Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the ICANN Category

Three years with ICANN »

What used to think ICANN was like... Apologies for the delay in writing the post. I've been trying to think about what to say and have just decided that I better write it before my thoughts get old... I joined the ICANN board during the December 2004 ICANN meeting in Cape Town. I served for a three year term and stepped down at this last meeting in Los Angeles and didn't run for another term. My apologies to all of the ICANN community and the people who helped me learn about and participate in the complex but important process...

Changes at ICANN »

Today Vint stepped down as chairman of ICANN as his term came to and end. The new board elected Peter Dengate Thrush as the new chairman. My term also came to and end. I'll blog about this more, but thought I should post this first......

San Juan photos »

Our awesome scribes: Teri Darrenougue and Laura Brewer My photos from the ICANN meeting in San Juan are posted on Flickr in a set. They're all Creative Commons Attribution licensed so free to use with attribution. If they're pictures of yourself, go ahead and use them without attribution if you have to....

ICANN Board votes against .xxx »

The application by ICM for the .xxx sTLD has been rejected by the ICANN Board by a 9-5 vote in favor of a resolution to reject the application. Susan Crawford's comments on why she voted against this resolution echo my feelings. I have continued to vote in favor of granting .xxx to ICM and voted against this resolution to reject the application. ICANN is not chartered to be involved in trying to determine whether specific content is appropriate or not. ICANN should not be determining whether top level domains (TLDs) will solve the world's problems or not. We were asked...

Portraits of my ICANN friends »

Njeri RiongeI've been spending more and more of my time over the last few days looking at the world through the viewfinder of my M8. The predominantly interesting thing here to look at are people. The lighting of the conference is the standard tungsten lighting that causes my M8 sensor to turn everything into a horrible magenta hue. I've figured out how to basically correct for this, but the lighting in most of the meeting rooms is so boring anyway, that my focus has started to shift away from trying to do anything fancy in color during the sessions. Ian...

Sao Paulo, here I come »

I'm at the SFO airport on my way to Sao Paulo for the ICANN meeting. After a cancelled flight, I think I'm back on course. There is a Sao Paulo ICANN meeting blog where I'll try to post stuff once I figure out the posting policy. UPDATE: There is a webcast and a chatroom....

Meeting Ivailo Kalfin »

Photo by Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign AffairsYesterday, Veni Markovski took Paul Twomey and me to go see Ivailo Kalfin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. Paul is the President/CEO of ICANN (I am on the board). First of all, The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has now licensed all of its content under a Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License . YAY! The Minister also just started a blog at http://www.kalfin.eu. It was clear from the conversation that Veni was a well known (and mostly liked) maverick who had blazed the way for open Internet in Bulgaria with...

Veni's joke »

For one of the last resolutions of the ICANN board meeting, Vint asked the board to show their support by swaying back and forth in their seat. He promised to explain it later, but wasn't able to. Therefore, I believe it is my role in the interest of transparency, to explain the reference. Last night Veni told us a joke.Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev are on a train heading towards communism. Suddenly the conductor says, "Oh noes! There are no rails left. We can not move on." Lenin says, "no problem, Saturday is Lenin day and we will all...

ICANN Meeting Webcast »

I'm at the Wellington ICANN Meeting and the public forum is just about to begin. There is a webcast. I'm sitting next to fellow board member Susan Crawford who has blogged in more depth about this meeting....

22C3 Talk »

I just finished my keynote for the 22C3 conference. I'd been mulling over what to talk about from about 2AM or so this morning. After reading the program and the amazing breadth of the 150 or so talks and imagining the 3000 leet hackers that I would be talking to, I decided to put together a brand new talk hitting a lot of the points that often skip because they are controversial or difficult for me to discuss. I was a bit nervous kicking off what I think is one of the most important conference I go to. I am...

eWeek: "Typo-Squatters Are Gaming Google" »

Interesting article in eWeek about the business of registering domain name typos and how they game Google. "Some of the domains move around between domain parking services or between anchor domains over time as part of a 'multi-layer redirection structure' that makes it difficult to trace". The bulk of the data and analysis comes from Microsoft Research. Again, I'm not going to "judge" this business, but clearly it's a large business that is becoming exceedingly complex with some cat-and-mouse going on. One thing I wonder about is whether there is a whole lot of incentive for the cat to catch...

