The Irish country-code domain, .ie, may be up for redelegation, according to Ireland’s largest domain name registrar.
Michele Neylon, managing director of Blacknight Solutions, has written to ICANN (pdf) to demand answers, after his inquiries about the potential changes were rebuffed.
The .ie ccTLD is currently delegated to University College Dublin, but since 2000 its operation has been contracted to IE Domain Registry, a spin-off company. Since 2007, it’s essentially been controlled by the Irish government.
According to Neylon, IEDR is “aggressively” pursuing a redelegation. If successful, this would put its own name in the IANA database, rather than the University’s. He wrote:
The management and development of the IE namespace should be with an entity that has made a strong commitment to holding the .ie domain in trust for the public good, and a strong commitment to a policy process that is driven by the Internet community and by the explicit consideration of the public good. This is not the case with IEDR, a private company that has practically no transparency and has zero representation of the internet community in its board or ongoing development.
It has been longstanding ICANN/IANA policy not to publicly discuss redelegation requests, which it apparently chose to exercise when Neylon inquired about the IEDR situation.
Neylon believes that any redelegation should be subject to public consultation in Ireland, which would be difficult if the talks all happen behind closed doors.
Blacknight is the registrar of record for 20% of .ie names. It’s also the only Irish registrar with an ICANN accreditation.