It’s almost inevitable that any “meaty” ICANN related story will involve some kind of interaction with government. More often than not it’s the US government, though as Kevin posted not always.
Several US senators, including US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, have written to ICANN’s CEO and Board to demand that the sale of PIR and .org be stopped.
There are a few areas they’ve focussed on:
- Debt. This is due to how they PIR deal is being structured.
- Censorship and new monetisation strategies (linked to the debt)
- Doubt around “public interest” when PIR and .org move to being controlled by a private company
Here’s the letter in full (PDF).
If you read the letter in its entirety you’ll realise that everything comes back to money. The concerns that they’re voicing flow from the financial aspects and structure of the PIR deal.
Personally I don’t find their arguments particularly convincing partially due to some of the sources they’re citing as providing “expertise”. For example referencing the letter from PCH which has been very clearly debunked by both PIR and Afilias.
The ICANN Board is due to meet in LA next week and they’ll also be picketed next Friday.