ICA asks ICANN for explanation of .org decision

ICA, the Internet Commerce Association, sent a letter today asking ICANN for an explanation of the .org decision.

ICA says that ICANN’s decision to execute the new .org Registry Agreement despite overwhelming public opposition is greatly concerning to stakeholders and raises serious questions about the so-called “bottom-up multi-stakeholder model”.

ICA has “put the questions into the attached letter to Cyrus Namazi, Vice-President of the Global Domains Division, the group at ICANN responsible for the terms found in the .org Registry Agreement. We aren’t the only ones asking how ICANN is acting in the public interest when it adopts policies nearly universally condemned by those affected by those policies. We look forward to Mr. Namazi’s response.”

It seems that .info, .biz and .asia are not mentioned anywhere. Almost all comments opposed the change in the .info, .biz and .asia registry contracts. Why isn’t ICA asking about these contracts too?

These are the 10 questions from ICA to ICANN’s Cyrus Namazi, Senior Vice President of ICANN ‘s Global Domains Division, that signed the 4 registry agreements:

1. Did the Board of Directors make this decision? And if so, when was the decision made and what materials were brought to the Board’s attention regarding the issues arising from the proposed Registry Agreement, namely the removal of price caps and the imposition of URS?
2. If the Board did not make the decision, who made the decision and when was it made?
3. Does ICANN org consider the imposition of URS to involve a policy matter or an operational matter, or both, and why?
4. If the imposition of URS involves a policy matter, why was URS imposed on .org when it is currently the subject of deliberations by the RPM Working Group?
5. Does ICANN org consider the removal of price caps on the .org registry to involve substantial policy issues of great concern to stakeholders, and if not, why not?
6. If ICANN considers the removal of price caps on the .org registry to involve substantial policy issue of great concern to stakeholders, why did it not seek stakeholder input prior to negotiating the renewed Registry Agreement?
7. Does ICANN org agree that the removal of price caps in the renewed .org Registry Agreement has potential financial ramifications in the hundreds of millions of dollars for registrants and others?
8. What were the changes to the Proposed Registry Agreement, if any, in response to the over 3200 public Comments in opposition to it?
9. In the future, will ICANN org establish a robust consultative process with stakeholders and seek public comments prior to negotiating renewed Registry Agreements?
10. Was the decision to execute the renewed Registry Agreement the product of the “bottom-up multi-stakeholder model” and if so, how?

This is the ICA statement from 3 days ago when the news first broke out:

“The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) is profoundly disturbed by ICANN’s decision to remove price caps on .org domain names despite the groundswell of opposition from stakeholders.

On June 30, 2019, ICANN advised that it had executed a renewal agreement with Public Interest Registry and the renewal agreement. This was despite a nearly unprecedented public outcry from stakeholders and from .org registrants in particular, where over 3200 public comments were submitted to ICANN. The outcry came from registrants, nonprofits, community leaders, academics, charities, religious groups, community organizations, and many others. Apparently the ICANN Board allowed ICANN Staff to proceed to execute the renewal agreement without any concern over registrant interests, despite the ICA bringing this issue directly to its attention. The decision to ignore ICANN stakeholders in apparent total disregard for its self-professed “bottom-up multi-stakeholder model” is of great concern and calls into question ICANN’s ability to govern the domain name system in the public interest.”


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. I can’t believe the unmitigated effrontery of this ICA asking for a thing like that.

    ICANN already explained their reasoning before they did it. They have to have all contracts match. It’s inhuman to expect an organization to be capable of having more than one type of contract, let alone wanting to. Second, it represents maturity, maturation, a recognition of the maturation of the legacy TLDs and the Internet in general. A child can see how the only mature thing to do now is abandon all notion of public trust and all notion of expenditure and investment of time, money and life in reliance upon outdated immature principles in favor of embracing maturity.

    Even a cave dweller could see the virtue in what ICANN has done, so they should cool their jets and knock it off. Time to let oligarchy and plutocracy and good old fashioned corporatism benefit the world as it should.

  2. Domain Registrant

    Thank you ICA!

  3. Okay so I just actually took a closer look at this blog post.

    “9. In the future, will ICANN org establish a robust consultative process with stakeholders and seek public comments prior to negotiating renewed Registry Agreements?”

    This is great, I applaud this effort, you name it. However, point #9 sure caught my attention. As I have already mentioned elsewhere, there is a time to recognize when parties have no desire or intention of acting “in good faith,” and that time is now. Anyone who thinks otherwise on this is deluding themselves. They’ve made it crystal clear to even the most non-digitally connected resident of North Sentinel Island. There will be no good faith reasoning, and your only expectation is the opposite. If you allow yourselves to be fooled into thinking otherwise we can only expect even worse.

    So what are you doing with a question like that? Do you really mean it? Are you just trying to make a point, perhaps a little implied public shaming? Did they not already receive comments? Was it simply not “robust” enough? If it had been “robust” do you think the reality would be any different now? Even if they did something later to make it appear more “robust,” do you honestly believe there would be any good faith involved still?

    I’d guess probably none of you who are part of this project have ever had to personally deal with the kind and extent of official corruption and evil I have in my lifetime. You may be accomplished and respected professionals and so forth, but try to realize the extent of what you are dealing with if you do not – especially the next time any promise or conciliatory statement is made or any semblance of something is implemented. They have already shown their true colors, and you will only be a laughing stock to them if you let yourself be fooled again.

    Hopefully some realize this already, but without being privy to everything people are thinking at the ICA it does seem necessary to say.

  4. Down with icann. Total racket and completely nonsensical organization. Time for it to have a firm regulator that oversees it. (like, perhaps, the united states government!)

    • “Total racket and completely nonsensical organization. Time for it to have a firm regulator that oversees it. (like, perhaps, the united states government!”

      Exactly, and I have mentioned the “transition” too. Despite all the corruption and evil we have going on here in the US, nonetheless it is as certain as a virtual certainty can be that despite everything this development with ICANN could absolutely never have happened were it not for the foolish, naive and misguided transition of letting it become this private cabal free to sell itself to any bidder it wants, and accountable to no one and to nothing. It wasn’t broke, and didn’t need fixing; and just as with this current horror show now, the “justification” for this catastrophic untethering of ICANN from the birthplace of the Internet was a rubbish pretense and sham.

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