ICANN suffers crucial talks collapse

ICANN has suffered an embarrassing and potentially dangerous collapse in its contract talks with domain name registrars.

Having promised to provide a revised form of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) by 15 February, the organization which oversees the domain name system instead put out a "summary of negotiations" two weeks late, on 1 March.

The summary reveals the depth of the failure of ICANN's negotiating strategy, which included a hardline on maintaining accurate registrant data and public declarations of the end result in letters to Congress and the press.

In the end, only 5 of 35 topics have reached agreed wording - every one of which had already been agreed to prior to negotiation (see the full breakdown in the table below). The collapse is all the more stark when you consider that 24 of the points - 69 percent - have been agreed to in principle.

Arriving empty-handed to ICANN's meeting in Costa Rica next week, staff will be faced with governments and law enforcement officials already furious over the organization's failure to introduce basic protections.

Unhappy governments

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