US Government Opposes Launch of New gTLD Program in Cartagena

by Rod Beckstrom on December 2, 2010

We appreciate the many comments received so far on the draft Applicant Guidebook in its five full versions. We thank the community and all who contributed for their engagement, thoughts and opinions during the course of this process.

One of the most recent comments we have received is a letter today from the US Department of Commerce (DoC).

ICANN’s success and legitimacy derive from the multistakeholder model, the basis on which new gTLD policy was developed. The policy process decision to undertake this program was approved by the GNSO Council in 2007 and adopted by ICANN’s board of directors in 2008.

In the Affirmation of Commitments, the US government and ICANN reconfirmed our mutual commitment to the multistakeholder model. ICANN confirmed our commitment to solicit public comment and to hear all voices.

As with all contributions, ICANN will give DoC’s comments careful consideration as part of the implementation of the GNSO policy.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

George Kirikos 12.02.10 at 4:27 pm

I hope this is not mere lip service, and that ICANN will actually listen to the concerns of stakeholders like myself. The vast majority of the public, as demonstrated in the comments, opposes unlimited (or more than a handful of) new TLDs in general, and certainly opposes the specific plan put forth by ICANN that rewards insiders at the expense of the broader public.

It’s time for ICANN to reboot, and ensure that the benefits of any plan exceed the costs. This doesn’t mean using paid economists as a tool to justify a predetermined decision (i.e. the same economic consulting firm is being used over and over again, rather than seeking peer reviewed quality work from truly independent sources, e.g. those chosen by the NTIA , etc.). If the costs exceed the benefits, then the plan needs to be rejected. Also, if a *better* plan exists, one that serves the public instead of ICANN insiders (e.g. through tenders at lowest cost to the consumer, as the DOJ suggested 2 years ago, etc., or our “Ascended TLDs” proposal which used the concept of “easements” to allow for an orderly process that protects existing property rights), it should be chosen, rather than one that simply maximizes revenues for ICANN.

ICANN should actually *read* the original comments submitted by many thoughtful stakeholders (not the staff-provided summaries). They’re clearly overwhelmingly opposed to ICANN’s plans, so it’s time for ICANN to finally listen to those concerns.

fred krueger 12.02.10 at 6:02 pm

ICANN should certainly carefully consider the comments of the US government, as well as all world governments, as represented by the GAC (Government Advisory Council).

However, the Internet Name Space clearly demands the oversight of a multi-national, multi-stakeholder regulatory body — and that body, and not the department of commerce of a specific sovereign nation — should ultimately dictate the ground rules of the world wide web.

At stake is innovation and technology itself. The decision to move forward with the new gTLD program was hardly made in haste, and truly represents the best thinking of the overall Internet Community — multiple nations, multiple types of stakeholders, commercial and non-commercial interests working for the last 3 years to develop a set of rules that everyone can live by.

George Kirikos 12.02.10 at 6:20 pm

Obviously Mr. Krueger has bet heavily on new TLDs (main shareholder of Top Level Domain Holdings), and is hardly an objective observer as to suggesting this “represents the best thinking of the overall Internet Community.”

It takes very little research to realize that most proponents of new TLDs are similarly conflicted, and are not “independent voices” representative of the “Internet Community.” The independent consumers, business and the general public are overwhelmingly opposed to ICANN’s plans, though. Tim Berners-Lee wrote against new TLDs, for example, and his prescient paper (search for “new top level domains considered harmful” in Google) and analysis was dismissed by ICANN. It’s been several years since that paper, and the analysis by Tim Berners-Lee and opponents of new TLDs have been proven correct.

It’s time for ICANN to listen to them, rather than to the “ICANN insiders.” Clearly the NTIA/DOC/DOJ have the final say, and I respect their independence.

RKB 12.02.10 at 6:27 pm


Domain registrants were encouraged by your statements before you became ICANN president, but there is nothing that you can show that you did to help the internet or domain registrants.

Perhaps it’s about time that incompetent ICANN is replaced by another competent body that takes care of the domain registrants and not just cut shady deals so that ICANN can make more money all the time.

ICANN is a DISGRACE and needs to be BANNED.

This should be ICANN’s mission statement:
We solely exist to screw up the domain registrants.
Our mission is to bite the hand that feeds us.
We are 100% committed to let Verisign hijack the .com registry and charge outrageous fees.
We hate open competition, that’s why we let verisign continue screw up the domain registrants.
We like money and we can’t have enough of it even if it means that our actions will break-up the internet in to 100s of separate internets.

Please either help the internet get better/secure and lower the fees for the domain registrants or resign from your post. Entire seniors ICANN management should resign before it does more damage and screw up the domain registrants further.

