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ICANN70 Meeting Starts Today

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The ICANN70 Virtual Community Forum, originally scheduled to be held in Cancun, Mexico, begins today as a fully virtual event. As with all ICANN meetings, the ICANN 70 event is free to attend and meetings are open to the public. I believe registration is required in order to gain access to the meeting links and agenda.

Because the event was scheduled to be held in Mexico, all meetings will be held during regular hours on Cancún time (EST / UTC-5, Chetumal). The ICANN meeting runs from today through the 25th. Most of the sessions will run via Zoom, allowing for up to 500 participants at a time.

This is the fourth virtual meeting ICANN has held during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Verisign Gives Update on .Web

In July of 2016, Andrew Allemann reported that the auction for the .Web extension closed with a winning bid of $135 million. It was subsequently reported that Verisign was behind the winning bid in that auction, although the operation of .Web has been held up due to a dispute, also reported on by Andrew.

It has been several years since the .Web auction, and it looks like we may be coming to and end point with the ongoing dispute. According to Verisign’s Q2 2020 earnings call (transcript via Seeking Alpha), a final hearing related to .Web is coming up in August. The news about .Web was shared by Jeffrey Eckhaus:

ICANN Complaint? Contact the ICANN Complaints Officer

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Do you have a complaint about ICANN and need to speak with someone at the organization to discuss it? ICANN has a job that is specifically for handling an assortment of complaints about the organization. ICANN has a Complaints Officer who works in the Complaints Office managing an assortment of complaints and disputes related to the organization.

As the ICANN68 meeting was held virtually, ICANN tweeted about its Complaints Officer:

ICANN69 to be Virtual Meeting

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This evening, ICANN announced that its ICANN69 event will be held virtually rather than in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic impacting people throughout the world. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was scheduled to be held in Hamburg, Germany, but it will be held entirely online instead:

ICANN Withholds Consent on .Org Change of Control

Late last night, ICANN announced that its Board of Directors “made the decision to reject the proposed change of control and entity conversion request that Public Interest Registry (PIR) submitted to ICANN.” A private entity company called Ethos Capital had a deal in place to acquire .org registry operator Public Interest Registry from the Internet Society. The news was shared on Twitter at around 10:30pm Eastern:

Registrars Respond to ICANN Statement About “Relief for Registrants”

On Wednesday, ICANN published a blog article, “Relief for Registrants in Response to COVID-19.” The relief described in the statement was in the form of not losing domain names due to expiry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The statement was vague in what was actually being offered by ICANN to domain name registrants, especially since it is the registrars that would need to provide the relief to its customers.

Here’s an excerpt from the ICANN blog post:

“To ease this burden, ICANN org will be invoking section 3.7.5.1 of the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement for the second time. This clause permits registrars to temporarily forebear from cancelling domain name registrations that were unable to be renewed as a result of a natural disaster.

The COVID-19 pandemic once again highlights the potential need for a policy initiative to protect registrants when they are unable to renew their domains as a result of natural disasters or other extraordinary circumstances. In the interim, we encourage contracted parties to take these circumstances into consideration when reviewing renewal delinquencies.”

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