 
Beckstrom to face those same tough questions.

We, like others, had submitted many ideas that ICANN completely ignored, 
ICANN directly benefits from abusive registrations (the more domain names that 
are registered, the more fees ICANN and its insiders can collect; as evidence, 
the $60 million+ budget of ICANN, compared to under $5 million just a few years 
ago, and the enormous above-market salaries paid to staff, far exceeding those 
in the non-profit sector).

For example, a Verified WHOIS process (whereby a PIN code is sent to a physical 
address of the registrant, and used to active a domain name) would reduce 
malicious activity significantly on the internet (reduced cybersquatting, 
reduced phishing, reduced crime, etc.), and would do so at minimal cost ($1 or 
$2 per verification, and since many registrants own multiple domain names, the 
cost per domain name is even less). This proactive measure reduces the need for 
many *reactive* Rights-Protection Mechanisms (UDRP, URS, rapid takedown, etc.), 
because the easiest wars to win are those that you don't have to fight in the 
first place. Legitimate domain name registrants like ourselves empathize with 
the concerns of trademark holders, and believe that implementing verified WHOIS 
in existing TLDs (com/net/org) should be a precondition to any new TLD 

We suggested that domain fees be split into two components, a registration fee 
and a "resolution" fee. If a domain name has no nameservers (i.e. it does not 
resolve), clearly it was bought for defensive purposes, and that person should 
only be charged the registration component, and not the resolution component. 
The total cost for that domain name would be a lot less (reducing the carrying 
costs for owners of large portfolios of defensively-registered domain names) 
These defensively registered domain names are a source of pure cost to the 
public, but they are a pure profit center to registry operators and to ICANN. 
splitting the domain fees as we suggested, the public interest is served, and 
registry operators would see reduced returns on those defensively registered 
domains. Often, 90% or more of the domain portfolios of large brand owners are 
bought for defensive reasons (to avoid even higher costs of UDRPs, court cases, 
phishing, etc.).

As the 2008 letter from the DOC/NTIA/DOJ intimated, tender processes for 
operation of TLDs would maximize the benefits to consumers, and promote 
competition. Under such competition, we would expect .com/net/org fees at the 
wholesale level to be on the order of $2 to $3 per year, much less than the 
charged by the current registry operators. The public would save hundreds of 
millions of dollars per year, money that is very tight in this weak global 
economy. On a net present value basis, we're talking about mutliple billions of 
dollars in savings. ICANN has *never* studied this question, and has evaded 
answering the tough questions when directly challenged on these matters. 

I know your time is valuable, so we won't restate all our past ideas in this 
submission. We made numerous other comments in this and prior public comment 
periods which presented other ideas which I'm sure many of you have read, and 
would be happy to submit more detailed comments to the DOJ/NTIA/DOC and GAC if 
you decide to hold independent public comment periods of their own.

I'll leave you with one final thought. ICANN has never stated under what 
conditions it would abandon the new TLDs program. They have misread the 
Affirmation of Commitments to presume that new TLDs are required, when that is 
certainly not the case (introducing tender processes for existing TLDs would 
bring in far higher benefits to the public and consumers). Opponents of the new 
TLDs program have made an overwhelming case for termination of the program, yet 
ICANN continues to try to "wear down" the opposition through a war of 
We would like the DOC/NTIA/DOJ and GAC to compel ICANN to write down objective, 
scientific and rigorous criteria under which they would abandon the project. 
This would crystallize all outstanding issues, and allow the public to move on, 
once we've been able to demonstrate to the DOC/NTIA/DOC and GAC that we've met 
the standards for termination. It is no longer acceptable for ICANN to waste 
millions of our dollars to push the agenda of a small group of insiders. It is 
no longer acceptable for ICANN to "wave its hands" and pretend that the 
thresholds have been met for the overarching issues. We need objective 
standards. Good policymaking requires nothing less.


George Kirikos
Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc.

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy