New gTLDs A Money Grab And A Mistake; Whois Privacy Exists Only Because Of Criminals: Vixie

New generic Top Level Domains are a money grab and ICANN has been captured by industry are claims made by Dr Paul Vixie at a conference in Melbourne, Australia, last Sunday, according to a ZDNet report.”I think it is a money grab. My own view is that ICANN functions as a regulator, and that as a regulator it has been captured by the industry that they are regulating. I think that there was no end-user demand whatsoever for more so-called DNS extensions, [or] global generic top-level domains (gTLDs),” Vixie said in response to an audience question.Vixie went on to say that he believes the demand for new gTLDs has come from “the people who have the budget to send a lot of people to every ICANN meeting, and participate in every debate”, that is, the domain name registrars who simply want more names to sell, so they can make more money. But these new domains don’t seem to be working.”They’re gradually rolling out, and they are all commercial failures,” Vixie said.”I’m sure that there will be another 2,000 of them sold, because $185,000 to pay the application fee for each one [is] chump change to the companies who want to make money doing this.”In Vixie’s view, creating the new domains goes against ICANN’s purpose.”ICANN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity [under the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law], and their job is to serve the public, not to serve the companies… I think that until they can come up with an actual public benefit reason they should be creating more of these, they’ve got no cause to act,” Vixie said.”There should be no price at which you can buy .microsoft, but there is, and that’s a mistake. That indicates corruption, as far as I’m concerned.”Vixie’s opposition to the new gTLDs echoes those of another internet pioneer, Esther Dyson. Back in 2011 Dyson, the inaugural ICANN chair, continued her opposition to ICANN’s plans saying “this is an economic creation” as she contrasted the programme with how companies like Twitter and Amazon built value into top-level domains. “What I would like to see is real innovation. … For that, you don’t need a new TLD.”Vixie went on to say that, again according to ZDNet, that’s one reason that domain names now cost “effectively nothing”, because they can be bought with a stolen credit card, or in bulk for just pennies.”The WHOIS privacy industry would not exist if not for criminals,” Vixie said.”There are plenty of folks [who] would like to say [that] for civil society purposes we need the ability for dissidents to register a domain name and complain about their own government, and not have to worry about getting their doors kicked in. Frankly, that is not a realistic scenario, and that is not the way that WHOIS privacy gets used,” he said.”We’ve also seen through Brian Krebs’ work, there are plenty of registrars, registries, and ISPs that specialise, they cater to the criminal element. We’ve got businesses that exist for no purpose other than to enable the dark side of the economy. I hate that. And it is DNS, again, that makes all of that possible.”Vixie pointed out a clear difference between WHOIS and DNS, however.”WHOIS, you can lie. You can put in an address that is not your own, or you can pay some WHOIS privacy provider to hide the identity of your domain name registration, or your IP address registration. And so investigators, both criminal and civil, have long learned that WHOIS is probably not going to help them much. They check it, but they don’t expect any results,” he said.”DNS is not like that. If you lie in DNS, your shit doesn’t work, and that gives us some power. It gives us some leverage.”Vixie also called for “attendees to implement technologies that can improve the integrity of DNS, because right now it can’t be trusted — technologies such as the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), DNS Response Rate Limiting (DNS RRL), and DNS Response Policy Zones (DNS RPZ).”To read the ZDNet article in full, go to: