A year and a half ago, I spoke at an event sponsored by the CATO Institute warning that ICANN was on track for a “magnificent trainwreck.” The trainwreck may well have arrived in the form of Verisign’s lawsuit against ICANN.
My analysis of what’s at stake is posted on here on ICANNWatch. Short version: while its easy to dismiss the lawsuit as a powerplay by Verisign to force adoption of Sitefinder, what’s really at stake here is ICANN’s total lack of process and addiction to ad hoc decision making based on political calculations of the moment by ICANN staff and directors. If ICANN wants to survive, it will have to give up enough power to satisfy all stakeholders that ICANN can handle due process and make decisions subject to independent review. Otherwise, even if Verisign loses or settles with ICANN, other major stakeholder will continue to challenge ICANN’s authority.
Update March 3. I’m not the only one who sees this as a system failure for ICANN, apparently. Check out this story in Forbes.