back to article Condi Rice, ICANN, and millions paid to lobby the US govt for total internet control

Just minutes after the board of internet overseer ICANN applauded the results of a review into its accountability – announced at a public meeting in Dublin – the mood soured. An accountability working group – tasked with making ICANN answerable to the wider public – had decided, following months of pressure from ICANN, not to …

  1. Blank-Reg
    Facepalm

    What a colossal mess. The Internet Community should hang its head in shame. Congratulations chaps, you've not only sunk your own attempt to reform ICANN, that had tacit support from nearly all quarters, but you did it while metaphorically blowing your own feet off at the same time. Only after both feet had gone did you realise that you needed them to walk...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I frankly think the Internet community didn't even have a chance. ICANN have the clock on their side so the community will either blow their own feet off or get there feet dragged of by ICANN's stalling.

    2. WatAWorld

      The only clock is the phony clock ICANN's sales people have told us exists.

      Inventing a phony deadline is an old sales tactic and an old negotiation tactic -- there is a deadline so go along with what I've proposed (since there isn't time for you to propose an alternative).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Actually, there is a time limit. And this time, they can't push it back because that'll push it past the 2016 elections.

  2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Sir

    They have something to hide, therefore have something to fear, shady power-grubbing bastards.

  3. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The "good guys" need to get a lot smarter damn fast.

    Christ on a (IoT connected) bike.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    a firm commitment to be as "open and transparent as possible."

    Come now, people, we should know how to read between the lines by now. What they actually said is that they are committed to being as open and transparent as they feel like. Which is exactly how ICANN has behaved since the beginning.

    While secretly laughing at all of us behind closed doors (and tables laden with coke and strippers).

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: a firm commitment to be as "open and transparent as possible."

      ICANN is "as open and transparent as possible". It's impossible for them to be anymore transparent without losing crucial business abilities, like doing whatever the hell they want.

  5. Wommit

    And you're wondering about greedy people being greedy! Why?

  6. jason 7

    Democracy....

    ...hilarious.

  7. Quortney Fortensplibe
    Boffin

    Bloody Hell!

    You might have put up a health warning about the photo accompanying this article.

    Scariest things I've seen this Hallowe'en season.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: Bloody Hell!

      Two older women are that scary and need a health warning? Man up, Mr Fortensplibe.

      1. Steven Roper

        Re: Bloody Hell!

        Fortensplibe's reaction likely has little to do with the fact that they are women and more to do with them both being greedy power-grubbing politicians - and in my view even more so for people hiding them behind the gender card to shield them from criticism.

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Devil

    FIFA

    For the Internet.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: FIFA

      Let's see what happen if we merge them with VW...

      muhahahahahahaha

  9. graeme leggett Silver badge

    working it from other end

    If ICANN aren't prepared to say who they used (and how much they spent), is it possible to work it from the other end?

    Find the public officials who they might have lobbied and work backwards from their declared meetings. Or from any equivalent to a members declaration of interest?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: working it from other end

      Probably. Let us know what you find!

  10. WatAWorld

    ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

    ICANN is not just doing its lobbying secretly in the shadows, it is paying for its lobbying using the money of the people it is lobbying against.

    ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

    Do we need any more proof that the current imperial bureaucrats running ICANN are unfit to govern us?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

      Fair enough. Now tell us how we can wrest the power back from them? What cards can the community still play?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

        Anonymous could ask Anonymous to go Anonymous on them?

      2. PyLETS

        @Charles 9: Wresting power back

        "Fair enough. Now tell us how we can wrest the power back from them? What cards can the community still play?"

        Setup and use an alternate DNS root zone. It wouldn't be that hard to do technically in collaboration between the existing top level domain authoritative nameserver operators. There would be 2 harder problems:

        1. Get those configuring DNS resolvers to point to it in preference to the ICANN root.

        2. Decide who manages it and how.

        Once enough people are using DNSSEC, a revolutionary consensus would also need include operating system vendors to patch operating systems to accept the new root zone signing key.

        There would also be quite a financial stream available for such from the domain registrars, who would clearly have to be part of any revolutionary consensus if they are not to have to pay cuts from domain fees to 2 root zone operators during a protracted competition between 2 root providers.

      3. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

        > Now tell us how we can wrest the power back from them?

