Newly appointed ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom posted a message today on the ICANN website with updates on a few key topics. Beckstrom discusses IDNs, DNSSEC, New gTLDs, and the future of ICANN and the Internet (albeit briefly).
Regarding the new gTLDs, Beckstrom notes the original memorandum of understanding with the US Government from 1998, which stated, “Oversight of the policy for determining the circumstances under which new top level domains would be added to the root system.” New gTLDs are definitely going to be introduced, and I hope ICANN is prepared to handle everything associated with new companies entering the registry business.
In the message, Beckstrom cites a letter from the chief of the Zulu tribe who intends to move forward with the .Zulu extension. It’s great that this could open the Internet to groups who want to manage gTLDs, but I can’t imagine enough companies wanting .Zulu domain names to run a viable business on .Zulu. Hopefully there will be plenty of measures in place in the event that a registry fails. I digress because it’s not really the point, but there are a whole host of issues to consider.
Anyhow, I applaud the openness Beckstrom is showing, and I hope to see it continue.
Beckstrom is coming into an organization that has laid years of groundwork for a poor reputation. Consequently, and perhaps unknown to him (though I doubt it), is the need for ICANN to alter the course of public opinion. It’s actually scary the extent to which ICANN have so little accountability.
You may not be aware of a post on the DNWire site about a week ago in which Beckstrom had the perfect opportunity to confirm his understanding of the need to acknowlege & support domain registrant rights. Instead, he played his response such that domainers were not significantly distinguished from cybersquatters … further reinforcing a terribly inaccurate and damaging stigma that many of us do not deserve.
Incumbent upon the CEO of ICANN is to develop and promote a fair & realistic perspective on core issues. I can honestly say at this point in time that ICANN representative who fails to recognize registrant rights, in lieu of all that has transpired, are operating from a disingenuous position. Its strictly about principle, and on the subject of domain investor rights, there is no ambiguity. Beckstrom cannot ride the fence on a black & white issue. My view.
It’s past time for a show of good will from ICANN. And that’s not asking too much. Way too many politics overshadowing decency and common sense.