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Top Topics: What Motivates You?; Were Four-Letter Domains an Example of Pump and Dump?…

NamePros NamePros: Earlier this week, we published the news that Heritage Auctions acquired the one-word domain Heritage.com. Today, Candace from Starfire Holdings confirmed that they had brokered the deal for Heritage.com. Starfire Holdings, run by Ali Zandi and Kevin Fink, also added the Heritage.com domain to their website under their "notable domain sales"...

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Top Topics: What Motivates You?; Were Four-Letter Domains an Example of Pump and Dump?…

NamePros NamePros: Earlier this week, we published the news that Heritage Auctions acquired the one-word domain Heritage.com. Today, Candace from Starfire Holdings confirmed that they had brokered the deal for Heritage.com. Starfire Holdings, run by Ali Zandi and Kevin Fink, also added the Heritage.com domain to their website under their "notable domain sales"...

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Oh, zero click, when will you be cleaned up?

Domain Name Wire Domain Name Wire: Misleading landers and scams run rampant in zero-click programs. The concept of zero-click domain name parking makes a lot of sense. Rather than sending a domain visitor to a pay-per-click page where they must make two clicks to generate revenue, zero-click forwards unused domain names to other destinations and collects a fee from the advertiser. […]
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Expired domains brought down IBM services

Domain Name Wire Domain Name Wire: Forgetting to pay about thirty bucks leads to critical services going down. For about 24 hours in September, two IBM services associated with IBM Bluemix went down. The cause? Expired domain names. According to an incident report spotted by The Register, global-datacenter.com and global-datacenter.net expired, bringing down Reverse DNS and Global Load Balancing with them. […]
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Domain Shane’s Daily List of Domains at Auction for Friday October 20th, 2017

Domain Shane Domain Shane:
A big thank you to Josh for doing the list yesterday.  I walk a pretty thin line when it comes to my health. It can crash and burn quickly when I am at peak training and work.  At 70 miles a week running and a busy fall season at the nursery, I have the immune system of a recently hatched hummingbird.   If someone coughs my way my throat starts hurting.  I haven’t missed a day of work since 1991 but a couple days a year each year I have a day like a few days ago. Where all you can think about is getting into bed and going to sleep.   There was zero percent chance I could scan 20,000 domains and make this list for 2 hours.  I ended up falling asleep at 7:30.    Just another reason I am thankful to be part of the DSAD team.  Always someone there to help.   I can be sick or spend time with the family and know that everything is going to keep ticking along.
Also, many of you probably saw  MapleTree.com was coming up for expired auction tomorrow.  It was on my “must buy” list for the last few weeks but yesterday it got renewed.   Whois says it was owned by LendingTree which is a great own for them, but surprised they hadn’t renewed it.  Even more surprising is when the domain came back up it lands on Sonus.  Maybe I’m missing something but I see no relation between Sonus and LendingTree.  I don’t believe Lending Tree owns them so not sure what the relationship is.  I just know I wish I owned it.  I did get one of my must own names this week which I may or may not share.but I’m sure somebody is tracking my buys and will see it.  I don’t hide very many of my purchases because I don’t have much to hide. Although I am partners on a lot of domains that people don’t realize.  For instance (since it was public) Braden Pollock and I bought Grassy.com together.   We both thought it was a great name so we decided to buy it.  There have been many more in the past and will be many more in the future.  I like partnerships.  Split the work, split the money .  Here are today’s names, you have to click to see current price. 
Quote of the Day:  “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” — Charlotte Whitton 
Domain of the Day:   HotPilates.com  I love hot yoga so I imagine hot pilates is going to be just as popular
Namejet  and Sedo Names at Auction
LEDSolutions.com    Grow lights are at all time demands. Of course almost all lights have moved to LED , not just grow lights
11W.com  I would be a buyer if I had not have just bought something similar
ESTE.com   “This” in Spanish.   Not sure every knows that but a nice short pronounceable either way
USAID.com     Good everywhere unless you have Latin routes
837.cc  Haven’t seen a NNN.cc up for sale in a while. Should be high but reserve may be too high
TF.cc  Same with this one.  I don’t think I’ve seen a LL.cc sell
LiveTrading.com  Big boy name.  Bitcoin is adding value to all trading names
GEEB.com   Pronounceables and CVCV are hot but I think they get even hotter.  My opinion only.
Salestech.com   1990 Birthday
3620.com    This will meet reserve unless NNNN.coms tumbled in price this week
 
