back to article Protestors in Los Angeles force ICANN board out of hiding over .org sale – for a brief moment, at least

It was only going to be one rogue member, then it wasn’t happening at all, and then the entire board of DNS overseer ICANN emerged from the organization’s headquarters into Los Angeles, blinking in the bright sun, to accept a 35,000-signature petition from those opposed the sale of the .org registry. “We take this very …

  1. nojobhopes

    Appearance of impropriety

    Well this has the appearance of impropriety. If they want to sell, why not accept bids? And exclude any person who may have insider knowledge.

    1. Ole Juul
      Coat

      Re: Appearance of impropriety

      "Well this has the appearance of impropriety."

      And your point is?

    2. Schultz Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Appearance of impropriety

      Selling a public good that has been entrusted to them is the real impropriety. Whether you can find some added insider dealing and profiteering is just the icing on the cake.

      1. Pseu Donyme

        Re: Appearance of impropriety

        Indeed, public trust breached for personal gain. Moreover, in this particular case the breach is so utterly blatant that it would, sadly, warrant putting the culprits against the wall without further ado. :(

        1. Benson's Cycle

          Re: Appearance of impropriety

          Sadly?

          In China, their families would be made to pay for the bullet.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Appearance of impropriety

        "Selling a public good that has been entrusted to them is the real impropriety. "

        They'd feel right at home in the corridors of gov.uk.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Appearance of impropriety

          The term 'uk' is now the property of International Holdings (Holdings) ltd (Bermuda)

          You can apply for a license to use it, a schedule of fees will be available soon

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Appearance of impropriety

            Oh, ok. I'd best go back to using UK of GB & NI then :-)

            1. nematoad Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Appearance of impropriety

              "Oh, ok. I'd best go back to using UK of GB & NI then :-)"

              Given the shit-fest that is Brexit that might not be for very long. The Scots are not happy and looking to become an independent country and with the threat of a customs border in the Irish Sea people in NI may decide that a united Ireland is a good idea. So you might have to get used to saying England and Wales. That is unless the Welsh also decide that they want to start running their own affairs.

              1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                Re: Appearance of impropriety

                You're right. And even Wales isn't as passive as some think:

                The Welsh Assembly formally rejected the withdrawal agreement, as did NI and Scotland.

                The UK government have broken the Sewel convention, and none of the regions are happy about it, as it betrays the very foundations that devolution was built on. --> https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/sewel-convention-has-been-broken-brexit-reform-now-urgent

                Additionally, the *Welsh* voted to remain --> https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/22/english-people-wales-brexit-research

              2. Mike007

                Re: Appearance of impropriety

                If you think Welsh independence is the end of the discussion, I invite you to discuss the subject with this friendly bunch of Cornish representatives.

                If you are wondering about the pitch forks the answer they gave me was just an expletive directed towards people who live in cities, which I interpreted as they came straight from working the fields and are concerned that if they leave them in the corner while you chat then one of them city folk will steal it.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Appearance of impropriety

                  Please no import duty on cider! :-)

                  Also, the screaming locals should target Rees-Moggs constituency first - it's closer to you - and see if they can work out why the hell anyone voted for such evil.

  2. Garymrrsn

    Know I Understand

    "...end up censoring .org domains in response to pressure from big corporations who don’t like the kind of exposure and criticism that many non-profits deal in."

    "The money has come from billionaire Republican investment vehicles."

    There have been only words coming from a few people in government about this. It's not just about money.

  3. oiseau Silver badge
    WTF?

    What's going on?

    At a loss here ...

    It would seem that in the US you can file a lawsuit for just about anything you consider to be a legitimate grievance and actually be accepted in court, apparently with no limits to your (legal) imagination.

    How is it that this scandal has not become the object of a huge class-action suit against all those involved?

    O.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      How is it that the entire board of ICANN has not been arrested for blatant and repeated breach of trust ?

      I really would like someone to explain to me how an organization with a government mandate can just act any way it wants and suffer no repercussion.

      If I had the power, I would just line them up against the wall and have them all shot.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        > how an organization with a government mandate can just act any way it wants

        Easily. Just look at the FCC and its obvious and fully assumed collusion with those it is supposed to control. As long as you keep somebody powerful happy, they'll make sure you'll come to no harm no matter how brazenly you break your mandate or even the law. Remember, Justice is blind...

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Easily. Just look at the FCC and its obvious and fully assumed collusion with those it is supposed to control.

