...any new TLDs will likely be restricted to groups so that we can all avoid the conflicts that have appeared with .info & .biz. That's the line that ICANN seems to be spinning, but it doesn't necessarily follow for a number of reasons. First, .biz and .info are just two ways of doing it, surely there are other models and methods that could/should be tried. Second, .biz and .info were restricted in some ways, and continue to be in others. Third, using sunrise and using a lottery were problematic from the get-go, it isn't surprising to some that they were/are beset by problems. ICANN, or at least Mr. Cerf and Mr. Lynn, would have us believe that they gave open gTLDs their best shot and it didn't work. If the .biz and .info fiascos were ICANN's best shots, this isn't an argument for not allowing more new open gTLDs so much as an argument for allowing someone else to create new open TLDs properly.
ICANN holding a monopoly gifted by the USG means either that that won't happen, or that those opposing the ICANN/USG monopoly will route around it. I don't see the latter happening over this issue alone, but add it up with others past, present, and future, and the rest of the world may well eventually have to build their own sandbox.
If you don't like it, there are plenty of ccTLDs selling domains.Quite so. I've said that ICANN's unwillingness and/or inability to scale the gTLD namespace properly provides an incentive to ccTLDs, both open and restricted, to grow into the vacuum and we are already seeing signs of that. Veri$ign can be called many things, but stupid isn't one of them. They bought .tv and .cc for a reason. Ditto for 'alt roots' or various DNS overlays. Veri$ign has a stake in RealNames, for example, and I suspect that that will increase to complete control real soon now.
ICANN is monopolistic, so is Veri$ign, where their interests overlap they either make deals or fight it out using various methods, often underhanded. Neither party cares one whit for the end-consumer. Where their interests don't overlap or interfere they are left to run free with little control, again benefitting themselves at the end-consumer's expense. This false dichotomy is a great racket for both of them. We are led to believe they keep each other honest, with the USG there as a backup to watch both of them. That is all an illusion. The principal powers in both monopolies continue to make gobs of money, and the USG powers get campaign contributions and maintain, even increase, control of the net. A very cozy relationship that all the talk in the world won't change. -g