 Godaddy Domains That I Like With Multiple Bids
CreationSoft.com  Sounds like the 1996 domain it is.  Everything was soft back then
CannabisMD.org  There is going to be a whole section of medicine dealing with cannabis . Answer some questions here
MomsWorld.com   We know that Moms run the world
ArmourBeauty.com  Too lazy to see why it leads the bid list.   Doesn’t interest me much either way but maybe you will like it
ActiveGrow.com  Fits into my portfolio well.  Agriculture name
DiscountDiabeticSupplies.com   A little long but the backlinks are getting bids
Subsidizer.com   Definitely not Trump
Batva.com  Means Broker Agent to Verify All information in real estate jargon
SteelExperts.com    Infrastructure is where you want to be in the next 10 years in the US. It’s OLD and will have to be replaced
TripleEnergy.com   Sounds like a drink I would see at a gas station
FHIN.com   Good letters but still under $200
MicroWipe.com  Your hard drive or your ass
TheNewYorkWorld.com   The 23,000 backlinks has this at four figures
AgreementsOnline.com   LegalZoom for online agreements
Kelari.com  Upgrade name for a few entities
259158.com279123.com297123.com321365.com   If you are still buying 6Ns
CrowdFundingSites.com    Directory name but at least its a directory of something hot right now
Godaddy Names With One or No Bids
CyberToad.com Sounds like he is going to help or do some major damage. At $12 at press time
Frametastic.com 821 monthly visitors if you believe GD. 1998 birthday
TheRainFlorist.com No bids but if I were to open a florist this absolutely is what I would call it
WeFixPipes.com Great marketing name for a plumber. Especially in the cold regions of the US where pipes burst all the time
CoinWebsite.com It has coin in it. That should be good for $12
WeStandStrong.org Seems to be the saying right now during tragedy.
DontBullshitMe.com The Internet is certainly full of plenty of bullshit
Scootzy.com Not a bad brand for $12
RightScience.com No bids. Gets traffic, 13 years old. “Doing Science Right”
 
Other Domains With Bids
 
10pc.comainaa.comBedbugsBite.infoBerkeleyAnalytics.comBRr01.combtcev.comCanada-RealEstate.netCreationTheMovie.comdismasofvermont.orgEchoBridgeHe.comFoothillClub.orgForexCamping.comFWorkshop.comGathrfoods.comGetReadyTexas.orgHappyEndingsDogRescue.comIAMGo.comImperOr.netIONWorld.comIslamic-Architecture.infoIstanbulHotelsNet.comJackRobie.comJeffm.comJJFM.netJZKW.netLasVegasTaxPreparation.comLPGN.netMesaSafeStore.comMotion-bg.comMyBitcoinRewards.comNTDM.netNTTH.netPeerFundraising.comredClayjazz.orgRIQK.comRList.comRubbe.comSaleWind.comSassyPup.netSeaBrand.comShopPinGads.comSkyP2P.comSole-Up.comSolutor.comSuburbanApologist.comSuscc.comTherapyDogInfo.netTLIQ.comUconx.comUnlimiteds.comUZOH.comVRHaunt.comWebphunuso.comWQTT.netXLDubai.comZJRZ.net
Have a name at auction and need more exposure? Send me an email. I Charge $10 per name per day. We may be able to help. If you have an auction you want to promote, email us for details.*All names chosen by me, Shane or Josh . (ie you click through and purchase a name you like) or an occasional paid listing. Everything I say is based on my own research or is opinion. Do your own due diligence. That means look it up yourself if you don’t think the stats or my opinion is correct. I hand choose my names but I am paid to make this list by the auction houses, individuals that are auctioning names, and Godaddy affiliate links. Keep that in mind and only buy names that YOU think are good
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CentralNic secures contract to 14 New gTLDs, .sk acquisition has been delayed