          Regulation is a wicked problem. Regulators need insiders, because what they're trying to regulate is complex; technically, commercially and politically. But there was a recent example of a regulatory challenge-

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/23/windstream_fvoip_outage/

          So Windstream customers couldn't make VoIP calls because all lines were busy due to congestion. Telephony is regulated given it's importance, especially wrt safety-of-life issues like being able to make 911 calls. If those don't complete, people can die. And have died in previous VoIP problems. Regulation is in many ways still playing catch-up to telephony migrating to VoIP.

          So some operators make provisions for this. I'm typing this via a BT FTTP service where my telephony goes via a Huawei GPON NID. I suspect telephony goes via a seperate VLAN at L2 so it has reserved capacity. I've worked on other broadband implementations where there's 64 or 128kbps reserved and prioritised for VoIP services as we, as operators know that reliable voice is a critical service.

          But then there's 'Net Neutrality', that says all packets must be created equal, because a lobby group is terrified of being charged more for consuming bandwidth. But Windstream demonstrated why that isn't realistic. It might notch out and prioritise VoIP packets inside it's own network, and protect capacity to it's own gateways. But when VoIP calls try to complete outside Windsteam's ASN, it hits the free for all, best efforts wall at the peering and transit connections going off-net.

          And the only way to protect VoIP traffic is to permit prioritisation of that traffic, but that breaks the 'Net Neutrality' principle.. Which is one of those wicked problems for the FCC and other national regulators. On the one hand, you have a very well funded lobby demanding all traffic stays best effors, and on the other, industry showing that not all traffic is equal, and best efforts aren't good enough for safety-of-life services.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > But then there's 'Net Neutrality', that says all packets must be created equal, because a lobby group is terrified of being charged more for consuming bandwidth.

            No.The ISPs customer is consuming the bandwidth, not the provider. It's the responsibility of the customer. However.... :

            The only reason the ISPs have issues is that they've offerred unlimited data to customers based on a cost structure that assumes the customer won't use it... Therefore, it's the ISPs problem for offering a service they can't provide for the price.

            Now, if the ISP has issues, it needs to change the deal or the price the next time contracts are renewed, or suck it up.

            What they can't do is demand the provider sures up their bad business practices.

            If Tescos offers really cheap deal for OAP's and a load of OAP's use their free bus passes to go to Tescos, do you think the bus companies should be able to charge tescos?. No, the cost is between the customer and the bus company, and if the bus company no longer likes the deal they have made with the customer, it's got f-all to do with tescos.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Now, if the ISP has issues, it needs to change the deal or the price the next time contracts are renewed, or suck it up.

              What they can't do is demand the provider sures up their bad business practices.

              This is why it's a wicked problem. There are consumer protection regulations wrt telephony. So the most important being safety-of-life and being able to make 112/911 calls. Which includes challenges like also providing location information so emergency services can locate people who need urgent help. Problems with VoIP have resulted in people dying, hence why regulators take a closer look. But there has been lobbying to define VoIP as a 'data service' so it falls outside telephony regulations, but referring next of kin to clauses in terms of service is little comfort.

              Rest is a combination of technical and commercial. The Internet and IP is fundamentally a 'best efforts' service, even though the standards define ToS bits in the headers, and those are widely used in private IP networks to prioritise real-time services like VoIP.

              So technically, and morally, being able to prioritise telephony is a Good Thing(tm), and could have avoided the problems Windstream's customers experienced.

              The commercial side is more complex. So people pay EA for COD. EA pays CDNs to distribute the game and patches. The CDN's pay for peering and/or transit to get that code to EA's customers, who pay their ISP for an 'up to X' service. Their ISP doesn't get anything from EA to cover the cost of delivering the game, and users who think COD is best served salted, battered and with chips might suffer problems.

              So the common refrain is to just throw bandwidth at the problem. That can be hugely expensive, and may not solve the problem because IP sucks at traffic management. Slap a couple of 100Gbps links at the CDNs, and some congestion might be avoided, but then those connections idle outside of releas/patch days. And even though the content provider (ie EA) is causing the problem, terminating ISPs don't get any revenue from them to fix it.

              So then the only option is to charge the ISP's customers more money, which is naturally unpopular.

