Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

Name: B Lambert
Date: 25 May 2023
Other Comments

Thank You for the opportunity to comment. 

ICANN and Verisign (VeriSign, Inc) are enmeshed in a collusive and toxic relationship. Please examine three weaknesses: 1) the no-bid monopoly: it is inherently wrong, 2) poor preparation for every contingency (we must develop redundancy backup operators), 3) failure to ease global accessibility and localization gaps and not building wider understanding of the IDN system.


Verisign is interested in harvesting windfall revenues from their no-bid profitable monopolist position so as to "make hay while the sun shines" as one day, surely, their gravy train will grind to a halt. This contract should be offered for open public tender. It is unjustified to allow price rises. Regulators should probe into this non-competitive pricing structure. ICANN itself, introducing this Proposed Renewal, notes that "Registries, like other businesses, must comply with the local laws and processes in the jurisdictions in which they offer services." Some jurisdictions must question the insufficient justifications of this extraordinary no-bid monopoly contract. Will Verisign and ICANN comply with true regulatory efforts, and not simply struggle to maintain the Verisign stranglehold on the public trust designating Verisign the sole registry for .net and .com ?


The present system is anti-competitive & lacks true stability: there is no effort being made to designate any alternative suppliers or reserve contractors. Realistic contingency planning by ICANN should have multiple redundant back-up operators poised to potentially takeover the contract in the event of disaster. This could be a technical failing or another failure in a different form (corporate culture, etc).


Poor public education is a further reason to criticize the performance of Verisign. The so-called International Domain Name (IDN) system has been largely stagnant since both ICANN and Verisign bungled the launch of non-ASCII localized domain names. Worldwide use of native scripts as text for online communications has greatly developed, but not the domain system. The "IDN" designation itself is open to ridicule -- rooted in an Anglo-American model where other local texts are "international" or foreign... (it's similar to the more subtle dimensions of racism & whitewashing, where only certain people were labeled "colored"). In any case, Verisign has spent far-too-little of its huge windfall revenues on expanding localization of domain names. Shame! 


Verisign should not be allowed to raise prices and withdraw more windfall profits. Can we look forward and expect improvement? Probably not. VeriSign Inc. should be put on notice of intent to cancel no-bid contracts.

Summary of Submission

Summary Position of this Comment: STRONG OPPOSITION ICANN and Verisign (VeriSign, Inc) are enmeshed in a collusive and toxic relationship. Please examine three weaknesses: 1) the no-bid monopoly: is inherently wrong & indefensible, 2) poor preparation for every contingency (we must develop redundancy backup operators), 3) failure to ease global accessibility and localization gaps and not building wider understanding of the IDN system. Verisign should not be allowed to raise prices and withdraw more windfall profits. VeriSign Inc. should be put on notice of intent to cancel no-bid contracts.