        Stop using ICANN services. That is easy enough for the regional internet registries and the IETF to do; it might take a whole weekend, though. For DNS it's a bit more tricky: stop pointing to any of the root servers under US management, and announce a cloned root zone that only includes root servers outside the US. That would take a year or two to penetrate all the service providers in the world, so there would be glitches along the way.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

          Except the transition period can render the Internet vulnerable to usurpation by an unfriendly power. One reason everyone derides the UN taking it over is the fact most of the UN runs like the Ministry of Truth: the ones you LEAST want are leading all the committees. What's to stop say Russia or China from staging some kind of Internet coup while the transition's taking place?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

            > What's to stop say Russia or China from staging some kind of Internet coup while the transition's taking place?

            You mean, what's to stop them from doing what the US are doing right now, under your nose, with your money?

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: ICANN is using internet community money to lobby against the internet community !

              "You mean, what's to stop them from doing what the US are doing right now, under your nose, with your money?"

              ICANN might well be operating under the auspices of a US govt contract but the US govt has made it clear that they are not happy with the way things are being done.

              The antics of ICANN are the kind of thing that only a lawyer could devise and uncoincidentally the previous chair was one - he also engaged in the same kind of tactics when the chair of the Internet Society of New Zealand. ICANN was dodgy before then but under his watch it went into full-blown maliciousness. In the opinion of many, the _ONLY_ thing that ICANN staff and most of the board care about is the lining of their own pockets and the furtherance of their own control of power.

  11. WatAWorld

    Both the corporate world and IT professional organizations need to mobilize fast.

    Both the corporate world and IT professional organizations need to mobilize fast.

    ICANN is as big a threat to the internet as the NSA, and an even bigger threat than the most virulent black-hat hackers.

    Fail to act now and we'll be powerlessly wringing our hands for centuries the way football clubs and F1 racing teams do, unable to do more than moan helplessly and pathetically.

  12. elDog Silver badge

    I wondered why DropBox got Condosleeza Rice on their Board of Directors

    Now we know why. If you're going to be a major player in the new Internet($$$) you need some powerful lobbyists.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: I wondered why DropBox got Condosleeza Rice on their Board of Directors

      It was the thing that pushed me away from Dropbox.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

    As deeply untrusting as I am about anything the US government is involved in, I'm not sure that ICANN won't be much worse.

  14. Sacioz

    ICANN and others as well

    Gents , they are shooting themselves on their own feet . Just watch it , in fifteen years time.

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I don't know why I bother...

    ...you show a Register journo how to do some useful research and your comment gets deleted. How ungrateful is that?

  17. ScottAS2

    Who are the internet comminity?

    One thing I've always wondered from Kieren's otherwise excellent articles on ICANN is who are the "internet community"? I presume this is companies that are heavily involved in the low levels of the internet. Is it just the registrars for the top-level domains? If not, how does one become part of the internet community and have a say in this? Who decides if you are involved enough?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Who are the internet comminity?

      'One thing I've always wondered from Kieren's otherwise excellent articles on ICANN is who are the "internet community"?'

      As far as ICANN are concerned, it's the people who pay them the most money, preferably without getting any power in exchange for it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This and data caps

    Between this and graduated data caps, the internet is screwed. Get used to that boot in yer face.

    1. Panopticon

      Re: This and data caps

      That's why ICANN is fast becoming ICANT, it's time for people to set-up there own DNS resolvers with there own Root authority as one lobbyist said "Balkanisation of the Internet!" followed with "all our tech is leaving in waves!" There's some nice photo's on-line of the white-house board-room filled with the head of apple, the head of twitter, the head of facebook, the head of micro-soft, the head of sun micro-systems and the head of google all chummily sitting around the table.

      > What's to stop say Russia or China from staging some kind of Internet coup while the transition's taking place?

      > You mean, what's to stop them from doing what the US are doing right now, under your nose, with your money?

      Duly noted.

      They know they've lost control of the free market because people are looking at there systems muttering about back-door's and note the latest news that after they praise there intelligence agencies for blowing up some Jihadi the news then turns into 8 more of them blowing themselves up on blackfriday whilst source code abounded in some circles all pertaining to blackfriday!

      Don't tell me this doesn't serve the governments totalitarian agenda because it does and the sheeple lap it up whilst they hold talks about cyber having no idea how there own computer works baring switching it on.

      Yeap outstanding intelligence work, pity the decision makers lacked any to begin with, an pity none of them spotted a large terrorist cell that just blew itself up, before they started screwing around with the "IETF" because when your talking about the "IETF" who is it exactly that operates that board?!

  19. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Terminator

    Corporate lobbying should be a criminal offence...

    Punishable by death.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corporate lobbying should be a criminal offence...

      And if they start using foreign diplomats for lobbyists (possessing diplomatic immunity)?

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