              There may be alternatives, like staggered releases, or incremental updates. I've noticed this with some games I play, so a small patch might result in a full game download. CDN's try to do some congestion avoidance, but apart from seeing packet loss, there's no easy way to see congestion across multiple ASNs. But it's technically obvious that permitting VoIP prioritisation would be a simple way to try and mitigate congestion issues.. But of course 'Net Neutrality' says no..

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        If I had the power, I would just line them up against the wall and have them all shot.

        Why against the wall? What has that wall ever done to you?

        1. Ordinary Donkey
          Joke

          Isn't there a boyband or something we could line them all up against?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            no, they all are used to contain the coronavirus

        2. robidy Bronze badge

          Well quite, it's this kind of mindless comment about shooting people that makes it all the worse...think of the wall.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Would that be Trump's wall?

      3. Yes Me Silver badge
        FAIL

        There is no government mandate

        "I really would like someone to explain to me how an organization with a government mandate..."

        ICANN does not have a government mandate, and never had one. It did previously have a contract with the US Department of Commerce, but that lapsed some years ago.

        Since we all seem to be agreed that .org is a global resource, it is entirely irrelevant what one particular government thinks anyway. The issue, if there is one, is international. Go protest in Geneva.

        But the whole fuss is emotional and illogical:

        1. Nobody is threatening the organisations or individuals who chose to register names in .org in any way, shape or form.

        2. Whoever runs the registry (which is only a clerical operation, with no powers of control whatever) will be constrained by the market to set reasonable prices; otherwise people will simply switch to other domains. That's why there are multiple TLDs today and you can thank ICANN for that.

        3. This clerical operation of registering names has been a competitive business since 1998, when the Clinton Administration gave it away to private industry. So occasional sales or takeovers of registrar companies is business as usual. People should be happy that the Internet Society will benefit from it. If you don't like it, abolish capitalism.

        By the way, you can be pretty sure that the Internet Society will maintain its .org registration afterwards. They understand that it's only a clerical matter.

        The petition, and the protest, are rather pathetic actually. The EFF should get on with its real job.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: There is no government mandate

          2. Whoever runs the registry (which is only a clerical operation, with no powers of control whatever) will be constrained by the market to set reasonable prices; otherwise people will simply switch to other domains. That's why there are multiple TLDs today and you can thank ICANN for that.

          Sorry, but that's bullshit.

          .org's have been around for a very long time, and were created for a very specific purpose, ie not .com's and not commercial. The 'powers of control' may have lapsed a bit so personal/vanity registrations happened, but there are a lot of charities, NGOs etc with .org domains.

          But the fundamental issue is there is no market for .org It's a simple monopoly, with the 'clerical operation' setting the price. There is some market at the retail level, but not at the root. Hence the $1bn value set for this 'clerical operation'. And given that $1bn will be loaded onto that operation, and prices will have to rise rapidly to pay down that debt.. And of course extract profits for the mysterious new owners of that monopoly. And it's not so simple to say charities can simply move to other monopoly TLDs. And especially as it's likely that PIR will probably be merged with Abry's Donuts operation, adding more debt.

          That's why there are multiple TLDs today and you can thank ICANN for that.

          Again, bullshit. ICANN thanks you for the millions generated by the creation of the spew of new TLDs, most of which probably aren't covering the direct and indirect costs of bidding for those TLDs.

          And again those are monopoly TLDs, with no market. And far from 'abolishing capitalism', capitalism accepts that there are problems with allowing monopolies, hence all the governments that have legislation to control or restrict monopolies and predatory practices.

          1. Fred Goldstein

            Re: There is no government mandate

            This is a typical response by those who don't actually undertand how the Internet or ICANN works, and assume the worst when there is nothing to it.

            .org was created as the miscellaneous category, for things that weren't .net or.com, and the vast majority of them are not non-profits. As a registry, they charge registrars a wholesale price, under $10/year, for each entry. You can renew for up to 10 years at the current rate, so if your organization is really paranoid, then pay <$100 for a decade. But since 90%+ of .orgs are just random folks, it would be terrible business to raise the price much and lose them to the many other domains. So they won't.

            Also, neither ICANN nor ISOC nor a registry has "legal" authority, the way the FCC and ITU own phone numbers. If the registry really screwed up, someone could legally fork it and tell DNS servers to choose their alternative .org root. Nobody wants that nuclear option to happen but it could.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: There is no government mandate

              This is a typical response by those who don't actually undertand how the Internet or ICANN works, and assume the worst when there is nothing to it.