OnlineDomain.com OnlineDomain.com: CentralNic has agreed with Germany’s KSregistry GmbH for CentralNic’s wholesale division to provide its services for 14 Top-Level Domain extensions currently managed by Open Registry, which KSregistry acquired from Group NCC in 2017. Under the terms of the deal with KSregistry, CentralNic will increase the number of new Top-Level Domains for which it is the …
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Related Articles:
CentralNic Will Be The Backend For UKCI’s .ART New gTLD
CentralNIC acquires Slovakia’s Top-Level Domain .SK for about €26 million but Slovaks are not happy
CentralNic signs registry service contract with Radix for .website, .press, .host and .space

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About the FY18 Board Activities & Priorities

ICANN Blog ICANN Blog: As we head to attend ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi, I would like, on behalf of my colleagues, to share with you the ICANN Board's activities and priorities for FY18.
Our current Chairman, Steve Crocker, has written a blog about recent changes to the Board's operations and structure, in which he made a reference to this blog as the Board's outlook for the coming year.
Last year, when the Board answered questions about its priorities, people were surprised that the Board was focusing on so many areas. The fact is that the Board has five main areas of responsibilities, which we call "blocks," each of which come with separate demands and priorities.
Within these areas of responsibilities, the Board's substantive activities are most often community-driven. The Board has also identified operational priorities for itself, with associated deliverables, timelines, and measurements within each.
For ease of reading, I have structured this blog into the five blocks that the Board uses to organize and think about its work. Within each block, I describe (a) the main duties of the Board, (b) the FY18 Board activities, and (c) the FY18 Board priorities.
Block 1 - Oversight over Policy Development and Cross Community Initiatives
The duties of the Board under this responsibility include:
Being well informed of the content, priority, and timing of all policies being developed by the community and being ready to approve these policies when submitted to the Board.
Providing timely Board comments to cross-community initiatives.
Responding to Supporting Organization/Advisory Committee (SO/AC) advice on a timely basis.
FY18 Activities
With respect to community-driven activities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on:
European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – The Board is being kept apprised of the discussions relating to the GDPR and the work the ICANN org is undertaking with the community and respective parties to get clarity on the implementation of the GDPR by May 2018. The Board understands the significant challenges the GDPR is presenting to registries, registrars, other ICANN stakeholder groups and ICANN org, and the need to balance the interests of those who use WHOIS (a range of stakeholders, including those from law enforcement, business and intellectual property) and those with privacy concerns. The Board recognizes the impact that the GDPR regulation is likely to have on ICANN's longstanding policies related to WHOIS and is very supportive of the efforts made by ICANN org to engage with Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) and to obtain legal analysis, as part of the effort to ensure clarity on the impact of the GDPR. The Board wishes that all possible efforts to be made to avoid unintended inconsistencies or consequences to our existing framework.
Registration Data Services (RDS) Policy Development Process (PDP) – The Board recognizes the importance of this work and the impact of the ongoing review from the ICANN org and community on the GDPR. The Board is keeping itself well informed of progress and awaits concrete results. The Board is ready to help, provide guidance, and work to resolve impasses as appropriate.
New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP – The Board continues to follow the work being done in this PDP in preparation for reviewing the recommendations that are due in 2018. The Board notes with interest the work being undertaken to arrive at consensus on the use of geographic names as top-level domains.
Curative Rights PDP – The Board awaits with interest the forthcoming final recommendations from the GNSO Curative Rights PDP and the outcome of investigations into the feasibility of providing an ongoing watch service for international governmental organizations concerning registered domains that match their acronyms. The Board stands ready to work with the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) to conclude the community's work relating to the curative rights.
