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[ NNSquad ] Re: Priorities Amuck: ICANN Poised to Trigger Naming Quagmire

Spectrum, the DNS, patenting ideas …


When you start with a false premise – the idea that the DNS as we know it is a directory and is stable – why not take it to the next step?


George Carlin just expired –does that mean his wit will die too the when his DNS name expires? And why do we continue to perpetuate the idea of the DNS is Procrustes’ trademark system?


The more you buy into the really bad idea of denying people ownership of their identity the more confusion there is – at what point does the whole fetid mess sink into the mass of ambiguity which it tries to deny? For that matter why assume that JohnSmith.com is the real John Smith?


We continue to try to treat ideas as physical property be it spectrum or the DNS. For that matter today’s patent system has extended itself into protecting ideas as long as you can concoct a “machine” that implements them. The DNS goes a step further in not only pretending that the identifiers are simple property like a clump of earth but then missing the point of property by denying real ownership.


Too bad this name grab won’t be enough to get people to try to understand concepts like binding and ambiguity. If anything, this is an example of the tendency to take a bad idea and “fix” it by taking it a step further. After all, if you’re remote controls don’t work together we just make each one a better silo rather than recognizing that the problem is the silo itself.



-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org [mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of Lauren Weinstein
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 13:00
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Cc: lauren@vortex.com
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Priorities Amuck: ICANN Poised to Trigger Naming Quagmire




          Priorities Amuck: ICANN Poised to Trigger Naming Quagmire





Greetings.  With all of the high-priority issues we face today

regarding the Internet --like assuring network neutrality, or even

getting decent Internet services to the 80% of the world's

population that doesn't have them now -- it's distressing to see

that ICANN is poised tomorrow to potentially trigger a confusing and

likely highly litigious, wasteful, and disruptive land grab in new

global top-level domain names (gTLDs) --

( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7468855.stm ).


While ICANN's theoretical rationale for loosening up the domain name

environment is not utterly without merit, the likely real world

implications of a relative flood of new top-level domain names

should be pretty obvious to even a casual observer of the Net over

recent years.


Everybody and his brother will want a top-level name.  ICANN will be

deluged with applications.  Clever crooks will find ways to game the

application and auction processes in league with shady registries.

Name confusion and phishing will rise to new heights.  Full

employment for lawyers is guaranteed, as trademark disputes -- and

other legal disputes filed against ICANN's decisions regarding

particular names, balloon to capture as much oxygen as possible.

The dot-ex-ex-ex controversy and related censorship concerns

associated with the horrible idea of a sex-centric TLD will rise yet

again from the grave.


And through it all, ICANN will be spinning its wheels with a

complicated and expensive process while so many more important

Internet issues are rotting essentially ignored on the sidelines

( http://icann.org/topics/new-gtld-program.htm ).


ICANN needs to get over their "domain names as issue #1" fetish once

and for all.  Some minor relaxation of the gTLD structure is

probably warranted, but not the waste of time, money, and other

resources that their current plan seems sure to trigger -- and we

could definitely live without the consumer confusion and risks that

will arise from this mess as well.


Enough is enough.  It's time for ICANN to get its priorities straight.



Lauren Weinstein

lauren@vortex.com or lauren@pfir.org

Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800


Co-Founder, PFIR

   - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org

Co-Founder, NNSquad

   - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org

Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com

Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy

Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com