              Yup, and yours is a typical response when you have no idea what a poster's actual experience. Sometimes there are clues in the text..

              ..it would be terrible business to raise the price much and lose them to the many other domains. So they won't.

              ... that highlight the level of cluefulness of a poster. Me, I've been building/running/consulting on and around aspects of telecomms & the Internet since the very early '90s. But you seem to miss a rather fundamental point.

              So 'Ethos' has valued .org at $1.2bn. How will that investment look at $10/yr? How much better will it look at a more 'market level' rate of $50-60 a year? Which was a point Kieren made in one of the earliest articles on this fiasco. And then dear'ol Vint Cerf chipped in to say that $60 was just fine.

              Also, neither ICANN nor ISOC nor a registry has "legal" authority, the way the FCC and ITU own phone numbers.

              Again you're providing clues. So DNS is very much reliant on a delegation of authority. Much of that authority also relies on contracts between ICANN and the entities authority is delegated down to. So for example, ICANN making Verisign stump up a rather large renewal fee for the legal right to print cash from .com (et al). In case you were not aware, those contracts between entities and ICANN are legally enforceable.

              And you're also missing some more points. So thus far, the Internet has largely been self-regulated. Some as an accident of history in the US's role in it's creation. The rest because it's now a global thing, and coming up with an alternative entity which can regulate globally would be a massive political bun fight. But the ITU is there, waiting, and has tried to assume responsibility for aspects of the 'net in the past. Which could be equally bad, partly because ITU meetings are a LOT less fun than typical 'net industry ones.

              But the big issue is that if ICANN's demonstrating it's not a fit and proper body to regulate key aspects of the Internet, then pressure will grow to take that away. An obvious and easy one is to fold the work of the IETF into the ITU.

              Oh, and just as a general point.. You may be unaware that national regulators like the FCC already do have legal authority over aspects of the Internet. And the ITU remains a technical authority that keeps the glue holding it together sticking.

            2. BigSLitleP Silver badge

              Re: There is no government mandate

              "This is a typical response by those who don't actually undertand how the Internet or ICANN works"

              ......does he realise where he's posting this or is he completely clueless? Also, because i feel like being "that guy", if you are going to attempt to insult people, check your spelling.

          2. iron Silver badge

            Re: There is no government mandate

            The vast majority of Internet users don't know what .com, .org, etc mean or even that they exist. They don't ever type a domain name, they type the name of the site they want into Google and then click the top link. They would not even notice if their favourite charities changed from .org to another TLD.

            Any monopoly is in the minds of those who buy .org domains.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: There is no government mandate

              xyz.com and xyz.org can and are often two different companies/charities. Go jump off a cliff then claim "gravity and flight are only differences in the minds of customers" when you purchase your next airline ticket if you are so confident!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: There is no government mandate

              Not true. Most people know about .com .net and .org - but anyway it's not relevant.

              Joe-ordinary-user-who-apparently-doesnt-know-what-org-is still has the .org site in his bookmarks, or still has those .org email addresses in their contact lists.

              There are many .org owners who aren't tied to the TLD per-se, but are tied to it due to mailing lists, brand recognition, advertising, web addreses, stationary etc. etc.

              Just like a new business getting a phone number. The number itself may start off as being arbritary, but after many years of use in advets, signage, contact lists. etc. it's not something that can be changedc without major upheaval.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: There is no government mandate

          "Go protest in Geneva."

          Why Geneva? The UN's in New York. They've wanted to take over running the net for years and this sort of carry on just strengthens their arm. Not that that would be a good idea either.

        3. Schultz Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: There is no government mandate

          1. Nobody is threatening the organisations or individuals who chose to register names in .org in any way, shape or form.

          >>> Wrong: everybody who registered a .org domain is threatened by higher cost and the uncertainty of having his domain registration handled by a company without a track record.

          2. Whoever runs the registry (which is only a clerical operation, with no powers of control whatever) will be constrained by the market to set reasonable prices; otherwise people will simply switch to other domains.

          >>> Wrong: whoever has a user base and name recognition built on his .org domain will be hostage to the policies of the new, unknown company running the show. Clerical operation my ass. This is waylaying.

          3. This clerical operation of registering names has been a competitive business since 1998, when the Clinton Administration gave it away to private industry. So occasional sales or takeovers of registrar companies is business as usual. People should be happy that the Internet Society will benefit from it. If you don't like it, abolish capitalism.

