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Old 8th September 2011, 12:09 PM
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From the IDN VIP WG

"This is a truly existential question for ICANN. This ICANN/WG/VIP can
consider itself as being:

1. either an ICANN/WG with the ICANN policy in the background,
considering the variants in this sole framework. In such a case, this
would only impact the ICANN documents and permit other root
management systems to propose solutions that ICANN would in turn not
accept. This can be a guarantee of better quality of service that is
favorable to the ICANN world, or a limitations set that will lead TLD
candidates to use a system other than the ICANN/NTIA root.

2. or an Internet Users leading WG, trying to "influence (mission of
the IETF [RFC 3935] in terms of protocols) those who design, use, and
manage the Internet for the IDNA to work better". In that case, the
target would be to show ICANN as an open common sense leader,
proposing a naming netiquette that everyone will want to respect.
That will be a source of trust for TLD candidates who will think:
ICANN is more serious and secure, if they lead the consensus they
will probably also lead the process' quality.

I know that this is a vision of the DNS and naming that is different
than ICANN's vision. However, this is the DNS vision that is actually
documented by the RFCs. Jon Postel, ICANN, and simpler management
have all led to constrain the reading of these RFCs and the resulting
Internet architectural deployment. IDNA2008's consensus was reached
because its RFCs do not constrain the true nature of the internet,
i.e. subsidiary unique virtual root and its distributed structure.
The true issue is not to sell TLDs. The true issue is a stable,
technically sound, legally acceptable, operationally proficient and
conflict free set of systems/services permitting one to freely
operate their root name/TLD (software, machine, control,
registration, new services, lawyers, etc. ) on a VPN, an externet
(e.g. class supported vision of the Internet), the entire Internet,
or throughout the whole digital ecosystem.

When ICANN decides to sell a TLD for $185,000, it must correctly
understand what it is selling and the resulting presentation strategy
that it must adopt. What ICANN is selling at $185,000 is not a TLD
that can be freely operated on the Internet. It is selling TLDs that
have been technically, financially, legally screened, stamped and
sponsored by ICANN and the USG. There are people and corporations
that are obviously ready for many reasons to pay that $185,000 for
the ICANN label on their TLD. However, there are many more who are
not willing or cannot pay ICANN when cheaper commercial offers and
free FLOSS systems are available. The entire necessary program set,
except for the installation and some NIC management SQLite routines,
are already in operation - no big deal for some investor to take over
the name space, or for Google in using their public DNS service (IP
4.4.4.4 and 8.8.4.4.).

ICANN must not confuse its TLD business plan and the decline of the
wrong open root solution. Open roots propose (sell) alternative
domain names. Here, what is at stake is the market acceptance of
crossing the 300 TLDs threshold. Less than 300 TLD was in some way a
stable perception of the Internet domain names system: a few global
TLD names to memorize, and one per country. ITLDs and gTLD sales are
going to switch usage from a very limited set of known TLDs being
used by each user to the common experience that TLDs are just another
part of the domain name with thousands of them. Either ICANN will
influence the acceptance of a certain TLD netiquette that the users
will all be familiar with (distrusting the non conformant TLDs) or
will not. In the later case, TLDs will be totally free form because
no one is able to visually recognize an ICANN sponsored TLD from a
non ICANN sponsored one when reading a URL.

The decision is yours. This is the future of ICANN.
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