Next week Yours Truly will be attending ICANN 43 in Costa Rica. As an Internet regulation geek I have always been interested in ICANN, how a vast Internet governance edifice has been built, how it is maintained, and the politics that seem to run deep all around me. There have already been some meetings here and judging by the Twitter chatter and the tone in the blogs, something big is happening, but I will have to learn to navigate the daunting array of acronyms and the Byzantine structure to fully understand what is happening.
This is an important time for Internet governance, while the new TLDs add an even more complicated layer to ICANN’s work, I am hoping to hear what people make of the sudden use of domain name seizures by US authorities as a means to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction. To me one of the biggest stories of recent months was the take-down of Bodog.com, a Canadian online gambling site (and subsequent arrest of its owner). Internet gambling is illegal in the US, but legal in many other countries, so the questions have been raised by the action, particularly because the domain was registered by a Canadian company.
So get ready for some dispatches from the governance front.