Guy wants to be ICANN CEO and turn off 1.5 million Iranian domains
With the role of ICANN CEO opening up for applicants following the resignation of Göran Marby in December, the CEO of VPN.com appears to have thrown his hat in the ring.
In an unusual and ambiguous press release, “VPN.com CEO Reviews ICANN CEO Opening”, Michael Gargiulo strongly suggests he’s thinking about applying for the gig, currently filled on an interim basis by Sally Costerton.
“Stepping away from VPN.com to lead a global organization like ICANN that aligns with our mission of freedom and a secure Internet for all is something I have considered before, but the timing was not right,” he writes.
“ICANN does not need an empty suit filling this position; it needs someone with vision, ability to address lingering problems that ICANN has faced for extended periods of time, and the guts to stand up to countries like Russia,” he writes.
VPN.com is an strange hybrid of VPN review site and domain brokerage, formed after Gargiulo bought the domain for $1 million in 2017.
The press release is odd in that Gargiulo not only gets a couple of basic facts about ICANN wrong, but also draws attention to an occasion in 2019 when he called for Marby and President Trump to delete Iran’s .ir ccTLD from the DNS root in protest at the country’s human rights violations
The release refers to ICANN’s chair as Maarten Botterman, which hasn’t been true since September, and its headcount of “140 employees”, which is about 260 short of the actual number.
But it’s the opinion that Iran’s human rights violations, surely more acutely felt today than in 2019, should lead to the suspension of .ir’s 1.5 million domain names is surely a disqualifying position for a would-be ICANN CEO.
When Russia invaded Ukraine last year, ICANN faced calls to punish Putin by turning off .ru, which it resisted to broad community support.
Gargiulo did not respond to a request for clarification.
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