          Wrong: The operation of registering .org names was not a competitive business. Stop comparing apple and oranges.

          There is a billion-dollar investment at stake. Anyone want to take a guess whether paid shills will start entering the discussion forum? Sorry, make that 'professional PR operations'.

    2. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

      Re: What's going on?

      Domain holders lack standing as they aren't party to the sale, so any suit they filed would be rejected out of hand. Creative contract interpretation might get them before a judge, but it's unlikely it would survive a motion to dismiss.

  4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Wait, Wut? And praise Kieren (again)

    Soo..

    Internally, ICANN is struggling with three issues: whether the .org sale is a staff or board issue;

    Err.. well, I guess that highlights the problem with oversight at ICANN. To me, it would seem very obvious that both raising price caps and the sale of .org must be a board decision. Not a decision influenced by ex-staff & board members.

    Also curious what the mood of the other journos present was, ie how do they see the issue? Great work doing the research and highlighting this saga though.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Wait, Wut? And praise Kieren (again)

      I'm afraid that on this topic, Kieren is not an unbiased reporter.

      https://icannwiki.org/Kieren_McCarthy

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Wait, Wut? And praise Kieren (again)

        I'm afraid that on this topic, Kieren is not an unbiased reporter.

        No reason to be afraid. I'm not, I know Kieren has some biases (climate change <cough>). But cheers for the link. It explains the depth and knowledge in matters ICANN related, and I've a sneaking suspicion we may have met at an ICANN or NANOG event. Beers may have been exchanged, as is tradition at such gatherings.

        But those events also were kind of a governance problem. There are multiple industry events/meetings, often in exotic locations and perhaps a bit of a jolly for the non-profits. But then part of their remit is outreach, so some sense in encouraging more local/regional attendance. But that also made it harder to justify air fares & expenses to attend.

        But none of that explains ICANN's behaviour, it's blatent lack of transparency and the appearance of self-dealing wrt to the .org hijack. To me, having some inside knowledge as well, this situation stinks on many levels, from Ethos appearing out of nowhere with $1bn in cash, and no obvious ability to actually administer the TLD in the interests of the community. But that's business for you. The hijackers will just leave that to PIR, load that with the debt, and extract the profits into their SPVs as the registration and renewal fees are jacked up.

        And pretty much all journalists can have some form of bias as it's generally difficult to stay totally neutral. So then it's up to us to do our own due diligence and decide. The information in that wiki just gives more credibility, and demonstrates the problem with ICANN's 'black box' behavior for outsiders.

  5. Adair Silver badge

    The whole thing ...

    is a complete disgrace, but at least it lifts the lid and lets folk see that ICANN is no longer fit for purpose.

    High level domains should in no way be the prerogative of a 'private' national entity to do with them whatever it wills, especially to seek personal wealth.

    The 'Internet' has come a long way from when it was a private playground for a handful of US military and academic institutions. ICANN, as currently constituted, is effectively a throwback to that era, and is long overdue to be abolished, or completely reconstituted as an international org.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing ...

      ICANN is no longer fit for purpose.

      Was it ever?

      1. DoctorNine

        Re: The whole thing ...

        No. It was an ad-hoc geeks club from the start. With a particularly myopic and introverted membership. The idea of service and scalability was an afterthought. Now it's gotten so big to manage, that someone with sufficient greed has decided to invoke the magic of CAPITALISM! and try for a more or less hostile takeover. Which frightens the myopic and introverted geeks immensely.

        Has the makings of a pretty entertaining feature film, really.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing ...

      "ICANN, as currently constituted, is effectively a throwback to that era"

      I get the distinct impression that for the last several years that's what it definitely isn't. It's become the plaything of money men. Or maybe you're right because the academics' universities are now the playground of money men.

  6. ThatOne Silver badge
    Devil

    > Fadi Chehade registered EthosCapital.com – yes, .com, not .org

    Of course! He doesn't want to have to pay the exorbitant fees ORGs will have to pay in a year...

  7. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    It stinks.

    It's been obvious for years that ICANN has its own agenda and is opposed to all kinds of sensible things. This is just another example.

    see also deliberate public exposure of Domain name renters rather than only via a warrant with due cause. Opposing GDPR. The fact you have to rent your name for ever.

    It's a badly run scam.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: It stinks.

      "public exposure of Domain name renters rather than only via a warrant with due cause. Opposing GDPR."