Cross-Community Working Group (CCWG) on Accountability, Workstream 2 (WS2) – The Board is well informed of the progress of the nine WS2 subgroups. As many of you know, the Board has appointed two Board members as liaisons to each subgroup. The role of each liaison is to inform the Board of key issues and to provide the subgroups with timely comments regarding the Board's position on the issues presented to it.
CCWG on Auction Proceeds (AP) – Similar to WS2, the Board has appointed two Board members as liaisons to this working group. The Board is following this work closely to see what objectives the CCWG recommends for the use of the auction proceeds and what structure or mechanism the CCWG recommends to use in the disbursement and oversight of the funds.
FY18 Priorities
With respect to operational priorities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on continuous alignment with and furthering ICANN's mission, in particular:
1.1 – Analysis of Board Actions – The Board wants to ensure that its resolutions are aligned with ICANN's mission. To that end, the Board has recently taken a decision that all future Board resolutions will not only be supported by a clear rationale, but will also contain an analysis of how each resolution aligns with ICANN's Mission.
1.2 – Consultation Paper – The Board is also planning on recommending, as a "best practice," that the SOs, ACs, and CCWGs include a similar analysis in recommendations, policies, and advice submitted to the Board for consideration. The Board intends on issuing a consultation paper on this topic.
Block 2 - ICANN Org Oversight
The duties of the Board under this responsibility include:
Ensuring that community approved policies are implemented in a manner consistent with the adopted policies.
Overseeing the implementation of significant engineering projects undertaken by the ICANN org.
Overseeing that the ICANN org is delivering operational services to the community effectively and efficiently.
FY18 Activities
With respect to community-driven activities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on:
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) – In Abu Dhabi, the Board will consider a resolution to approve an amendment to the Final Implementation Plan for IDN country code top-level domain (ccTLD) Fast Track Process, as proposed in the joint response by the country code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) on string similarity review. The Board appreciates the cooperative effort between the ccNSO and the SSAC in progressing this issue.
Thick WHOIS Consensus Policy – The Board recognizes the impact GDPR could have on the Thick WHOIS implementation and as such, the Board will consider a resolution in Abu Dhabi to defer compliance enforcement of the Thick WHOIS Consensus Policy to allow additional time for the registrars and VeriSign to reach an agreement on the amendments needed to the Registry-Registrar Agreements (RAAs) to implement the Policy.
FY19 ICANN (including PTI) budget – The Board has the responsibility of overseeing the budgeting process and approving the FY19 annual budget of ICANN (including PTI). It is our fiduciary duty to safeguard the financial stability of ICANN, to ensure that the budget is balanced, and that available funding is used both efficiently and effectively to meet the objectives of the entire ICANN community.
Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) – The Board recently approved a critical project to launch the Information Transparency Initiative. The purpose of this initiative, which will take three years to complete, is to develop a centralised governance system for about 104,000 pieces of ICANN documentation (growing at 25-35% per year) in order to make this information transparent, searchable and easily available for both internal and public use.
Key Signing Key (KSK) Roll Over – The Board is working with ICANN org to determine a suitable date when resolvers will be ready for the rollover of the new KSK.
FY18 Priorities
With respect to operational priorities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on improving cost awareness and financial stability, in particular:
2.1 – Budget Ownership – Last year, the leaders of the SOs and ACs approved the introduction of a new cost control mechanism, known as Project Cost Support Team (PCST), to support cross community working groups. The Accountability WS2 co-leaders are a very good example of adopting and successfully using the PCST to help them manage cost. The Board wishes that ICANN (Board, org and community) becomes more financially disciplined, and that decisions to start projects, reviews, and community initiatives must be based on clear needs, priorities, and affordability. The Board will consult with the SOs and ACs on deploying PCST beyond WS2.
2.2 – ICANN Reserve Fund – The Board is concerned about the depletion in the ICANN Reserve Fund as a result of funding the IANA stewardship transition over the past few years, and is encouraging the community to engage on this issue. A consultation paper on the rationale and target level for the ICANN Reserve Fund has been posted for public comments.
