ICANNWatch
 
  Inside ICANNWatch  
Submit Story
Home
Lost Password
Preferences
Site Messages
Top 10 Lists
Latest Comments
Search by topic

Our Mission
ICANN for Beginners
About Us
How To Use This Site
ICANNWatch FAQ
Slash Tech Info
Link to Us
Write to Us

  Useful ICANN sites  
  • ICANN itself
  • Bret Fausett's ICANN Blog
  • Internet Governance Project
  • UN Working Group on Internet Governance
  • Karl Auerbach web site
  • Müller-Maguhn home
  • UDRPinfo.com;
  • UDRPlaw.net;
  • CircleID;
  • LatinoamerICANN Project
  • ICB Tollfree News

  •   At Large Membership and Civil Society Participation in ICANN  
  • icannatlarge.com;
  • Noncommercial Users Constituency of ICANN
  • NAIS Project
  • ICANN At Large Study Committee Final Report
  • ICANN (non)Members page
  • ICANN Membership Election site

  • ICANN-Related Reading
    Browse ICANNWatch by Subject

    Ted Byfied
    - ICANN: Defending Our Precious Bodily Fluids
    - Ushering in Banality
    - ICANN! No U CANN't!
    - roving_reporter
    - DNS: A Short History and a Short Future

    David Farber
    - Overcoming ICANN (PFIR statement)

    A. Michael Froomkin
    - When We Say US™, We Mean It!
    - ICANN 2.0: Meet The New Boss
    - Habermas@ discourse.net: Toward a Critical Theory of Cyberspace
    - ICANN and Anti-Trust (with Mark Lemley)
    - Wrong Turn in Cyberspace: Using ICANN to Route Around the APA & the Constitution (html)
    - Form and Substance in Cyberspace
    - ICANN's "Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy"-- Causes and (Partial) Cures

    Milton Mueller
    - Ruling the Root
    - Success by Default: A New Profile of Domain Name Trademark Disputes under ICANN's UDRP
    - Dancing the Quango: ICANN as International Regulatory Regime
    - Goverments and Country Names: ICANN's Transformation into an Intergovernmental Regime
    - Competing DNS Roots: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?
    - Rough Justice: A Statistical Assessment of the UDRP
    - ICANN and Internet Governance

    David Post
    - Governing Cyberspace, or Where is James Madison When We Need Him?
    - The 'Unsettled Paradox': The Internet, the State, and the Consent of the Governed

    Jonathan Weinberg
    - Sitefinder and Internet Governance
    - ICANN, Internet Stability, and New Top Level Domains
    - Geeks and Greeks
    - ICANN and the Problem of Legitimacy

    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)


     
    The Big Picture 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
    posted by tbyfield on Monday January 21 2002, @09:26PM

    The Boston Globe is reporting that AT&T Broadband is forcing upwards of 630,000 users of the mediaone.net domain to pack up and move on to the Fasgrolian domain attbi.com by 15 March. Why? Because "AT&T inherited from MediaOne a legal challenge brought by a Midwestern advertising company that claimed rights to the mediaone.net 'domain name' MediaOne used for e-mail addresses for its cable modem subscribers." What's this got to do with ICANN? Well...



    "Public interest" perspectives have figured in the debates surrounding ICANN mainly in the form of fuzzy claims of moral right. (Don't get me wrong: I'm a vigorous proponent of fuzzy moral-right claims.) But there's nothing fuzzy about 630,000 people being forcibly transplanted in order to protect the "intellectual property" of a Midwestern advertising company. That number is big enough to raise the eyebrows of even the meanest quant a furrow or two.

    This case poses a very clear question, which, to my knowledge, remains entirely unexamined in the foundational debates of ICANN: When does a demonstrably broad public interest outweigh an intellectual property interest?

    What's unique about this case is that the public interest can be quantified. Outbound access for these 630,000 accounts shouldn't be a problem, as long as AT&T Broadband handles the technical transition well (heh...good luck). However, inbound traffic is a different kettle of fish: mail and web requests directed at 630,000 MediaOne users across the U.S. are jeopardized -- that is, are rendered unstable and insecure -- by this legal settlement.

    And the payoff? None. None whatsoever. This Midwestern advertising company is going to need a world-class network infrastructure just to serve up all the SMTP 550 ("User unknown") and HTTP 404 ("Page not found") error messages once this domain is finally transferred. The only thing the domain will be "good for" -- for years, I'd wager -- is serving up porn-banner web pages.

    Granted, the legal case that led to this settlement seems to be shrouded in mystery (the only mentions I know of are the Boston Globe story and the cryptic letter AT&T Broadband sent out to the affected users [this page, scroll down]). But one can only wonder where ICANN was while this legal fiasco was unfolding. After all, staff went out of their way to file an amicus curiae memorandum in Register.com, Inc. v. Verio Inc. case, which mainly involved spam. So why no memorandum in this case, given that the consequences pose a much more serious and direct threat to privacy than whois data? If indeed ICANN is concerned about security and stability, well, here's a real-live case. None of this anti-"populist" hoodoo "about any old terrorist around the globe getting to vote on how to run the DNS"; this is the real McCoy. So where was ICANN?

    The answer seems clear enough. When Verio wanted to use register.com's whois data to spam people, they were jeopardizing ICANN's M.O. of parlaying whois policy into political support from the "intellectual property" taliban; ICANN couldn't risk that, so staff stepped into the court proceedings. But when an "intellectual property" interest smashes head-on into the privacy, security, and addressing stability of 630,000 users, ICANN is silent. Who cares if there are 630,000 of you? Merely admitting the possibility that your 630,000 interests might trump IPR claims could set a "populist" precedent.

    Get the picture?

     
      ICANNWatch Login  
    Nickname:

    Password:

    [ Don't have an account yet? Please create one. It's not required, but as a registered user you can customize the site, post comments with your name, and accumulate reputation points ("karma") that will make your comments more visible. ]

     
      Related Links  
  • good luck
  • [this page, scroll down]
  • amicus curiae memorandum
  • "about any old terrorist around the globe getting to vote on how to run the DNS"
  • reporting
  • Fasgrolian
  •  
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 11 comments | Search Discussion
    Click this button to post a comment to this story
    The options below will change how the comments display
    Threshold:
    Check box to change your default comment view
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
    Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday January 22 2002, @09:32PM (#4707)
    User #2810 Info
    An advertising firm wants and fights hard for mediaone.net? LOL! Remind me not to hire them for any auditory ad campaigns. Errr, was that media1.net or mediawon.net or mediaonenet.com or...?

    Anyway, the WHOIS figures in this in another important respect. If I desire presently registered domain names that may expire, I mine WHOIS looking for *@mediaone.net contacts. After their email starts bouncing there will be a lot of folks unaware their registrations are expiring so their domain names are more likely to subsequently become available than a random sampling.

    With the continuing failure of email providers (EG: @HOME) for any number of reasons, this is a great opportunity for those who snap up expiring names (EG: see my XXX-piring namespace submission). The $napNames/Veri$ign WLS, and SFAICT all other, proposals do nothing to address this issue. We'll see (eventually, one presumes) what ICANN makes of the fuzzy moral-right claims of those having their domain names dropjacked, if I may coin a term. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
  • 3 replies beneath your current threshold.

  • Search ICANNWatch.org:


    Privacy Policy: We will not knowingly give out your personal data -- other than identifying your postings in the way you direct by setting your configuration options -- without a court order. All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by ICANNWatch.Org. This web site was made with Slashcode, a web portal system written in perl. Slashcode is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL license.
    You can syndicate our headlines in .rdf, .rss, or .xml. Domain registration services donated by DomainRegistry.com