Though I’ve only been in Cairo a short time, I can confidently say that it is one of the most unique places on our planet. Here, the city literally touches the desert and the ancient world collides with current times…not like in Rome though, it’s something different here. The great pyramids are inspiring and amazing, but it is the Pizza Hut across the street and the donkey-led cart that keeps almost getting run over by dark, smoke producing traffic on the highway that gives you pause.
With regards to the conference, it is no surprise that the new TLDs and cybercrime are the hot topics of conversation, and that the usual proponents and opponents are getting up to state their positions.
Behind the scenes, one repetitive theme I am hearing is the overall frustration with policies—such as the policy regarding new TLDs—being released without any concrete research, study, modeling or any other type of economic or fraud-related analysis. This frustration is coming from IP owners, security professionals, and contracted parties. We, as the community of ICANN, need to demand more. Policies that will have a massive impact on the global economy and on the Internet should not progress without proper due diligence.
As we sit here in the cradle of civilization for a few more days, hashing out what is to become of the Internet, it is difficult not to consider that this could be one of those times in history where we sit at a crossroad. The forces behind us are certainly pushing us in one direction, but everyday, it seems that more and more people want to pause, consider the wider implications of what is happening and consider going in another direction.
I’ll likely venture out again into the city tomorrow, but after walking through the security check point at the hotel tonight, I couldn’t help but take a deep breath and head straight to the bar.
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