Block 3 - Strategic & Forward Thinking
The duties of the Board under this responsibility include:
Monitoring the implementation of the Five Year Strategic Plan.
Being aware of external forces and trends at work and anticipating how they might affect ICANN and the community.
Thinking ahead about any structural or organizational issues and assessing their impact on ICANN.
Ensuring that ICANN org globalization strategy evolves in furtherance to ICANN's mission.
FY18 Activities
With respect to strategic and forward thinking activities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on:
Long Term Financial Planning – The Board recognizes that ICANN's resources are expected to stabilize at their current level over the next five years. The Board is therefore working with the ICANN org in defining a new way of long term financial planning in order to ensure: (a) the financial stability of ICANN, and (b) that ICANN's future activities support the strategic priorities defined by the community, the Board and ICANN org within available resources.
The Next Five Year Strategic Plan – The current strategic plan covers fiscal years 2016 to 2020. We are therefore in the third year of this plan. The Board and the community must soon begin planning for the development of the next strategic plan for fiscal years 2021 to 2025.
Long Term Security and Stability of the Internet's Unique Identifier Systems – The Board is working with the ICANN org in assessing the robustness and vulnerabilities in the DNS software, in assessing the impact of new technologies, in assessing the pressure on the root server system, and in considering ways for tamperproof zone management.
L-Root Strategy – The Board is currently considering various strategies for strengthening the resilience and stability of the L-Root that is operated by ICANN. The Board will seek input from the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) before deciding on the best strategy.
FY18 Priorities
With respect to operational priorities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on:
3.1 - Board Skills Adequacy ¬– The Board is focused on ensuring that it has all of the skillsets needed to serve ICANN. To this end, we are undertaking a "gap analysis" (existing skillset, needed skillset, missing skillset) and, based on the results, we will develop a three-year rolling plan to guide Board member training and inform Board nominating bodies.
Block 4 - Governance, Accountability & Fiduciary duties
The duties of the Board under this responsibility include:
Handling proficiently ICANN's governance and accountability issues.
Discharging its fiduciary (legal and financial) responsibilities.
Monitoring organizational risks and mitigation actions.
Progressing the implementation (and understanding) of the Bylaws.
Improving Board transparency.
FY18 Activities
In FY18, the Board is focusing on progressing many new gTLD applications that are on hold either as a result of gTLD-related issues or due to pending accountability mechanisms, some of which are mentioned below.
.CORP/.HOME/.MAIL – Since this has remained unresolved for some time, the Board will be reviewing this issue closely. In Abu Dhabi, the Board therefore will consider a resolution that requests the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to conduct a thorough and open study, in a timely and organized fashion, that provides adequate opportunity for all parties, including applicants, members of IETF working groups, the GNSO, and other experts, to present data, analysis and points of view, of the risks posed to users and end systems if .CORP, .HOME, .MAIL and other Name Collision Strings were to be delegated in the root.
.WEB – The ICANN org is awaiting additional information from the US Department of Justice's investigation of the .WEB matter before the Board will be asked to proceed.
Pending Accountability Mechanisms
The Board understands that there are new gTLD applications that remain on hold due to pending accountability mechanisms that are in various stages of completion. We have followed progress closely, and will make all efforts to promptly address each issue. Our keen interest in properly addressing all of the accountability mechanism matters was a key factor in our creating the new Board Accountability Mechanism Committee, which will allow for specified Board members to delve deep into the issues and make recommendations to the Board for action. In particular:
Community Priority Evaluation – The Board anticipates that the Community Priority Evaluation process review will be completed in the coming days. Once completed, the Board will be in a position to evaluate and then address the pending reconsideration requests and move forward in evaluating any pending issues that are on hold, pending completion of the review.
Independent Review Processes– We have received the final declarations resulting from Independent Review Process proceedings, which we are in various stages of considering. Below are two that we are currently working on:

