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15 Nov 2011

Heavy hitters come out against new GTLDs ICANN

In a press release earlier this week, a long list of large US businesses and trade associations announced the formation of the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight or CRIDO.

It has long been apparent to me that ICANN stopped listening to all of the reasons that a flood of new TLDs is a bad idea, mesmerized by a combination of lobbying by parties that stand to profit from them, and the prospect of a torrent of cash for ICANN itself. It is a complete waste of time to try to use ICANN's own processes to make them stop and reconsider or even slow down a little.

Although ICANN fancies itself to be a global-scope bottom-up, multi-stakeholder, consensus-based (is that enough hyphens?) organization, in fact it is a California not-for-profit corporation subject to US law. So the key facts about CRIDO are that a) they're in the US, and b) they represent organizations with a great deal of money and a great deal to lose from new TLDs. CRIDO clearly exists to force ICANN to defend its new TLD plans in US courts, and I look forward to the discovery stage in which we will with any luck learn more about the conflicts of interest by ICANN board and staff. Will we, for example, find out whether former ICANN board chair Peter Dengate Thrush already had a job offer from domain consultants Minds+Machines when he voted to approve new TLDs? Stay tuned.

  posted at: 10:14 :: permanent link to this entry :: 2 comments
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