In a letter posted on the ICANN website, the US government is asking for the ICANN to not approve the launch of new TLDs during its upcoming meeting.
The letter, which is signed by Lawrence Strickling, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, states that ICANN is not living up to their agreements that were made in the Affirmation of Commitments.
Strickling goes on to state the one of the core responsibilities during AOC negotiations was that ICANN would complete an economic study regarding the release of any new TLDs, but that ICANN has not done as agreed.
He also states that a key portion of the AOC was to “provide a thorough and reasoned explanation of the decisions taken, the rationale thereof…” with regards to all decisions made. In an example, he mentions ICANNs decision to their registry-registrar cross ownership decision. Back in March, they declared that there should be no cross ownership between registries and registrars, In May, they proposed a 2% ownership and now they have made the decision to allow full cross ownership between the two.
He ends the letter with a harsh criticsm over ICANN’s lack of accountability and transparency over the last year.
ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom responded:
“The Affirmation of Commitments, the US government and ICANN reconfirmed our mutual commitment to the multistakeholder model. ICANN confirmed our commitment to solicit public comment and to hear all voices.”
“As with all contributions, ICANN will give DoC’s comments careful consideration as part of the implementation of the GNSO policy.”