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The TLD Application System will be offline for another week, possibly more, as ICANN struggles to deal with the fallout from its embarrassing data leakage bug.
ICANN had promised an update today on the timing of the reopening of TAS, which was taken offline April 12 just 12 hours before the new gTLD application filing deadline arrived.
But what applicants got instead was a promise to provide another timing update a week from now.
Chief operating officer Akram Atallah said in a statement:
identifying which applicants may have been affected by the technical glitch, and determining who may have been able to see someone else’s data, require extensive analysis of a very large data set. This is a time-consuming task, but it is essential to ensure that all potentially affected applicants are accurately identified and notified.
Until that process is complete, we are unable to provide a specific date for reopening the application system.
In order to give all applicants notice and an opportunity to review and complete their applications, upon reopening the system we will keep it open for at least five business days.
No later than 27 April 2012 we will provide an update on the reopening of the system and the publication of the applied-for new domain names.
So the best-case scenario, if these dates hold up, would see TAS coming back online Monday, April 30 and closing Friday, May 4.
The April 30 target date for the Big Reveal is clearly no longer possible.
ICANN has stated previously that it expects to take two weeks between the closing of the application window and the revelation of the list of gTLDs being applied for.
The Big Reveal could therefore be postponed until mid-May, almost a month from now.
Any applicant who has already booked flights and hotels in order to attend one of the various reveal events currently being planned by third parties may find themselves out of pocket.
Regular ICANN participants are of course accustomed to delay.
ICANN’s image problem now is rather with the hundreds of companies interfacing with the organization for the first time, applying for new gTLDs, which may be wondering whether this kind of thing is par for the course.
Well, yes, frankly, it is.
That said, the time to avoid this problem was during testing, before the application window opened in January.
Now that the bug has manifested, it’s probably in most people’s best interests for ICANN to fully understand went wrong and what impact it could have had on which applicants. This takes time.