[bc-gnso] ICANN hearings

Mike Roberts mmr at darwin.ptvy.ca.us
Wed Dec 7 22:37:47 UTC 2011

Reading over today's testimony, one can't help but have the feeling that ICANN is digging itself deeper and deeper into a bunker position from which it may not recover.

I'm reminded of the gigantic underground cistern located near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.   Worth a trip if you haven't seen it.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Goths and so on came down the peninsula and ravaged the city.  So walls were built.   Then sieges were put in place and folks ran out of water.  So at great expense the cistern was dug and covered over.   Then longer sieges, etc.  The invaders prevailed.

The moral being that some ideas are so flawed that no amount of building walls thicker and cisterns deeper will carry the day.

The Kurt Pritz testimony goes on for more than 15 pages trying to cover every possible contingency of bad behavior connected to new TLDs.   And doesn't succeed.

Even though the BC membership includes members with multiple relationships to ICANN, some of which are linked to proposed new TLDs, the core rationale for our constituency is to represent business users of the Domain Name System.   Setting aside IDNs, which have their own rationale, I haven't seen any enthusiasm for new TLDs among users, and most of us have been opposed but willing to work on the details with ICANN because that seemed better than letting it happen without any input from us.   What we have gotten for our trouble is Kurt claiming in his testimony that there is broad community support for new TLDs.  That has never been the case.

The ever greater accretion of protective bureaucracy to the program has produced a balance of costs and benefits - in the broad sense, including more than dollars and cents - that is seriously out of whack.   It's time for us to acknowledge this, and say so publicly.

- Mike

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