      Er, the whole issue with GDPR compliance was that the public whois database intentionally exposed the identities of name holders (ever since the DNS was invented), but GDPR made this illegal in the EU and required legal protection of the information. So you can't simultaneously criticise ICANN for both. Either public exposure of name holders is good, or respecting GDPR is good. You can't have both.

      "The fact you have to rent your name for ever."

      Not quite sure what your issue is there. You object to a service fee for maintaining the clerical records of a registration, or what?

      Now if you'd mentioned the evils of domain name squatting or domain name theft, I'd agree, but that isn't part of ICANN's job anyway.

      Generally speaking, the blanket criticisms of ICANN are a bit shaky on facts. Some of their decisions have been very dubious (the whole XXX farce, for example) but once they made the fatal early decision to allow infinite expansion of the TLD space, they had set the Great Panjandrum in motion.

  8. Pier Reviewer

    Timings

    “ The day after it became clear ICANN was going to approve lifting price caps, former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade registered EthosCapital.com – yes, .com, not .org – and within months Ethos had persuaded ISOC to sell its main asset for a lump sum.”

    Rofl. I know the Reg has to be a bit careful about what it prints, but do we honestly think ISOC was persuaded to sell *after* the price caps were lifted? Haha haha!

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    last straw?

    Of course, use of icann-approved dns is really voluntary. I wonder if icann realizes this? Push too far and people can and will simply start their own dns system and ignore icann's. (I know some alternate dns already exists but for now it largely mirrors the icann-backed dns system.)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: last straw?

      AFAICS all the mirror operators have to do is get together and decide on one of those mirrors to become definitive. Granted that that might be akin to herding cats...

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: last straw?

        Granted that that might be akin to herding cats...

        Network engineers and sysadmins have this as part of their job description. One of my earliest pranks followed a pub discussion between sysadmins and networks about who held the power. They thought they did, but I just created a static route for the sysadmins IPs pointing at 127.0.0.1

        But herding is fairly default, and ISPs could choose to point their resolvers at an alt-org. Or given many users access domains via search engines and browser helpers, they could be herded to an alt-ICANN approved structure.

        This already happens in some countries that restrict access, ie the 'Great Firewalls'. Or the introduction of DNS over HTTPS terminating the HTTPS sessions at a chosen few. There are possible counters, ie the Cogent decision to block WHOIS could be used to try and restrict bulk zone transfers. But it's possible we could see some fragmentation and balkanisation with the .amazon decision. The Amazon nations could decide to direct their traffic to a non-Bezos Amazon root, but that would create conflicts resolving globally. So it's something that's best avoided due to inevitable clashes and NXDOMAINs, but it's something that's possible.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We take this very seriously

    as in "we're talking about SERIOUS money..."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    And ICANN will say

    35,000 signatures is just a fraction of the world's 7+ billion population, and we assume everyone who didn't sign the petition supports our decision!

  12. vaporland

    503C is your friend....

    according to IRS regulations, you cannot "turn a non-profit organization into a profit making organization" without first giving (not selling) all assets of the non-profit to another non-profit. not for money, they must be given.

    otherwise anyone could start a 'non-profit' and not pay tax and then when you're ready, just say 'ok i am a regular corporation now, just forget about all the tax i never paid before'.

    if you begin to operate the non-profit profitably using assets acquired or created during the non-profit period, there is a 200% IRS tax penalty.

    self-dealing as a non-profit, where a member of that non-profit makes money off of the non-profit, which benefits the individual at the expense of the non-profit, is a federal tax felony.

    and of course there is the IRS snitch reward program, where if you inform on a tax cheat, you get a percentage (typically 40%) of the fine they pay.

    $1.2 billion x 200% = $2.4 billion

    40% reward = $960 million that the EFF or others could claim if they levy charges of tax fraud (which this most definitely is).

  13. Permidion
    Facepalm

    Someone should sue ICANN

    I still dont understand why ICANN which looks year after year more and more like a shady black box run by mafia thugs hasn't had any kind of judicial legal inquiry yet.

    Any other organization behaving like that would have been sued and the members arrested already.

  14. holmegm Bronze badge

    20 people? *This* is the firestorm of protest?

  15. NonyaDB

    "The money has come from billionaire Republican investment vehicles."

    Show your work or remove that line.

  16. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    How hard is it to start up another organization, or even create your own .org stuff?

    Not AC since I'm genuinely interested and want to know if anybody can just create their own stuff etc.

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