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CIS against premature extension of Version's contract

  • To: comments-com-amendment-30jun16@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: CIS against premature extension of Version's contract
  • From: Asvatha Babu <asvatha.babu@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 01:56:41 +0530

Please treat these as the final comments by the Centre for Internet and
Society on the “Proposed Amendment to .COM Registry Agreement”

#Submission by the Centre for Internet and Society on the “Proposed
Amendment to .COM Registry Agreement”

Prepared by: Asvatha Babu

We would like to preface by saying that we do not understand why ICANN is
in this position in the first place. While Verisign played an important
role in the early stages of the development of the internet, it is still a
private player. It is unacceptable for a private player to have a
near-monopoly in any aspect of the internet. ICANN should have put up a
barrier to Verisign’s unfettered involvement in the internet much earlier.
The root zone infrastructure should never have become “inextricably
intertwined” with Verisign’s .COM operations.

With that said, these are our comments to ICANN about the proposed
amendment extending Verisign’s contract to 2024 to coincide with the term
of the new Root Zone Maintainer Service agreement. We believe this
extension is being done much earlier than it needs to be, and that more
effort must be made to extract the critical infrastructure of the internet
from a single privately owned entity such as Verisign.

The contract, in its current form, expires in 2018. With two years left on
their contract, there is no need for Verisign to be guaranteed an extension
of 6 years. Verisign’s control over the .com TLD has gone on for a long
time and we are of the opinion that the .com agreement must be tendered
after the expiry of the current contract.

Over the next two years, ICANN must work with Verisign to make sure that a
“stable, secure and reliable” internet does not hinge on a single player
like the current situation with Verisign. Moreover, we would like ICANN to
explain how exactly extending the agreement would enhance the security and
stability of the internet and the TLD. In fact, this move only serves to
compromise the future stability of the internet by further intertwining the
TLD operations and the RZM responsibilities. Instead, Verisign needs to
work on extricating its .COM operations from its RZM responsibilities. With
concerns constantly being raised about the integrity of Verisign, it
reflects poorly on ICANN to continue indulging Verisign’s very whim.

In sum, we do not think this amendment is necessary as we are not convinced
that Verisign is the most suitable candidate to continue its operations of
the .COM domain. The contract with Verisign must be allowed to end while
making sure that RZM functions are not affected.

*Asvatha Babu*

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