.AMAZON – The Board is considering IRP Panel findings. Before making a final decision, the Board will consider a resolution in Abu Dhabi to ask the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) if it has any new or additional information to provide to the Board with respect to the GAC's previous advice regarding .AMAZON, in order to assist the Board in conducting a re-evaluation of the Amazon applications in accordance with the IRP Panel's recommendation.
.PERSIANGULF – The Board is considering the IRP Panel findings on this issue in order to make a final decision in FY18.

FY18 Priorities
With respect to operational priorities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on:
4.1 – Effectiveness of Reviews – The Board is committed to ensuring ICANN's continuous improvement through both organizational and specific reviews. We have identified three areas of challenge with respect to these reviews: timing, scope, and effectiveness. We intend to initiate a community discussion on these topics.
4.2 – Openness and Accountability – The Board is focused on improving openness and accountability. To that end, the Board:
Has approved a new communications plan that aims at keeping the community better informed of Board activities and decisions;
Intends on providing clarity and developing a shared understanding of ICANN's mission; and
Will undertake a 360 review in order for Board members to be able to continue to improve their contributions, and for the Board as a whole to better understand its areas for improvement.
Block 5 – Community Engagement & External Relationships
The duties of the Board under this responsibility include:
Reaching out and being present in the community during the ICANN Public meetings, as well as in between ICANN Public meetings.
Supporting ICANN org in meeting four strategic objectives of:
Serving ICANN's stakeholders effectively so that they participate more actively and meaningfully at ICANN.
Attracting new stakeholders globally to meet the needs of a globalized ICANN
Developing effective relationships with key actors in the global Internet ecosystem, based on an insightful mapping of the roles they play, the dynamic between them, and the type of rapport ICANN wishes to have with each one of them.
Advocating ICANN's mission and its multistakeholder model of governance within the Internet Governance ecosystem.

FY18 Activities
With respect to community-driven activities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on:
Engaging with ICANN's Global Community – Historically, the Board engaged reasonably well with the names community and we will continue to do so, but has not engaged enough with the numbers and protocol communities. In the past year, the Board, individually and collectively, has stepped up its engagement efforts with these communities and the response from them has been positive. The Board will continue on that path. The Board must also ensure that the newly formed Board Technical Committee executes on its charter in such a way as to send the right signals to these communities.
FY18 Priorities
With respect to operational priorities, in FY18 the Board is focusing on improving its interaction with the community and playing an effective role in the Internet Governance ecosystem. In particular:
5.1 – Community Requests – The Board is committed to serving the community as a reliable partner by responding, professionally and systematically, to community requests, using a public response system. The Board plans on introducing an "Action Request Response" (ARR) public system that registers community requests and the Board's responses.
5.2 – Service Satisfaction – The Board will review the findings of community surveys conducted over the past three years to understand whether ICANN (Board and ICANN org) activities actually lead to an overall improvement of service satisfaction within the community.
5.3 – Internet Governance (IG) Ecosystem – The Board recently approved a plan for its participation in the IG ecosystem. The Board wants to ensure that ICANN's participation in the IG ecosystem serves our mission and reflects the commitments and core values specified in the ICANN Bylaws. For ICANN to play an effective part in the IG ecosystem, we must understand the mandates and activities of the many other players in that space, and we must engage in active cooperation with them to the extent it enables us to meet our global public interest commitments. The Board's Working Group on IG, in close coordination with the community, will work to find ways of enhancing community interaction and involvement in IG issues related to ICANNs remit and mission.
Let me close by saying that the Board sincerely hopes that this blog will enable you to get a better understanding of the Board's responsibilities and its FY18 activities and priorities.
The Board looks forward to engaging with you in Abu Dhabi and to answering any questions you may have on this blog.

