Anywhere else on the net would be called trolling.
Republican congressmen are increasing their efforts to delay transition of a critical piece of internet infrastructure from the US government to a non-profit organization based in California. For the third time, a House Appropriations subcommittee has included a provision in a must-pass bill that would prevent the Department …
"For the third time, a House Appropriations subcommittee has included a provision in a must-pass bill that would prevent the Department of Commerce from using any funds in the transition of the IANA contract from the department to non-profit California organization ICANN."
Fortunately, the transition doesn't require a penny of Govt money.
"If Marco Rubio is asking for a delay until this latest set of reforms can be seen to be working, he's not acting irrationally, he's simply noting history."
a well written conclusion.
It seems that ICANN is one of MANY "non-profits" being used for 'other than honorable' purposes someplace beneath the surface. Mrs. Clinton's foundation is another great example. Take money from those who are NOT working in the best interest of the world, or the American people for that matter, and don't say it's to influence you, but pay out mega-salaries to yourself and your relatives and your friends out of that non-profit's "budget", like there's no tomorrow or end to the incoming cash.
THAT, and engage in POLITICAL MANEUVERINGS (like paid lobbyists) as was pointed out in the article.
I'm guessing that a LOT of people *SMELL* the corruption. I do. it's a reason to pull back the reigns and have another look.
Letting go of IANA at some point in the future is a GOOD idea. Handing it over to a potentially corrupted ICANN (remember, they're in California) without sufficient legal protection for THE PEOPLE, would be a HUGE mistake. We might just find that China gets way too many IPv4 address blocks re-assigned, for example, leaving ISPs to use NAT and making IPv4 blocks *UNAFFORDABLE*. And *NOT* widely adopting IPv6 beforehand!
One of the main fears seems to be that if China gets too much input, they might just require massive web censorship. Same for Russia. I could see where those powers might demand micro-control. For example, a lot of posts and articles here in El Reg wouldn't be allowed.
And the corruption and misuse of funds by the ICANN is a big problem. Really too big to be ignored. It's one thing to buy the office a round of coffee or two but quite another to spent the millions on the unaccounted things.
On the surface, the actions of its board WRT the compensation provided executives and board members seem to resemble a sham charity (the charity being the financial well being of its members and executives); BUT, unlike most sham charities, ICANN IS in a position to fuck things up.
No doubt there has been some wrangling on the part of overly autocratic regimes to mold ICANN into their personal (or should that be worldwide governmental) censor. Most of us can figure out who the usual suspects are here.
The ability of people to freely access information anywhere worldwide depends on resisting the efforts of these usual suspects. And, while I hold a low opinion of the Republican political mentality, this is one area where I must agree with them.
Internet governance is too important of a concept to turn over to despots. Make damn sure ICANN is not able to give the world a good fucking over once it gets control of IANA.
Of all people I probably have the longest and deepest experience with ICANN's intentional efforts to hide its activities - remember that I, as a sitting member of ICANN's Board of Directors, was blocked when I tried to exercise my clear statutory right to inspect the financial ledgers of the corporation. I had to go to court to get an order - which was granted when the judge pretty much laughed ICANN's absurd arguments out of court.
In any case, I do have to agree with ICANN's Board and, shudder, with Jones Day, on the matter of Board Responsibility. The JDRP memo was badly done - I would have sent the associate who wrote it back to a remedial class in corporate law. What was missed is that the reason that California law vests the operations of the corporation in the Board is to have a place onto which the tail of responsibility can be pinned onto the corporate donkey. It is not practical to assign fiduciary responsibility onto a membership or people that compose that membership - that is why that responsibility is placed onto the shoulders of the members of the Board of Directors - so that there is somebody who's actions can be measured in a lawsuit.
As the JDRP memo points out the corporate organic documents - the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws can create procedures that require the board to go to third parties to obtain information and opinions that it can put into the obligatory process of each director making an informed and independent decision (which also includes a decision not to act.)
The "single member" approach was downright stupid - it essentially created an uber-board composed of one member. That clearly would be a violation of the whole concept of a corporation as conceived by the law of California and pretty much every other place on the planet. That would have been essentially a sole proprietorship rather than a corporation.
California law provides for a perfectly good method of having empowered members - but ICANN has been shaking in its boots for decades at the thought of a derivative action - essentially a legal procedure in which the corporation sues itself and pays the bills on both sides.
The JDRP memo several times says "if you want to complain go to the California Secretary of State". (By-the-way, I have spoken with the Calif. Sect'y of State about ICANN but we went no further than discussions.) However, the Secretary of State is an ultimate remedy, not an initial or primary remedy when complaints arise. The law contemplates derivative legal actions as something before the dragging-in state officials. Derivative actions are a healthy and well tested method, but ICANN has thrown the whole California system of membership organizations into the rubbish heap simply to evade being questioned via a derivative action.
ICANN has become a captured regulatory body, a money pump for certain special interests who benefit from ICANN's existence: DNS registries (who get lucrative, fiat, never audited registry fees - the epitome being Verisign that derives over a $billion/year from the protection of ICANN's shadow), ICANN's law firm (which created ICANN as a captive client back in 1998), the trademark protection industry (which receives private-law protection via ICANN far above that which it has obtained from any national legislature.) The community of internet users, the public, on the other hand, has had very little benefit from ICANN - for example ICANN's arbitrary limit of ten year domain name registrations all but guarantees that much of the content of today's world wide web will fall into the bit bucket as people die or otherwise fail to renew domain names. Because of ICANN we will be leaving only a fragmented digital history to our descendants.)
It may be fortunate that technology is moving on and creating overlay naming systems that hide DNS and are turning DNS into an internal, somewhat hidden, cog of the internet. There may be domain names underneath Facebook access or Twitter handles or Apple Cloud contact phonebooks, but for most users that domain name level has become invisible and irrelevant. As such, much of the energy of the fights over domain names as trademarks and brands may be defusing and with that defusion the role of ICANN may be beginning to fade.
But that does not mean that ICANN is not important - there are already efforts to bring governance to areas such as "internet of things". And people are looking at ICANN as a possible model. ICANN is probably better conceived as a counter-model for the future.
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