I may be wrong but I firmly believe that ICANN is a DISGRACE.


throwink 12.02.10 at 8:15 pm

What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what youre trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say.

Bobo 12.02.10 at 9:04 pm

It’s time for ICANN to shut its doors and hand control over to an organization that has the Internet community’s interests at heart instead of its own and Mr. Beckstrom’s.

Domaine 12.03.10 at 12:23 am


–> Sad but true. Icann IS corrupted.

Theo 12.03.10 at 5:53 am

Time for the UN to take over ICANN.. oh wait… silly me.

ICANN might not be perfect but it is prolly one of our best options for now. Cept they should stick to the mission and not flood the market with new gTLD’s .

RKB 12.03.10 at 7:38 am

Most of ICANN’s actions/decisions indicate that it is greatly controlled by the profit hungry big corporations. Thats the reason that ICANN is introducing 1000s of new TLDs (which no one truly needs) and thats the reason dot-com domain registrants are paying over $8/domain registered/renewed instead of $2 to $3 per domain registered if ICANN had allowed open bidding for dot-com registry and not cut a shady deal with verisign.

ICANN has destroyed the internet as we know it and sooner ICANN is dismantled and replaced by another honest organization, the better it is for all stakeholders including almost 200 million domain registrants worldwide. Domain registrants feed ICANN by paying ICANN fees for every domain they purchase and ICANN has continuously hurt all domain registrants by letting the registries increase fees as and when they want.

How the billions of people living in many poor countries are supposed to afford buying a domain at $8/domain/year? It is ok if you are in the US but think about other nations. ICANN’s actions are crushing aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere.

Btw, ICANN’s shady deal with verisign is still challenged in the court and when the decision comes, I hope ICANN then get sued for damages to domain registrants worth 100s of millions due to these dot-com price increases for last few years.

ICANN please get out of bed of the big corporations, put the dot-com contract for open bidding. ICANN acts like it exists to protect the big corporations and ignore the consumers/registrants.

ICANN needs to be replaced by another agency that actully cares about domain registrants and consumers. It’s about time.

ICANN please post the salaries of your entire organization and senior management………that alone should tell the world what you are up to.

Thank you for listening.

RKB 12.03.10 at 9:03 am

DOC/DOJ should investigate ICANN, ICANN salaries, it’s inner working processes, and registry awards etc.

This is necessary to promote open competition so that no shady deal is ever done (such as dot-com registry award to verisign without open bidding) and in order to restore public/consumer trust in the whole process.

200 million domain registrants should not suffer at the hands of ICANN due to un-necessary price increases by registries that ICANN has turned a blind eye to?

If DOC/DOJ don’t do something soon to control/replace ICANN then every country in the world will come up with their own walled internet and the internet as we know today will get destroyed forever.
It has already starting to happen somewhat due to incompetence of ICANN.

Registrar/Registry separation is another huge issue.

ICANN is NOT transparent, it has complete disregard for moral and ethical values, it has consistently worked for big corporations and special interests agenda and against the consumers and domain registrants.

ICANN should change its name to ICANN’ T, because it has failed misrabely in fulfilling its obligations to consumers and domain registrants. Every thing it does appears to make more money and bigger salaries for it.

Why does ICANN charge ICANN fee for every domain registered/renewed when it keeps working against domain registrants. It is like paying ICANN to hurt us all domain registrants.

If DOC/DOJ find it difficult to control ICANN, then may be they should consider moving the DNS under the control of UN under a new more accountable and more transparent organization that protects consumers and domain registrants.

We can NOT take it any more and keep quiet.

ICANN, please change your ways.

Jim Fleming 12.04.10 at 3:48 am

Since 1998 ICANN has not been able to acheive SUB-One-Dollar .COM Registry costs.

How many Billion dollars does the .COM Registry contractor have in the bank ?

How many Million dollars does ICANN have in the bank ?

Why would people pay ICANN $185,000 for a TLD ?

.S.C.U.B.A. DNS Automatically selects Trending TLDs

D 12.04.10 at 8:20 pm

It is easy to complain and blame ICANN given the difficulty of its task and the impossibility of satisfying all constituents.

The most important part of the new gTLD program is allowing for the internationalization of .COM so that speakers of all languages have access in their native tongue to the most popular TLD in the world — an internationalized .COM.

JonnyBraVo 04.27.12 at 11:23 am

D (whoever you are) – you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about – anybody is free to register a .com IDN and has been free for the past 10 years
The new gTLD simply sucks and will damage the Internet irreversibility (maybe that’s the plan)

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