CIRC ‘suspends’ itself from ICANN
Canada’s internet registrar – The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) – which manages the dot-ca domain space has effectively suspended itself from ICANN. In what seems to be a response to the heavy handed manner in which ICANN works, CIRA issued a open letter to ICANN in which it details issues relating to transparency and accountability that it feels ICANN needs to urgently address. While waiting for these issues to be remedied, CIRA has choosen to
• Suspend its voluntary contribution of funds to ICANN;
• Hold in trust CIRA’s voluntary contributions to ICANN;
• Suspend consideration of any Accountability Framework;
• Decline to host or be a major sponsor of any ICANN event; and
• Cease chairing the ccNSO’s IANA Working Group.
Canada is the 2nd nation to choose to work outside ICANN with the objective of meeting national internet governance goals this year. The other, China, implemented “. . . support for new TLDs (top level domains), written in Chinese, not Roman, characters.” using “. . . Chinese-hosted nameservers independent of ICANN to resolve these addresses”.
The original article announcing this change can be found here. These top level domains effectively only work for users in China and are outside the set of ICANN approved top level domains.
It seems to me that these two situations are only the tip of the iceberg as far as internet governance issues go with ICANN since they represent situations where “the pot has boiled over”. Other issues include the widespread perception indicated by ICANN member nations during this WSIS conference in Tunis in late 2005 that ICANN is US controlled. These nations argued that their interests were better served by moving control of the net to a UN sanctioned body, a proposal that the US effectively sanctioned by shifting “. . . the debate to a new United Nations “Internet Governance Forum” that’s scheduled to meet for the first time next year.”
The fact that China and Canada have choosen to take these very drastic steps does not bode well for ICANN and puts lots of pressure on the organization to come up with some sort of resolution to the major issues being raised by its members. I predicted that ICANN was on the way out and this seems to be yet another blow to that end.