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About the Board

ICANN Blog ICANN Blog: As I prepare to leave the Board, I want to share a handful of thoughts and actions related to its operation, structure, and future challenges. Cherine Chalaby, our current Vice Chairman, has also written a blog on the Board's activities and priorities in the coming year. We hope that these two blogs will give you some insight to how the Board functions and where it is focusing its attention.
First and foremost, the Board is composed of an amazing set of individuals. We are all fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated set of people working on behalf of not just the ICANN community, but the entire Internet community. Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer, and I are leaving the Board at this upcoming meeting, and Thomas Schneider, GAC chair and liaison to the Board, will be stepping down soon. Sarah Deutsch, Avri Doria, León Sanchez, and Matthew Shears are joining the Board, and they are all are exceptional individuals.
Succession, Alignment of Terms, and Induction
As has already been reported, Cherine will become chair at the end of the upcoming meeting. I have had the pleasure of working with Cherine for seven years, and I have been impressed with his skill and calm handling of complex financial, technical, business, and political matters. He is a man of high integrity with total commitment to ICANN and the Internet community. The Board is in good hands, and is fully organized to support both the community and the ICANN organization.
Over the past few years, we have made several incremental but important changes to our internal operations. In 2014, we realigned the terms of Board members selected by the Supporting Organizations and At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) to begin and end at Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Previously, their terms started six months after the previous AGM. Their selections are still made well in advance of the Nominating Committee's (NomCom) selection process, and as such, the NomCom has the information it needs to maintain the geographic balance of the Board. With the seating now aligned, we have an orderly induction process for incoming Board members and a coordinated system for populating the various Board committees and other assignments.
With respect to induction, incoming Board members are invited to participate as guests in Board meetings, Board retreats and workshops, and Board mailing lists as soon as they are appointed, and we immerse them in a brief but intensive training process. By the time they are seated, they are well acquainted with both the Board's processes and the current set of activities and concerns.
The emphasis on induction of new Board members is all the more important this time because we are facing an unusual gap. Of the fifteen voting members on the new Board (not counting the CEO) four - Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain, George Sadowsky, and Mike Silber - will be serving their third term. The other eleven will be in their first term, and none will be in their second term. In a short while, the newer Board members will be the senior members of the Board, so in addition to carrying out their duties on the current Board, they will also be studying hard to assume leadership positions in the near future.
New Structures – Caucuses, Working Groups, Blocks
Internally, we have developed three relatively recent structures in addition to our long-standing committee structure. These are caucuses, working groups, and blocks.
Caucuses are related to both the emergence of cross community working groups (CCWGs) and the robust activity of the multiple review teams. The Board generally appoints one or two Board members as liaisons to these groups. Internally, we usually create a corresponding caucus. Each caucus is composed of the liaison(s) to the CCWG or review team, the relevant Org members, and other interested Board members. The caucus is the conduit for Board members to be informed about the activities, progress, and issues arising in the CCWG or review team; for identifying issues that need to be brought to the full Board; and for conveying to the liaisons the agreed position of the full Board on these issues. Board liaisons coordinate carefully before they speak in CCWG or review team meetings, so when a liaison speaks, the CCWG or review team should expect that the liaisons are indeed speaking on behalf of the Board. Conversely, a CCWG or review team should not expect to hear anything from the full Board that differs from what they have heard from the liaisons. Of course, we are all human and there will be occasional rough edges and loose ends in these arrangements, so it's always okay to double check, but I'm comfortable saying that our internal communication and coordination has been working quite well.
Working groups (WGs) within the Board are similar to committees but are less formal, usually last for a limited period of time, and are not endowed with formal authority. We currently have a Board-Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) WG that reviews GAC advice and proposes appropriate responses and actions, an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) WG that follows the developments of IDNs, an Internet Governance WG that follows the Internet governance issues in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and elsewhere, a Registration Data Services (RDS) WG that follows the work of the RDS Development WG in the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), and a Trust WG that has been examining how the Board is viewed. Markus Kummer notes that the Board Internet Governance WG and Board-GAC WG are now in good hands with Matthew Shears and Maarten Botterman.
