Internationalized domain names -- IDNs

22 November 2012

ICANN finally approves Arabic top-level domain. A week before WCIT

The news earlier this week that Sudan would soon have its own top-level domain in Arabic was greeted warmly.

But perhaps unsurprisingly there was no mention in the formal announcement of the long delay in getting Sudan its internationalized domain name (IDN); a delay that has soured relations between ICANN and parts of the Middle East.

Earlier this year in Geneva, the delayed Sudanese bid for an Internet extension in its own language was used forcefully by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré as an indication that ICANN was not accountable nor served the interests of developing nations.

Worse, when Touré leveled the accusations at ICANN in a room full of government representatives and Internet governance experts, it was clear that ICANN's representative, who only moments earlier had given a speech explaining how ICANN had internationalized, had no knowledge of the issue.

8 January 2012
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ICANN’s management has announced it is prepared for the launch next week of its program to open up the top level of the Internet.

In a series of six papers, produced for a Board meeting late last week and detailed individually below, the organization outlines the latest information on a number of outstanding issues.

Much of that information remains incomplete just days before launch, and it appears that a revised version of the “Applicant Guidebook” will be published literally the day before launch.

However, according to a blog post from CEO Rod Beckstrom, any outstanding issues will be settled before the three-month application window closes and he argues it is not “essential” for them to be completed before the launch.

27 December 2011

Below are the recommendations of the Whois Review Team in December 2011. View the full report.

Chapter 8: Recommendations

  1. Single WHOIS Policy

    ICANN's WHOIS policy is poorly defined and decentralized The ICANN Board should oversee the creation of a single WHOIS policy document, and reference it in subsequent versions of agreements with Contracted Parties. In doing so, ICANN should clearly document the current gTLD WHOIS policy as set out in the gTLD Registry and Registrar contracts and GNSO Consensus Policies and Procedure.

  2. Policy review – WHOIS Data Reminder Policy

30 September 2011
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“I am Dutch. I am straightforward. I love to use clear language,” Neelie Kroes explains on the terrace of the United Nations compound in Nairobi on the second day of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

She takes a sip of tea and continues: “I don’t like to be too diplomatic. That is not my style. What I did yesterday was make a very clear speech.”

As EC Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Kroes is one of the world’s most influential voices when it comes to Internet governance. And she used that voice in her “very clear” speech the previous day to tackle many of the current hot topics in the field - in particular the role of governments in domain name system overseer ICANN.

31 August 2011

Series of ‘informal background papers’ promote online power grab

An extraordinary series of policy papers drawn up by the European Commission and published today by .Nxt have called for greater governmental control over the Internet’s domain name system.

Among a long series of measures promoted in no less than six papers by the EC’s Information Society and Media Directorate-General are:

  • A government veto over any new Internet extensions
  • The creation of a list of names, drawn up by governments, that would be banned from registration
  • Significant structural changes at overseeing organization ICANN, including at Board level and in the crucial IANA contract
  • An obligation for ICANN to follow governments’ advice unless deemed illegal or damaging to the Internet’s stability
  • Two new bodies to oversee ICANN decision-making and finances
15 June 2011
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A top-level meeting between Russian Premier Vladimir Putin and ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré in Geneva earlier today spent a significant amount of time focussing on making the international organization more relevant to the Internet.

A press release from the ITU identified global access to ICT as the main discussion topic. However, discussion of Internet governance and how to increase the ITU’s role within it was added to the agenda at Touré’s request, we understand, most likely in response to the G8 Declaration in Paris last month that saw no mention of the ITU in a long text about the Internet.

According to the press release, “Mr Putin referred to the importance of information technologies, in particular Internet services, which have a key position on the international agenda.”

13 March 2011

ICANN’s 40th meeting starts next week in San Francisco. Here is a guide to the most important topics, listed in order of importance, with added commentary, background and links to relevant resources.

1. New generic top-level domains (gTLDs)

Why this is important

New Internet extensions will radically reshape the Internet name space. Not only does this open up new opportunities (particularly in the new field of "dot-brand" extensions), but will also have significant legal and marketing implications. The issue should be discussed at top management levels.

New gTLDs will yet again be the dominant topic for an ICANN meeting, as the Board continues its efforts to bring this five-year process to a close.

The San Francisco meeting will be dominated by discussions between the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and Board, continuing on from a two-day meeting in Brussels earlier this month.

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