David Rowan, editor of Wired, has written a passionate argument for the replacement and dismissal of ICANN, the global domain registry.
Sorry, internet: it’s time to place your custody in safer hands.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Californian body effectively responsible for all internet domains, is no longer a fit and proper parent. On behalf of all of us who ever use the internet, I call for adoption papers urgently to be drawn up before our collective child is further damaged by a self-regarding body whose arrogance, conflicts of interest, greed and mismanagement would be laughable were ICANN not a monopoly.
For context, from tomorrow onward, businesses (and wealthy individuals) will be able to "bid" (read: pay a $185,000 evaluation fee) for their own custom Top-Level Domains (TLDs).
Although Rowan has kept his argument until the last minute, his article provides invaluable and eye-opening insight into one of the Internet's most prominent governing bodies. Given the apparent extent of various conflicts of interest and anti-competitive allegiances, it's shocking that ICANN has been able to exert its will so freely for so long.
It's difficult to tell if anything will change, but awareness certainly doesn't hurt.