An entirely different sort of structure has also emerged, which is a very helpful way of thinking about the multiple obligations and activities the Board has to follow. Under Cherine's leadership, we have adopted a set of five “blocks.” These are:
Oversight over Policy Development and Cross Community Initiatives
ICANN Org Oversight
Strategic & Forward Thinking
Governance, Accountability & Fiduciary Responsibilities
Community Engagement & External Relationships
We use these labels as a way of making sure we've covered all aspects of ICANN's operation, and we have one person assigned to each of the these blocks to help plan the Board's working sessions during ICANN meetings and retreats.
Committees
With respect to our Committees, there have been two significant developments this past year: the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC) and the Board Technical Committee (BTC). We created the BAMC to handle the fairly heavy load of reconsideration and other judicial-like activities. These functions were previously handled within the Board Governance Committee (BGC). This change is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it is in keeping with theme of the IANA stewardship transition for greater emphasis on transparency and accountability. Second, the change required affirmative approval by the Empowered Community because the Board Governance Committee is covered by a fundamental bylaw. The approval process caused each of the bodies within the Empowered Community to work out its internal processes for exercising its powers under the new bylaws. The approval for the requested change was handled smoothly, and I want to thank everyone who was involved. Chris Disspain will chair the BAMC in addition to becoming vice chair, and Becky Burr will take over as chair of the BGC.
The Board Technical Committee was also created this year. Quite a few of the issues that come before the Board have significant technical depth, and we found ourselves needing to spend more and more time understanding the technical aspects of various projects, proposals, etc. than was possible during sessions with the full Board. Kaveh Ranjbar will be leading the BTC. The BTC will be interacting with the key technical staff in the org, principally Chief Technology Officer David Conrad and his team, as well as Chief Innovation and Information Officer Ashwin Rangan and his team. The BTC will also have extensive interaction with the Technical Experts Group, SSAC, and RSSAC. The creation of the BTC, along with the very substantial increase in technical depth within the org and the creation of the Technical Experts Group, now puts ICANN in a much stronger position to deal with the technical complexities that pervade all aspects of our operation.
Screening
Some of the above changes were made to enable greater efficiency and effectiveness, while others were made for greater transparency and accountability. I expect that the Board will continue to examine its processes and structure and seek further improvements. One topic in the early stages of discussion is the clarification of and possible changes to the screening process for Board members. This has been of particular concern since the IANA stewardship transition because the Board is the fundamental linchpin in ICANN's credibility and legitimacy.
Board members, including liaisons, are chosen by nine different bodies, not counting the selection process for the CEO. The NomCom selects eight directors, each of the three Supporting Organizations selects two directors, the At-Large Community selects one director, and the three Advisory Committees and the Internet Engineering Task Force each select one liaison. In carrying out their duties, all of these members have the same fiduciary, confidentiality, and duty of care obligations. However, because the selection processes are spread out across nine different bodies, the criteria for selection and the screening of appointees varies.
Board members selected by the NomCom undergo a background check for criminal records and other due diligence checks through a process provided by ICANN. The At-Large Community and ASO make use of the same process in their selections. The other groups use their own processes. A question for the community is how stringent the screening should be, and to what extent the screenings should be aligned and consistent. I expect that the Board will soon ask the appointing bodies to consider this question over the next year.
Let me close by again expressing appreciation for the extraordinary experience of serving on the Board. Between serving as SSAC liaison to the Board for five years and then as a director for nine years, I've been in the company of more than seventy Board members. What a group!

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The domain industry divides again over Bitcoin – and it’s getting ugly

Morgan Linton Morgan Linton: Well ever since Rick Schwartz brought up the link between domain names and Bitcoin a small battle has been waging on, and it’s still going. This has led to another discussion that has to do with what people should write about on “domain blogs” and if Bitcoin is fair game or not. I don’t write […]

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