To best understand how bumbling bureaucracies are born, you need look no farther than the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, that band of merry pranksters who administer top-level domains. Decisions made in a vacuum, zero oversight, a tin ear to constituents and a blithe disregard for its own public image — its all there in a single marvelous microcosm. ICANN wins a 2001 Razzie for its uncanny ability to create and perpetuate controversy, even while dealing with one of the most arcane subjects in creation. Late last year, it earned extra points for finally picking new global TLDs in a way that raised blood pressures around the planet. Forty-four groups paid ICANN $50,000 a pop to suggest new names. But only seven name applications were ultimately chosen in a process that was arbitrary at best — one name, dot-iii, was rejected, in part, because it sounded funny. Also razworthy: ICANN still hasnt delivered on its promise to fill four empty seats on its board with general Internet users.
To best understand how bumbling bureaucracies are born, you need look no farther than the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers