Feeds

In the wake of RegisterFly, is ICANN taking flight?

Only the paranoid survive

High performance access to file storage

In the aftermath of the ICANN meeting in Lisbon, the RegisterFly disaster continues to inspire both litigation and paranoia.

Those connecting the dots are convinced that an ICANN report debated at the Lisbon meetings exploring the possibility of changing ICANN to an international organization along the lines of the International Red Cross is an attempt by ICANN to slither out of this whole mess. A plaintiff in North Carolina has started a class action against RegisterFly, Enom, and ICANN over her ruined business; ICANN is suing RegisterFly to force it to turn over the authcodes to enable a bulk transfer of domains; and RegisterFly is demanding arbitration as provided for in its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). Other plaintiffs wait in the wings.

A change of character for ICANN would provide a gloss of independence from the smothering bosom of the American Department of Commerce (DOC), as well as potential protection from American litigation. It would also comport with ICANN’s stated goal of becoming a truly international organization reflective of the international reach of the internet itself. Of course, it begs the question: just what does ICANN have in common with the Red Cross? And why would ICANN need a structure that virtually eliminates accountability when more accountability is what the ICANN stakeholders keep demanding?

ICANN has made great strides in providing improved access and clarity to its website recently, and it would be unfortunate if ICANN has adopted a one step forward, two steps back approach to its problems. ICANN currently is a nonprofit corporation based in Marina Del Ray, California. Say what you will about the litigious nature of American society, but American-style litigation keeps us all on our toes, including ICANN. Why would ICANN need Red Cross-style international legal protections when it’s not out saving refugees and inoculating babies like the Red Cross?

The international organization that ICANN does have something in common with is one famous for its opaqueness and arrogant lack of accountability, the International Olympic Committee (IOC). ICANN’s not saving the world. Like it or not, ICANN is engaged in commerce, not charity work, although it is a California nonprofit corporation. The IOC, too, is engaged in commerce, which is marketing the Olympics and extorting stadium facilities out of local communities. It would be unfortunate if ICANN were to take advantage of the RegisterFly mess as an excuse to lock itself away from public opinion the way the IOC has.

Of course, ICANN is already named in the RegisterFly class action, and no midstream change in corporate structure will get them out of that lawsuit. It would, however, make it more difficult for similar lawsuits to proceed in the future. A move to Switzerland, say, would be even more frustrating. Considering the fact that ICANN did not drop the hammer on RegisterFly until after the plaintiff’s attorneys dropped the hammer on ICANN, the ICANN community might think twice about letting ICANN off the hook.®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.