[GTLD-WG] [CPWG] [registration-issues-wg] New gTLD Applicant Support - improve it, or scrap it?

Evan Leibovitch evanleibovitch at gmail.com
Wed Aug 7 22:47:54 UTC 2019

On August 7, 2019 5:50:25 PM Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com> wrote:
> Hello all,
> unfortunately, I am not 100% aligned on this and am rather more cautious:
> "... imploring ALAC to concentrate its comments on those issues with 
> demonstrable effect on end users (abuse, confusion, stability, etc)"
> When I read this, I interpret is that it considers the "end user" as being 
> a simple, definable entity. In reality, this is unfortunately not the case. 
> End users have different priorities depending on what country they are from 
> and the At-Large needs to tap input from every place on the planet, not 
> just the vocal ones whose interests are "abuse, confusion, stability, etc."

I assert that "the vocal ones" are those who are driving ALAC beyond its 
mandate, to exploit At-Large to do the bidding of TLD applicants, 
registrants and others who are already spoken for by other ICANN 
constituencies. The reality is that this mission creep deeply infects ALAC 
and has characterized its policy decisions for many years. (Meanwhile, real 
champions of end user issues such as Garth got a mimimum of ALAC support 
and left.) It took my stepping away for a while to see how bad the 
infection is from outside the ICANN bubble.

The belief that unique TLDs, let alone subsidized ones, are a necessary 
component of community building is just that - a belief, more religion than 
fact-based. This is why I keep asking for evidence to back up assertions 
about the necessary role of Internet domains in providing cohesion, 
security or identity to communities (underserved or otherwise). In my time 
outside ICANN, from private business to UN refugee camps, I found that the 
tightest of Internet communities, the strongest of common cause, can be 
formed without a single mention of domain names. New tech, from 
ever-improving search to super-encrypted Signal groups, provide levels of 
utility and privacy unheard of within the DNS.

So... Let's put to the test the conflicting claims made by Olivier and me 
about what individual end users really want and need from the DNS. Based on 
my own research and experiences I'm totally confident that any useful 
survey of individual end users - - a truly representative sample, not one 
overloaded with insiders and wonks and registrants as found inside the 
bubble - - will overwhelmingly vindicate my PoV.

- Evan

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