Next steps on proposed .COM settlement »

ICANNNEXT STEPS ON PROPOSED .COM SETTLEMENT On 21 October 2005, ICANN announced proposed settlement terms between ICANN and VeriSign, including a proposed new .COM agreement. Since then, ICANN has been conducting extensive public consultations on the proposed settlement. At its 24th International Public Meeting in Vancouver this week, the ICANN Board has been engaged in consultations with the ICANN community on this topic, among others. Today at its Board meeting, ICANN Chairman, Vint Cerf, announced: "The Board has listened long and hard this week to all constituencies with regard to the .COM agreements "We are deeply grateful to the efforts...

Investigating parked domain monetization »

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the parked domain monetization business. Since then, I've begun talking to a variety of people here at the ICANN meeting. It is clearly a complex issue and I have decided to suspend judgement until I have more information. I think that these "professional registrants" are clearly a different group than "user registrants". I think we should differentiate people who buy domains as their primary business to people who use domains to use in their business. It could be argued that professional registrants "use" their domains to run ads, but I think most of these...

The "parked domain monetization" business »

I think that a large number of people buying domains can't get their first choice name because some "parked domain monetization" operation (cyber-squatter) owns it and is making money running ads on the page. The trick is to sign up for millions of domain names; set up pages and run ads on them; after 1 day delete domains that have no traffic; after 3 days delete names that have some traffic; after 5 days delete pages with marginal traffic; keep the 1% of pages that have enough traffic to be worth keeping the domain. Because of the refund policy, the...

ICANNWiki »

Wiki site about ICANN. (ICANNWiki)...

"Welcome to ICANN, Here's What It Means To You" »

I will be a panelist in a public roundtable discussion at the Vancouver ICANN meeting entitled "Welcome to ICANN, Here’s What It Means To You." The roundtable is scheduled for Wednesday, 30 November, 10:30 - 11:30, at the Columbia's Westin Bayshore.The purpose of the roundtable is to introduce ICANN -- its community and its work -- to the local and regional community and press. The roundtable will feature members of the ICANN community in an informal, moderated discussion of what ICANN does, why ICANN is important to various stakeholder communities, what the ICANN community will be doing in Vancouver, why...

ICANN meeting this week »

I'm at the ICANN meeting in Vancouver this week. You can often find me on the #joiito IRC channel. I need to give the face to face meeting priority, but I'll try to provide background and contextual information for anyone who is attending or watching the webcast and is interested....

Thanks Croatia! »

I've just spent five days in Croatia visiting Zagreb and Dubrovnik. The trip was organized by the Creative Commons Croatia dynamic duo, Marcell and Tomi with the support of CARNet. CARNet is the Croatian Academic and Research Network and I gave a keynote at their 7th Internet Users Conference in Dubrovnik. After Dubrovnik, I went to Zagreb and gave two presentations organized by Marcell, Tomi and the mama team. mama is a very cool media center, library, community center that is the meeting place of a number of really interesting communities in Croatia. One of the communities that hangs out...

ICANN NomCom announces new members including Susan Crawford to ICANN board »

The nomination committee (NomCom) of ICANN announced today they have chosen Njeri Rionge from Kenya for another term on the ICANN board and has added Susan Crawford to the board. I'm glad to be working with Njeri who I met on the ICANN board. Susan's one of the people who helped me understand ICANN in the before I joined the board and I'm psyched to be working with her. If you're interested in ICANN you've probably been following her blog, but if not, you should. It's one of my must read blogs. The NomCom has also announced a number of...

Vint Cerf joins Google »

Vint Cerf just left MCI to join Google. Congratulations Vint! Interesting in the context of eBay buying Skype... UPDATE: Google press release...

WGIG Report »

The Working Group on Internet Governance has issued its final report. The WGIG is a group of experts tasked by the United Nations to think about and come up with a report about Internet governance. Many people were concerned because the meeting was kicked off by the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) saying that this was about questioning ICANN. The comments gave me the sense that the ITU was trying to take over ICANN's role and wanted a report to justify this. In fact, the group of experts represented a broad range of opinions and have produced...

