March 15, 2011

The Royal ICANN

I just walked around the ICANN big-top - that's the tent that is now occupying most of San Francisco's Union Square (with a rather phallic pillar - the Dewey Memorial column - occupying the center of the arena, punching a hole through the roof, and extending towards the stars).  This will be used for ICANN's "gala" social event tomorrow night.

I wonder how much that thing is costing?

Of course I've been told "Verisign paid $500,000".

But would you think it a fair exchange if you gave someone $15 and they said: "here I'm repaying you with this nice shiny one cent piece?"  Well, that's roughly the same ratio of the benefit that ICANN confers unto Verisign every year and the amount of Verisign's "sponsorship" amount, i.e. about 1500:1.

Basically, the munificence of this event reminds me less of words like "dignified" and more of words like "ostentatious".  Perhaps "corrupt"; certainly "for sale".

We of the internet community are paying for all of this.  And at risk of sounding like a Tea Party person (which I am most decidedly not), I do find ICANN's expenditures to be entirely out of line with its mission and its status as a non-profit, tax exempt, public-benefit organization.

Posted by karl at March 15, 2011 1:02 PM