Regulatory Capture of ICANN

One of the worst dimensions of internet stability is apparent corruption at the top.

Regulatory capture by the current registry operators of .com and .net (Verisign) and .org (PIR & Ethos Capital)is unsurprising in that billions of dollars are involved without transparent public tenders and open-bid contract. Hugely valuable properties in the public domain are assigned in sweetheart deals.

A recent ICANN staff exercise gathered public comment on proposed .com price increases (and also assorted regressive strictures on domain name owners in favor of governments). It seems the Verisign registry has successfully coopted ICANN staff with a promise of US$20,000,000.

8998 comments were received, hugely against price increase to .com

Comments closed 14 Feb 2020. Here they are (8998 in total):

Did any of the proposed changes attract substantive supporting comments. I think not.

But the agreement is already formulated in principle. Public comment should have been solicited earlier. And our failure to rubber-stamp means nothing.

Ultimately, ICANN staff report to the ICANN Board of Directors, but in consultation with the Board, ICANN staff guide decisions.

"Presumptive renewal" is acting in restraint of trade.
I checked which so-called "independent" blog authors and domain authorities commented against the price hikes. Hungry for the billions of dollars at stake, some well-known names missed giving comments. Maybe they hope to cultivate favor with Verisign or ICANN staff. In other words, you don't see the names of the ass-lickers.