A week of ICANN »

Sorry about the light blogging the last few days. It's been a tough week at the ICANN meeting and it's finally over. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone in the community who took the time to explain their issues and gave us the opportunity to try to address these issues. I think we took a step in the right direction, but we have a large number of outstanding issues still left to address. I appreciate everyone's continued participation in the process. My commitment will be to deliver on the various promises that I have made this week....

ICANN IDN Workshop »

There is a very important and interesting IDN Workshop going on right now. There is a web case. If you're interested, I suggest you tune in. We're talking about it on #joiito and #icann on irc.freenode.net....

The internets »

I don't know how much deep thought was involved when George Bush called the Internet "the internets" but this reflects a real risk that we face today. If you look at the traffic of many large countries with non-English languages, you will find that the overwhelming majority of the traffic stays inside the country. In countries like China and Japan where there is sufficient content in the local language and most people can't or don't like to read English this is even more so. I would say that the average individual probably doesn't really notice the Internet outside of their...

Discussing new top-level domains »

icann.orgICANN Posts New gTLD Questions Paper 6 July 2005 In September 2004 ICANN published a strategy for the implementation of new top-level domains (TLDs). The strategy called for the implementation of a strategy that would appropriately take into account many relevant technical, economic, socio-political and cultural issues. In light of several new developments regarding DNS operations and structure, ICANN has developed a plan to facilitate implementation of the strategy for the designation of new TLDs. The staff paper has been drafted to inform about the current status of the implementation of the "New gTLD Strategy". It is also intended to...

Some notes on the .XXX Top Level Domain »

Yesterday the ICANN board discussed and approved ICANN staff to enter into negotiations with ICM Registry, Inc. for the .XXX Top Level Domain (TLD). I'm sure there will be a longer more complete presentation from ICANN later about this, but as an individual board member I thought I'd post a quick note before people got carried away with speculation based on a lack of information. I realize that the formal documents on the ICANN page are difficult to read, but I suggest people take a look at the actual application before jumping to conclusions about what the .XXX TLD is....

ICANN Call for Submissions of Interest for Leadership »

ICANN's Nomination Committee has begun their process to nominate more members to various boards, councils and committees of ICANN. This is the process by which I was elected to the board last year. Contrary to what some people may think, these positions should not be taken to try to gain some privilege or power. These are positions of responsibility and require a lot of work for no tangible return except possibly the opportunity to meet other very interesting people. (OK. They MIGHT give you a t-shirt.) I think about my role at ICANN like I would think about jury duty....

Earthlink R&D shows that IPv6 can be easy »

Mr BlogPractical IPv6 We finally released a project we've been working on in EarthLink R&D for some time now. I was not the lead engineer on this project but it's perhaps one of the most exciting things we've done in R&D to date, if not the most exciting thing. Basically it's a demonstration of a practical IPv6 migration strategy. There is a sandbox that allows users to obtain their own /64 IPv6 subnet of real routable addresses (Goodbye NAT -- YEAH!) Here's how it works: Simply get an account at http://www.research.earthlink.net/ipv6/accounts.html to get your own personal block of 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 IPv6...

Off to San Francisco »

Thanks to everyone who showed up in Mar del Plata to participate in the ICANN meeting. I thought that the discussion was healthy and productive and although we moved forward on a number of things, we are left with a lot of work to do based on the feedback we received on the strategic plan, the board governance guidelines, .pro, .net, IDNs, transparency, process and a number of other topics. Special thanks to staff for running such a great meeting in the absence of our CEO Paul Twomey. I think you did an excellent job. Thanks to everyone who showed...

IDNs »

IDNs (International Domain Names) have been the subject of a great deal of discussion. IDNs are a way to allow non-ASCII scripts to be used in URLs. There are a number of difficulties with IDNs. One is that there are letters or punctuation that look similar to normal ASCII characters or punctuation. This allows people to spoof other URLs and use it to fool users and steal their banking information for instance. The other criticism is whether people really need them. The argument (which until recently I agreed with) is that everyone in the world reads ascii and can't people...

