Domains (generic) -- gTLDs

12 July 2013

Report into abusive domain names makes for worrying reading

The introduction of thousands of new Internet extensions in the next year is going to make the Internet less secure if a new report is anything to go by.

The "namespace quality index" produced by domain consultants Architelos is the first time a comprehensive review of abuse of the domain name system has been undertaken. It makes for interesting, and worrying, reading.

9 May 2013
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The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) holds a unique and powerful role within ICANN.

Although it is only advisory, the GAC represents the views of the world's governments and so its formal "advice" is taken extremely seriously: to the extent that if the ICANN Board does not agree with GAC advice, it is obliged to try to reach agreement or provide a clear explanation for why it does not intend to follow the advice.

3 May 2013

Below is Annex 1 to the Governmental Advisory Committee's (GAC) communique to the ICANN Board delivered on 11 April 2013 in Beijing. It concerns a series of "safeguards" for new gTLDs.

Safeguards on New gTLDs

The GAC considers that Safeguards should apply to broad categories of strings. For clarity, this means any application for a relevant string in the current or future rounds, in all languages applied for. The GAC advises the Board that all safeguards highlighted in this document as well as any other safeguard requested by the ICANN Board and/or implemented by the new gTLD registry and registrars should:

3 April 2013

DNS security and stability report big on bark, light on bite

Operator of the dot-com registry and the Internet's primary address book, Verisign, has warned that a plan to add hundreds of new Internet extensions over the next year may destabilize the domain name system if key issues are not addressed.

In a report from the company's technical labs to the organization running the "new gTLD" program, ICANN, the Internet infrastructure company warns that there could be "significant consequences" if the program does not address technical issues before the program launches that could "perhaps even destabilize global operations of the DNS".

4 March 2013

Announcement marks start of a busy year and changing industry

WhatBox? has announced it will use a joint collaboration of NameJet and Afternic to auction domain names under its dot-menu gTLD.

The announcement marks what will soon be an explosion in efforts to sell "premium" domain names to the highest bidder as well as encourage large businesses to register domains under certain extensions.

26 February 2013

Last minute flood of angry responses to new gTLD comment period

The domain name industry has responded angrily to an attempt by oversight organization ICANN to make last-minute changes to a contract covering new Internet extensions.

On the last day of a 21-day public comment period over the proposed changes, ICANN received 31 responses (40 in total). Most significant among them were joint letters from stakeholder groups within the organization all of which were highly critical of proposed changes to the registry contract for new gTLDs.

19 February 2013

The Public Interest Registry has opened pre-registration for dot-ngo domains, encouraging non-profits and non-governmental organizations to indicate early interest in the registry.

Registration is through a simple online form and does not represent a commitment to purchase a domain (PIR is calling the process an "expression of interest"), but it will mean that organizations receive useful information and updates as the application progresses through to approval.

PIR's Chief Operating Officer Nancy Gofus explained to .Nxt that PIR expects dot-ngo domains (as well as the French version, dot-ong) to go live in early 2014 but that she wanted to reach out to the non-profit community early and "inform them of the steps they can take now".

15 February 2013

ICANN has named 23 April as the date when the organization will formally approve the first of thousands of new Internet extensions.

Speaking in a pre-recorded interview, CEO Fadi Chehade said that the organization had made “great progress in the last few weeks” and so was confident that ICANN would be able to “recommend for delegation” the first of over 1,900 applications, just a few weeks after its upcoming meeting in Beijing.

The announcement of a specific date – even if Chehade is careful to point out that it may slip depending on factors outside his control – is a positive sign for the program which has been beset with delays since it was first conceived in 2005.

The “applicant guidebook” for the program was first published in 2008 and is currently in its ninth revision, with significant changes put forward by ICANN just this month.

8 February 2013

Only small number of new gTLD applicants will consider rushed process

ICANN has attempted to answer concerns that new gTLD applicants may renege on public commitments with a last-minute contractual add-on.

Following a special Board meeting last weekend, the organization's COO this week outlined plans for a "public interest commitment" that would see applicants voluntarily agree to make aspects of their application binding.

ICANN subsequently published for public comment a revised version of its contract, complete with a new Specification 11. Within that specification, applicants can either list which parts of their application they wish to be considered binding - and so tied in with third-party dispute resolution complete with the risk of losing their rights to run the registry - or add additional information regarding existing commitments.

16 January 2013

In May 2012, the Whois Review Team delivered its final report to the ICANN board with a real sense of achievement.

As the system for providing details about who is in charge of any given Internet domain name, the Whois is critical to the proper functioning the domain name system. As such, it is one of four issues highlighted for independent review under ICANN’s deal with the US Government, the Affirmation of Commitments.

Every three years, a cross-community team has to look at the extent to which ICANN’s Whois policy and implementation are effective, meet the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promote consumer trust.

Despite being an apparently inoffensive directory of contact details, Whois has proved one of the most intractable and divisive issues within the ICANN community for more than a decade. The reason why is due to the different interests rolled up within Whois, and how these interact with ICANN’s power dynamics.

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