TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Showdown with USA Over Internet Control

Re: Showdown with USA Over Internet Control
25 Nov 2005 05:00:30 GMT

In article <>,
TELECOM Digest Editor wrote:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: ICANN _does_ deal with the DNS Roots
> and the top level domains, but part of that dealing includes the fact
> that _all registrars_ must go through ICANN and are forced to require
> of all web sites that they sign a contract turning final control of
> their web sites over to ICANN. You, as a web site owner must agree
> that ICANN's word is final and that disputes are to be settled by
> an arbitrator ICANN chooses.


I'm afraid you're overstating things a bit.

ICANN's arbitration authority is over the domain name. Period. It
has nothing to do with the content hosted at any site. They have
no control over any website (other than their own), simply the
name by which it's referenced.

> I would suggest that as soon as it is administratively convenient to
> do so, they begin amending their contracts which all of us have to
> sign firmly denouncing and repudiating spam/scam/phishing and all that
> stuff.

90% (or more) of the sort of email you are referring to originates
from virus infected home computers or compromised servers. You can
blow all the hot air and pass all the legislation you want, but
there's not a lot that it will accomplish regarding stopping it.

And the phishing sites that the mails connect you to, and that collect
the information, are typically unauthorized processes running on
similarly infected or compromised systems. Or sites running on hosting
company servers that typically only last a day or so before their
nature is discovered and they're shut down.

You might as well ask ICANN to outlaw computer viruses. It's
essentially the same thing, and would be about as effective.

John Meissen

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I would not ask, nor expect them to
'outlaw' viruses or spam. I would ask them to specify plainly with
no hesitation where they stand on that stuff, and at least attempt
to punish those sites where spam/scam/phishing seem to be the
total reason for their existence. Just as they now do not hesitate
to kill those domain names which may or do violate laws on trademarks
(for example ICANN will close your site in a minute if you assume a
name which is intended to capitalize (or make money) from a 'recognized'
business (just try for example to start a site called
'' or '' or such. (Note my obvious
typing errors; that is how a scammer intending to confuse people into
giving money might do it. Believe me you, if those somehow slipped
past the registar and Red Cross or Disney complained to ICANN about
it, those names would be gone, instanter.

My favorite real life example was the black lady who started a social
issues web site to discuss the accomplishments of black Americans. Her
mistake was in taking the domain name African-Americans on Line or She meant well by it, but when found out about it
she was dead meat. (The real) could not get her to change
_her_ name so they went to ICANN, got her placed in arbitration and
let ICANN do her in instead. She woke up one day and found her domain
name missing from root. She appealed to her ISP, which passed the buck
to the registrar, which in turn bucked it up the line to ICANN; they
told her flat out that (anything)AOL or AOL(anything) was reserved,
could not be used, etc, and that ended the discussion. I am only
suggesting that ICANN should take that firm stance with 'certain'
sites and after due dilegence and investigation 'excommunicate' those
guys in the same way. And if the ISP, who is the closest to the action
won't purge itself of that nuisance, then dump him also. Let it work
its way down from ICANN through the registrar level to the ISP, and
so on. If ICANN started making a lot of noise on the problems of the
net these days -- really raising hell Mother Jones style -- it _would_
make a difference. All be gone today, tomorrow, or next week or next
year?; probably not. But if ISPs (the closest ones to the action as we
know) understood with no doubt in their mind that their own status
was in jeopardy if they permitted that customer to remain on board,
things would be begin to change radically.

It would be a lot like now, where individual netters decide to cut
off entire blocks of IP numbers pissing off a large number of users
in order to pressure someone down the line to sacrifice some nuisance
on their system, but unlike now, where the pissed off users (coming
from either direction) simply route around the troubled spot, it
would carry a lot more weight if ICANN went down the line and started
blitzing one ISP after another until they all woke up, and did so with
the legal authority of those contracts they are so fond of making us
all sign. And if the ISP closest to the action stalled or would not
cooperate, then maybe we need to decide what to do about you as the
_registrar_ and find someone who can obey rules instead.

But ICANN is _not about_ to amend their contracts, now or in the
future, to either pronounce spam/scam to be a scourge or take any
action against it. That would be contrary to what Vint Cerf and
Esther Dyson envision the net to be. PAT]

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