.Pro problems »

As people have reported widely, there has been a great deal of abuse of .Pro. .Pro was supposed to be a top level domain dedicated to creating a credentialed area for verified professionals and profession related domain names. People have been registering obviously unrelated domains and going as far as selling them on eBay. This clearly violates the spirit of the agreement, but it is still unclear whether anyone is technically violating the agreement. ICANN has been criticized for not policing .PRO especially in light of ICANN approving new sponsored top level domains. As Michael Palage pointed out in his...

Yay AfriNIC! »

We just unanimous approved the resolution which makes AfriNIC a fully approved and recognized Regional Internet Registry to provide IP address registration and other services for the Africa service region. This is an important step forward for the African Internet community. Congratulations to everyone involved. Yay!...

.travel »

There have been some severe allegations about foul play inside of ICANN with regards to the .travel sTLD allocation. Staff, counsel and the board have reviewed these allegations and I am convinced that these allegations are unfounded and have just voted in favor of .travel. I have talked to several independent participants who are also puzzled by these allegations but I have asked them to dig around for more facts. I will report back if I find anything, but until there is some third party corroboration of these allegation, I would hope people would stop spreading this rumor as if...

IPv4 address space »

Ray Plzak of ARIN pointed out during the board meeting that 45% of available addresses have been allocated to the RIR's (Regional Internet Registries). There are number of studies about how much longer we have before we run out of addresses. The estimates range from 10 years to 40 years of time left. I'll write more about this later, but IPv6 seems to be moving forward, but the efficient reallocation of addresses and unanticipated technologies such as NATs (Network Address Translation) has taken the pressure off of IPv6 adoption from the "running out of addresses" perspective. However, IPv6 has many...

ICANN Board Governance Committee update »

There has been a great deal of discussion about the Board Governance Committee's draft of the Core Principles and Corporate Governance Guidelines. Section 5(e) says "Having given the chief executive delegated authority, Board members should be careful – individually and collectively – not to undermine it by word or action." The idea behind this is that the board should not be undermining the activity of the CEO after it has delegated a task. As a CEO, I can understand this intention, but I believe that it should be decided operationally and should not be in a guidelines document to be...

ICANN meeting officially begins »

The ICANN meeting in Mar del Plata is just about to officially begin. There will be a webcast of the sessions in the main auditorium. There are some interesting issues on the agenda including DNS Security, Domain Name Hijacking and WSIS. Of course the public discussion and the board meeting should also be interesting. You can find the schedule on the web site.WEBCAST AND REMOTE PARTICIPATION INFORMATION ALL sessions in the main auditorium can be viewed at: http://media.icann.org/ramgen/broadcast/argentina.rm. ALL ccNSO sessions can be viewed at: http://media.icann.org/ramgen/broadcast/ccnso.rm. To send questions to the board of directors or if you have question or...

ICANN? »

In the last post I talked about wanting to break up monopolies and I was accused of being a hypocrite. The accusation was that ICANN was a monopoly. I responded by saying that ICANN is not a monopoly. One of the ideas behind ICANN was to break up the Network Solutions monopoly and encourage competition among registrars and registries. Also, if you want globally-consistent references, you need a root and an administrator of the root. ICANN is a non-profit and the board members do not benefit directly from the ability to regulate the delegation of top level domains (TLDs) and...

Internet to ITU »

Ross Rader writes a passionate response to the ITU "Beyond Internet Governance" paper. This is the struggle/debate that we face today and good for Ross for articulating the position many people have but are either not in a position to say or are not informed enough to say. I would be very interested to hear the ITU's response to Ross....

ICANN board resolutions »

We just finished an ICANN telephone board meeting. The resolutions have been posted to the ICANN web site. The resolutions were posted just a few hours after the meeting completed. Good hustle folks. (People have complained about the delay.) I did not participate in discussions about or vote on the .mobi application because of my relationship with Nokia....

Time for Reformation of the Internet? »

James Seng and Elliot Noss have interesting responses to an anonymous post on Susan Crawford's blog calling for the reformation of the Internet. Read the anonymous post first, then Elliot, then James. They all represent a small view into the diversity of intelligent opinions on the future of the ICANN....

