Governments, New TLDs, WHOIS, XXX, Clinton and Porn Stars

I’ll be heading off to San Francisco tomorrow morning to attend ICANN 40.

Unless you’re an internet policy “geek” it’s pretty hard to get people excited about an ICANN meeting.

This time round, however, it looks like it could be pretty exciting and might even turn into a bit of a media circus.

Former US president Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak at the gala event on Wednesday night. I suspect that means lots of media and security…

Governments have been taking a much more active role in the internet industry and ICANN is no exception. A two day meeting between the government reps (aka GAC) and the ICANN board in Brussels ended up becoming a 3 day event and judging by the last few emails I’ve received ICANN 40′s timetable is being turned upside down to facilitate even more meetings between the two groups. Under normal circumstances the ICANN board meet with the various stakeholder groups on the Tuesday. This won’t be happening next week. Instead the board will be spending all day Tuesday in a meeting with the GAC.

WHOIS is always a “fun” topic. While many people might have wished that the topic would pack its bags and go off and die somewhere quietly, it’s back on the agenda again next week. The WHOIS Policy Review Team are in town to meet with people and discuss one of the stickier topics, while Knujon are set to release another report lambasting WHOIS privacy and proxy services as being “shelters” for criminal activity.

XXX is still a bit “up in the air”, so ICM Registry will be in town to put pressure on ICANN to give the final green light.

Of course this is where the porn stars come in. Seemingly some in the adult entertainment industry are working on some kind of public protest at the meeting.

I’m not sure how the US Secret Service will react to all that ..

So what about Blacknight?

As Ireland’s only ICANN accredited registrar I’ve been attending ICANN meetings on and off for the last 4 years. This time round I’ll be chairing a couple of policy meetings and also be on a panel with a load of country code managers to discuss the problems surrounding DNSSEC ..

It should be a colourful week!