I'd just like to take this opportunity to be juvenile for a moment and say "fuck you, ICANN". Jon Postel must be turning over in his grave. Interestingly, I haven't heard Vint Cerf comment on it yet. I'd love to know if he supports the plan or thinks it's dubious, but doesn't want to speak ill of his former employer.
So, now we know what the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) is supporting: greed and profit. It's certainly not supporting the Internet community as a whole, especially users. The argument that users will benefit is bogus: all this does is open up the potential for confusion.
The ICANN mission is to:
- Coordinate the allocation and assignment of various names and numbers (DNS, IP, ASN, protocol ports ad parameters).
- Coordinate the operation and evolution of the DNS root name server system.
- Coordinate policy development reasonably and appropriately related to these technical functions
Of all of these, it seems their primary focus is on policy development, but they didn't bother reading the rest of the sentence. Or perhaps they noticed that there's no comma after "reasonably and appropriately", and therefore felt that they could coordinate policy development however they like, so long as the policies are related to the technical functions.
I think there should perhaps be a forth item on the list: restrict growth of the organisation, operating at the smallest possible size that will sustain the technical functions. Sure, they may be technically a non-profit, but they're also living up the "Corporation" part of their name.