04 November, 2010

The Trappings of War

Technology activist Lauren Weinstein's latest blog entry is entitled:

"It's Time to Stop ICANN's Top-Level Domain (TLD) Lunacy!"

Lauren writes:

"The existing Domain Name System (DNS) has been leveraged in multiple ways into something akin to a protection racket, with vast sums of money being funneled to existing and wannabe registries, registrars -- and to ICANN itself -- with little or no resulting tangible benefits to the Internet community at large.
"Protective registrations" by trademark owners and other concerned parties in new TLDs have become an enormous profit center for various players in the DNS ecosystem, with boasting about the income that will be derived through such arm-twisting techniques now being commonplace.

ICANN plans to limit the number of new TLDs to only (only???) about 1000 per year -- maybe half that in the first year. Let's see, $185,000 times 1000 ... Nice chunk of change.
Of course, ICANN claims that these fees are justified by the costs involved in processing these applications. Assuming this is true, I can't think of a better proof that the entire process is rotten and dysfunctional to the core.

Be that all as it may, this is a battle -- nay, perhaps a war -- necessary for the best interests of both the Internet and its global community of users.  Please let me know if you'd be interested in participating."

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