back to article ICANN further implicated in .Africa controversy

Staff at domain-name overseer ICANN repeatedly rejected independent expert advice to ensure the .africa top-level domain was won by their preferred applicant – and then tried to hide their influence by censoring the results of an independent inquiry into the affair. That is the latest revelation from our investigation into …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still want to know...

    What enforcement capability does ICANN have? What keeps us from telling them to roll their corrupt rules up tight and go sit on them?

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the lying liars lied about lying about lying?

    Or have I dropped a layer of the bullshit onion?

    (for a logic puzzle just need to add a guard who always answers truthfully, though good luck finding him in ICANN)

    Thanks to Kieren for all these articles - obviously a lot more work than reheating press releases or cherry-picking climate stories but also makes for much more compelling El Reg reading

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Politics as usual?

    Where's the money or what favors were exchanged? There's more to this just merely "preferring" one applicant over the other.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politics as usual?

      The 'preferred' applicant was a voting member of one of the committees that voted on both applications.

  5. VeganVegan

    My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

    Are there corresponding .asia, .americas (or should that be .namerica, .samerica), .europe, .antarctica domains? (Australia is the obvious exception, due to historical, geopolitical happenstance).

    And, if these do exist, who uses them?

    Just curious.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

      You have a point. Certainly the general idea of these .name domains is suspect, but if we're going to accept them perhaps Africa is a special case. I have a feeling that the beleaguered continent could benefit from a sense of unity that such a thing may provide, all be it likely to a small extent.

    2. Vincent Ballard

      Re: My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

      There's a .eu, which is used by some people other than the EU institutions.

    3. IT veteran

      Re: My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

      Er yes, there are a .asia and a .eu. No .americas as yet, and Antarctica doesn't have a permanent human population (Penguins don't use computers, not even Linux :)). Australia is probably covered by .beer (although New Zealanders have .kiwi).

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

      1. Graham Marsden

        Re: My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

        Paging Lady Mondegreen...

        1. Evanst

          Re: My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

          Africa cares about this domain, when it was first introduced to the ICANN public it represented a very real purpose, a glimmer of hope for Africa’s identity online, however somewhere along the line things got messed up as Kieren’s article exposed all.

          Without the IRP probably these gory details of the mess would not have surfaced.

          It could take longer to delegate .africa and this is dependent on ICANN’s admittance of wrong.

  6. jamesb2147

    I wish more commentards were interested in this

    I wonder when it will get sorted out... I suspect when ICANN picks the wrong side and ends up getting hammered by a Cisco or USG.

    Apparently our fellow commentards don't care as much as we do. The optimist in me says that maybe the people who do care are busy changing things instead of being commentards. Hope springs eternal.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: I wish more commentards were interested in this

      As someone who cares about Africa, and Africa on the internet, I agree.

      "Apparently our fellow commentards don't care as much as we do."

      What "we" are you talking about?

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I wish more commentards were interested in this

      Apparently our fellow commentards don't care as much as we do.

      I'm not sure what you mean.. about the domain or the antics of ICANN. Domains are pretty much meaningless in the overall scheme of things unless you're buying one or own one or will profit from the buying and selling of them. And then there's cybersquatters and the way domains being used and abused.

      However, the ICANN show is a different can of worms. Corruption on top of a no accountability.. decisions made in the back room. These are the ethics issues and need to be addressed or ICANN needs to go away. FWIW, the UN's WIPO running things probably wouldn't be any better.

  7. Yes Me Silver badge

    All so predictable

    The gory details weren't predictable, of course, but ICANN richly deserves every moment of stress and annoyance that this causes them. Opening up the gTLD space was known to be madness from the start; warnings not to do so have been ignored over the last 15 years; and now the madness is coming home to roost. .africa, .market both in the news today, .sucks recently, and so on. "Here be dragons" we told them, and now they know what we meant. Only the lawyers are happy.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: All so predictable

      "Only the lawyers are happy."

      Is it any surprise that

      1: The former chair of ICANN is an intellectual property lawyer

      2: He was caught doing the kind of thing ICANN has been caught doing in previous organisations he was part of.

      3: He's now on the staff of a registry in Singapore.

      4: It was under his chairmanship that ICANN changed its policy, rolled out plans for hundred of new top level domains and steamrollered those TLDs over existing ones operated by alternate root servers. (Anticompetitive behaviour, etc)

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    ICANN has gone rogue

    It is blindingly obvious that the institution that is ICANN is no longer trustworthy and is being managed much more like mafia than like a proper institution.

    Every employee should be sacked and have criminal charges brought against them.

    Every board member should immediately be arrested and put in jail for subversion, blatant backroom dealing and collusion with intent, and forbidden to ever sit on a board or position of responsibility again.

    The US government is obviously incapable of bringing this situation to order, probably more interested with hoovering up the entire world's communications than dusting its own porch. Something will have to be done about that, and at this point, I'm feeling that the UN is the perfect place to put a new ICANN - decisions might take years, but they will be public at every step of the process, the mirror of what we have now.

    I am sick and tired of this rigmarole. It is time for the curtain to come down on this farce that is ICANN and put some honest people in charge.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: ICANN has gone rogue

      "Every employee should be sacked and have criminal charges brought against them."

      What, you mean like:

      "What are you in prison for, Bob?"

      "Oh, I cleaned the ICANN building out in Los Angeles."

      "What? You bastard! I'm only in for armed robbery."

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: ICANN has gone rogue

        "Oh, I cleaned the ICANN building out in Los Angeles."

        Had he done his job properly, we wouldn't have had this mess.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: ICANN has gone rogue

        1: What ICANN _actually_ does could and should be handled by a staff or 20 or less

        2: The rot inside the organisation goes back at least 16 years but flowered under and was nurtured by the former chair.

    2. Jean-Pierre

      Re: ICANN has gone rogue

      If this was a government process, a severe discipline will happen

      Looks like the decision to the end is stage managed by ICANN via the redaction process.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    FFS, it's Africa!

    If you want to know what really happened, follow the money.

    Somewhere there'll be a series of large bribes........ there always is.

    1. Evanst

      Re: FFS, it's Africa!

      How do you discuss a 70 page document in an emergency Board meeting? Someone is paid. Chairman I believe, someone needs to follow the money.

      ICANN/AUC/ZACR collusion is damning, complete disconnect on .Africa case and rulebook is totally unacceptable.

      This looks like a winding FIFA repeat.

  10. David Roberts Silver badge

    I'm hearing only bad news


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