The $1.5 Billion Business Tax You’re Not Expecting

1:00PM – 2:00PM | February 3, 2009 | Washington, DC

President Obama’s roll out of a new Web site for his administration highlights the growing significance of the Internet in today’s world. But just who determines the policies that manage the Internet? Who protects the new White House site from fraud, piracy, and any number other infringements? The White House and millions of other Internet users are about to find out that their cyber world as they know it may be turned upside down by a new set of policies issued by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a hardly known and understood organization based in California. If ICANN has its way, by summer of 2009, there may be thousands of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) from dot-ART to dot-ZURICH slated for deployment.

The impact of this policy, akin to adding an entire new continent to the earth’s geography, will force businesses to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to protect their brands on the Internet, expose consumers to more fraud, reduce the effectiveness of law enforcement and in-house brand protection resources, and most importantly will undermine our national security.

CADNA’s policy forum explored the impact of this policy with government experts and brand owners. The forum aimed to explain the new policy and to analyze the impact of the new policy on Internet users. The first panel asked the question: Why ICANN? What gives it the power to formulate policies that impact billions of Internet users? Are there ways to make the policy process more accountable and transparent to the public? What can be done to amend or alter the proposed policy to add TLDs?

The second panel looked at the potential impact of this policy on businesses, consumers, and the government. What exactly is the cost of new TLDs to businesses? How will it impact consumers? Just how is our national security undermined by new TLDs?

We would like to express our appreciation to all who helped make our February 3 event such a success, with a special thank you to our panelists:

Eric J. Garduño
House Committee on the Judiciary

Matthew C. Hussey
Legislative Assistant
Senator Olympia Snowe

A special thank you to our CADNA Member Panelists:

John W. Kirkpatrick
URL Manager
American International Group, Inc.

Takehiko Suzuki
VP & Associate General Counsel

Elisabeth Roth Escobar
Senior Counsel
Intellectual Property
Marriott International, Inc.

Brad Figel
Global Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs
Nike, Inc.

Read the full press release here.