.sucks-gate: How about listening to us the first two times, exasperated FTC tells ICANN
You know what sucks? Your attitude
While we're at it ... one more thing, ICANN
But the FTC isn't finished there. Ramirez takes the opportunity to point out that even while ICANN is reaching out for their help, it continues to try to bypass similar related issues.
"I am particularly troubled by the ICANN Board's rejection of repeated Governmental Advisory Committee ('GAC') advice to verify the credentials of sensitive domains in highly regulated markets.
"For instance, the GAC recommended requiring the screening of owner credentials for these sensitive domains to ensure owners are what they purport to be before they do business with the public (e.g., that they are a bonafide bank, insurer, pharmacy, etc.). Instead, ICANN adopted a far less stringent requirement - requiring only that gTLD owners 'represent' that they possess the appropriate credentials. This more lax approach increases the risk of consumer fraud because bad actors will not hesitate to make false representations about their credentials."
She also takes ICANN to task over proper enforcement of its existing mechanisms and suggests that the organization may want to look at amendments to its contracts to enforce what it was already supposed to be doing.
But here's a pointer
There is however one recommendation specifically on the .sucks issue: make it easier for consumers to differentiate between whether a particular .sucks website is owned and run by the named company or by an individual. Or, as Ramirez puts it, between "activists" and "executives."
"My hope is that ICANN will consider the potential for consumer confusion and encourage the best practice of having all gTLD domain holders, including '.sucks' holders, prominently identify themselves to the public on their individual websites so that people do not confuse an 'activist' site with a company-owned site."
There is no mention in the letter however of another troubling aspect in the agreement ICANN has with Vox Populi: a $1m rider that the organization forced on the biz to pay monies owed by unrelated companies that its parent company, Momentous, shut down several years ago.
While trademark owners complain of the "predatory, coercive and exploitive" pricing of dot-sucks domains, some in the domain name industry wonder about the predatory, coercive and exploitative pricing that ICANN has introduced as a condition to signing off on contracts. ®