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ICANN Ethical Conflicts Are Worse Than They Seem

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the a-few-bad-apples dept.

The Internet 26

hapworth writes "In light of outgoing ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom's admission that the board is mired in conflicts of interest, another ICANN insider has spoken up to say the ethical issues go way deeper than what Beckstrom pointed to. Beau Brendler, chairman of the North American Internet user advisory committee to ICANN (NARALO), lists ICANN's executive committee members and their individual conflicts, stating that the 'public interest is not well served by a structure and executive leadership that's conflicted by the same industry it's supposed to oversee.' Brendler says the truth about ICANN's 'hundreds' of ethical conflicts has been buried for years and is only starting to come to light because of a 'few rebellious voices.'"

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Cross your fingers... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433017)

Here's hoping for a tell-all expose.

Rob Malda is a twat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433055)

Last night, Rob Malda was spotted in an alley behind a D.C. area gay bar being fucked by a tranny hooker.

Re:Rob Malda is a twat (-1, Flamebait)

pympdaddyc (586298) | about 2 years ago | (#39433153)

So? That means he getting laid, which is more than anyone can say for you coward.

Re:Rob Malda is a twat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433217)

What do you mean? I fucked your dad last night and your mom paid me $500 to do so. I even gave his 2-inch penis a reacharound for free.

Re:Rob Malda is a twat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433271)

Could I watch that shit for a reduced price?

Re:Rob Malda is a twat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433361)

Sure it'll only cost a rimjob. ass might not necessarily be wiped beforehand.

Re:Rob Malda is a twat (-1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39433947)

Too bad you got lost on the way to your little meet and great and ended up in your parents bedroom instead.

The good part ... (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 2 years ago | (#39433223)

The good part is that the members seem to be declaring their conflicts and recusing themselves (sometimes over half of them) rather than participate in decisions when they have a conflict. I wish this were the case with more commissions regulating other industries.

This is characteristic of all government regulation organizations. It's called "regulatory capture". Virtually anyone who has the expertise to regulate an industry developed that expertise by working in the industry - typically in high positions - and being interested in it. So the regulatory boards end up stacked with people with conflicts of interest (even if the boards pay well enough for the members to divest themselves of all current financial ties).

Re:The good part ... (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 2 years ago | (#39433385)

Although you can also get branded as being too non-neutral, which can make it harder to get work in a regulatory agency, or can mark your opinions (fairly or not) as biased by the position of the organization you used to work for. Maybe not directing the agency, since those are mostly political employees, but certainly as a worker bee.

Re:The good part ... (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 years ago | (#39433595)

Except that it was the one CEO that did the declaring, and I didn't see anything about anyone recusing in the article. Did I miss something?

Well I, for one... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433617)

have no industry connections at all. I don't even have any friends. At all.

So, I would be a perfect member of the board.

How do I get started?

Re:The good part ... (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#39434153)

That's often true, but there are a reasonable number of qualified people when it comes to internetworking technology who could serve on such a board, if it didn't take so many business connections and wheeling-and-dealing to get on the board in the first place. Some of the IETF folks, for example, work at national labs or in academia, rather than in industry.

iCANT (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 2 years ago | (#39433259)

I think "Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Trades" has a better ring to it anyway...

TROLL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433407)

rivalry. While my efforts were the project as a fact came into fear the reaper my calling. Now I own agenda - give And, after initial of reality. Keep Lay down paper But it's not a LITE IS STRAINING endless conflict Fortunately, Linux lesson and Of business and was and Michael Smith than a fraction distribution make market share. Red look at the I read the latest become like they Creek, abysmal track of where of open-source. sling, return it to of a solid dose for membership. REPRESENTS THE despite the much organisation, of open-source. EFNet, a-nd apply people playing can corpse turned over 7000 users of that should be and sold in the found out about the to you by Penisbird year contract. ASSOCIATION OF inventing excuses and exciting;

you FAIL it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433567)

andC sugges7ing []

Insider article explaining a little more (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39433687)

I have followed ICANN for a decade and worked for it for three years. I wrote a post on this issue that should give some answers to the questions asked above as well as give some insider insights:

Problem is (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#39433731)

It's hard for me to see how anyone could be knowledgeable enough to be in this sort of oversight role yet not in a position where conflicts of interest could be a problem.

And I'm including members of educational institutions in that statement - not just corporations. They all have vested self interests that will be affected by any decisions made about protocols, net neutrality, DNS... anything.

Re:Problem is (2)

revealingheart (1213834) | about 2 years ago | (#39434231)

There's also the news that ICANN will help cooperate with global domain seizures [] (posted as a /. submission, but didn't make the front page), perhaps being preceded by this [] .

While I'm not sure about handing control of DNS to the UN, leaving such an important and essential resource to a non-democratic organization (and the country that hosts it taking extralegal measures to seize domains) is going to become increasingly untenable, and I wouldn't be surprised if the system fragments -- or is replaced altogether -- this decade.

I'm concerned that vested interests will increasingly attempt to push control of the net's infrastructure (in spite of being counterproductive and harmful), similar to how the world economy was put on the brink in 2008, by those who want more control and power, regardless of harm or cost. That would lead to the net becoming a shadow of what it is -- with self-censorship a norm and not the exception -- and go against the spirit of its foundations being built on common interest and openness. It sounds unlikely now, but considering how far down the domain takedown road we are, not impossible to imagine.

From ICANN's past... (4, Informative)

linuxtelephony (141049) | about 2 years ago | (#39433789)

Remember these? [] [] []

The problems with ICANN go back a long time. The only thing that seems to be new here is that perhaps, finally, more light is being focused on them and more people are finally taking notice. Sadly, I suspect it's too little, too late.

Re:From ICANN's past... (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39436389)

I was just thinking "Hasn't Karl Auerback been trying to get the world to realize this for a decade?" Thanks.

Re:From ICANN's past... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39437657)


Back when they were planning it, ICANN was supposed to have nine board members representing the public, a majority of the board. Then it was six, not a majority. Ooops! Major blunder. Karl was the feistiest of the six.

Then they elminated elected directors entirely, giving the whole thing to "stakeholders" meaning registrars, the copyright lobby, etc., but not the public. As I see it, ICANN Is obviously fatally flawed and has been all along.

Karl's website,, has some good commentary.

The past decades were anti-regulation (5, Insightful)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about 2 years ago | (#39434333)

Greenspan himself said:

"But on Thursday, almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform"

New York Times Link []

Self-regulation was an experiment that failed. Government however is currently under the control of bought politicians. So any attempts to put some effective regulation in place will be halfhearted at best, and subject to constant undermining from the inside. November 2012 hopefully will bring some changes and some sanity restored to government and its regulatory bodies.

“Politicians are like diapers, they both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”

The same reason you don't want an entrenched imperial presidency is the same reason you don't want an entrenched, imperial Congress.

HELP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39436533)

I CAN Not stop creating new TLDs! Moenys feelz 2 good!

Quote of the God Damn Ages (2)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#39436709)

"Public interest is not well served by a structure and executive leadership that's conflicted by the same industry it's supposed to oversee"

America needs to build a large statue and put this on it

Why not just merge... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39437533)

... ICANN, IANA and IETF into one international consortium-style organization, w/ nothing to do w/ things like TLDs and domain names, and move those type of resources down to the RIRs, and let each country deal w/ the RIR that covers it. That way, there will be no reason for any government - US or other - to intervene in the operations of this body, but they can work w/ ARIN, APNIC or whoever is applicable in their case.
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