Post ICANN meeting thoughts... »

I'm now at Frankfurt airport waiting for my connection to fly to San Francisco. I slept through most of the 12 hour flight here catching up on my nearly no sleep week in Cape Town. As I've said before, I'll try to pick topics as I get my head around them and blog them, but it feels like I learned more during this one week at the ICANN meeting in Cape Town than I've ever learned in a single week. The scary thing is, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. People who participate in...

Blogging ICANN »

It looks like I have lots to learn and a lot of work ahead of me. I had some discussions with the ICANN staff and board about my blogging and everyone has been very supportive and encouraging. I will try to blog as much as possible. I think the only real constraint that I have will be in areas where I have privileged and confidential information or where we have an odd relationship. For example, since there is an ongoing litigation with Verisign, I won't be blogging about how they suck like I used to. I will try to reset...

ICANN board and committees »

We just finished the board meeting where I was officially appointed to the board of ICANN. In addition, I was appointed to the Audit Committee, the Committee on Reconsideration and the Finance Committee. The Audit committee is "responsible for (1) recommending the selection of external auditors to the Board, (2) receiving, reviewing, and forwarding to the Board the annual financial report of the external auditors, and (3) such other matters as may warrant its attention." The Committee on Reconsideration is "responsible for handling requests for reconsideration of ICANN Board and staff actions. Consisting of five Directors, the Reconsideration Committee has...

The amazing scribes »

The scribes at this ICANN meeting are amazing. They are using steno keyboards to type what people are saying in realtime and it is being projected on a big screen. What is amazing is that they are typing in English, even when the speakers are speaking French. I wish I could pipe the text into the IRC channel. I wonder if there is a way to get the scribe text via jabber or something... UPDATE: Someone noticed that the "jp" macro completes to "Jon Postel" so they can been seen quickly fixing it when the Japanese are speaking. ;-)...

ICANN meeting coverage »

Susan Crawford is providing very good blow by blow coverage of the ICANN meeting on her blog. My apologies for not blogging anything substantive. I'm still doing a lot of listening and don't have enough context make intelligent statements. I'll try to write a summary after the entire meeting. Anyone else blogging ICANN? It would be great if all of the different constituents would blog since ICANN can only be understood by listening to all of the perspectives. Also, as I posted earlier, the meeting is being webcast. There are a bunch of public forum meetings with an open mic...

Cape Town ICANN meeting webcast »

Meetings in the main auditorium at the ICANN meeting in Cape Town, South Africa December 1-5 are being webcast. Right now, the Workshop on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is on. I will be hanging out on #icann on irc.freenode.net when I'm available....

ICANN Strategic Plan 2003-04 to 2006-07 »

The ICANN Staff and President and CEO have recently made a strategic plan available. It's quite complete and probably interesting for anyone interested in ICANN. It's a 70+ page PDF. Any comments or opinions about it would be greatly appreciated....

Ever increasing ignorance »

Sorry about the light blogging. I've started immersing myself in reading and studying ICANN related stuff. I know this is generally true, but the more I study, the more I learn how little I know. Soon I will probably convince myself I know absolutely nothing. OK. It's not THAT bad, but it quite daunting. I hope it gets better by the time I have to go to the first official board meeting. I'm trying very hard to understand as many of the points of view as I can and am still looking for more views and opinions. I do promise...

ICANN and the ITU »

After my blog post about joining ICANN and protecting the Internet from the ITU, I received several essays and arguments about how I didn't understand the ITU. I promise to study the ITU more and enter the dialog with an open mind. The previous post is based on my understanding which is admittedly not first hand maybe a bit shallow. It was based on discussions with people whose opinion I respect highly so I am still fairly convinced that ICANN is better than ITU, but if anyone has anything that they think I should read to understand the ITU and...

Studying to go to ICANN »

Thanks to everyone for a wide range of advice about ICANN. I am trying to understand as many of the perspectives and issues as I can before going to my first meeting in December. I've created a wiki page listing some of the essays and links that people have suggested I read. If you have any other suggestions, please email, comment here or post on my wiki. I will try read everything I can and approach this with an open mind. I am also happy to receive private email with personal opinions....
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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