Releases e-Commerce Agenda and Promises to Hold ICANN Responsible to Small Business

Morocco – Today the NetChoice Coalition urged the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to focus on issues that small businesses face as they move increasingly onto the Internet.  ICANN meets in Morocco this week to discuss a wide array of issues related to managing the Internet, including starting the process of developing its 2007-2009 strategic plan.

“NetChoice represents a wide variety of e-Commerce businesses ranging from thousands of small e-retailers to e-commerce communities like eBay and and Yahoo!.  We are here at ICANN to ensure that the issues affecting our members’ ability to conduct business on the Internet are represented,” said Steve DelBianco, Executive Director, NetChoice.  “ICANN must address the issues that threaten the livelihoods of e-Commerce businesses everywhere and pay particularly close attention to the ability of small businesses to compete equally in the global marketplace.”

NetChoice e-Commerce agenda for ICANN’s meeting in Morocco

  • Insist on Security & Stability: Domain name hijacking can shut-down a small business that counts on e-commerce.  And too many businesses are hammered by domain attacks the instant that renewal grace periods have lapsed.  ICANN must streamline its process for developing new policies to combat attacks on Internet security and stability.

  • Stop Domain Name Abuse. Cyber-squatting and typo-squatting are confusing to potential customers and are driving-up domain name costs for small businesses.  Too many small businesses fall prey to “slamming” when a competing registrar sends a misleading renewal invoice.  And when a domain name accidentally expires, owners are forced to pay exorbitant reinstatement fees.  ICANN needs to develop and implement policies to stem these kinds of abuses in the domain name marketplace.

  • Don’t let WhoIs become WhoKnows? Small business counts on domain name Whois to identify potential trademark infringement, piracy, and counterfeiting.  Whois can help stop phishing scams that are undermining consumer confidence in the Internet.  ICANN must maintain the current function and value of Whois.

  • Don’t Splinter the Internet.  The Internet works because it requires unique addresses that resolve reliably.  We can’t have nations “splinter” the internet just to implement their own languages or content rules. ICANN must move ahead with initiatives such as Internationalized Domain Names and special-purpose domains like XXX.  

  • The Internet needs a Manager—not a “Governor”.  ICANN manages the domain name system via contracts and policies, while leaving it up to individual governments to make rules on issues like privacy and online content.   But if ICANN expands its role into broader governance areas, it invites governments to covet its rightful role as the Internet’s technical manager.   ICANN should stick to its mission.