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Win free tickets to the conference

Kevin Murphy, September 12, 2013, Domain Services

DI has three tickets to the upcoming new gTLDs conference to give away to three lucky readers, courtesy of organizer United-Domains.

It’s the second event. The first, in 2011, was pretty good but hampered slightly by being scheduled before the ICANN new gTLD program officially kicked off.

With new gTLDs likely to be in the root by the time this year’s conference rolls around in October, the chance of good conversation and some productive networking is likely to be much improved.

Speakers on the agenda include ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade and Google’s Jordyn Buchanan, as well as many senior domain name industry executives, and me.

The event runs from October 28 to 29 at the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost in Munich, Germany.

Our giveaway covers tickets for the conference (valued at €821.10 each) but not the cost of your transport or accommodation, so if you can’t make it, please don’t enter.

To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a comment on this post completing the following sentence:

The biggest challenge facing new gTLDs next year will be…

We’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner early next week.

UPDATE 9/16: Entries are now closed. Winners will be selected on Tuesday.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 8, Launch Uncertainty

Kevin Murphy, September 5, 2013, Domain Services

Today, the eighth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Having passed PDT on the 27th of August, we were notified of our eligibility to transition to IANA for delegation and told that we will receive instructions regarding the next steps via the Customer Portal.

We’re still waiting to hear from ICANN. We have no visibility regarding when we will be delegated.

There are so many moving parts in the new gTLD program right now that the delegation timing impacts everything from hiring staff to deciding on launch strategies. Discussions with registrars and marketing agencies beg one simple question – when will you be launching? My response: no idea.

We’re trying to launch a business in what can only be described as a vacuum. We understand that delays may be inevitable right now, however, it would be great if the nature and impact of those delays on our TLD was officially communicated to us (perhaps by a designated account manager?).

Communications during the PDT Pilot and Beta periods were great but seem to have slowed down since we passed PDT. We look forward to receiving some clarity about delegation from ICANN soon.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

ICANN’s name collision plan “creates risk of abuse”

Kevin Murphy, August 27, 2013, Domain Services

One of ICANN’s proposed methods of reducing the risk of name collisions in new gTLDs actually may create its own “significant risk for abuse”, according to RIPE NCC.

Asking registry operators to send a notification to the owner of IP address blocks that have done look-ups of their TLD before it is delegated risks creating a “backlash” against ICANN and registry operators, RIPE said.

Earlier this month, ICANN said that for the 80% of applied-for strings that are categorized as low risk, “the registry operator will notify the point of contacts of the IP addresses that issue DNS requests for an un-delegated TLD or names under it.”

The proposal is intended to reduce the risk of harms caused by the collision of new gTLDs and matching names that are already in use on internal networks.

For example, if the company given .web discovers that .web already receives queries from 100 different IP blocks, it will have to look up the owners of those blocks with the Regional Internet Registries and send them each an email telling them than .web is about to hit the internet.

RIPE is the RIR for Europe, responsible for allocating IP addresses in the region, so its view on how effective a mitigation plan this is cannot be easily shrugged off.

Chief scientist Daniel Karrenberg told ICANN today that the complexity of the DNS, with its layers of recursive name servers and such, makes the approach pointless:

The notifications will not be effective because they will typically not reach the party that is potentially at risk.

In addition, it will be trivial for mischief-makers to create floods of useless notifications by conducting deliberately erroneous DNS queries for target TLDs, he said:

anyone can cause the registry operator to send an arbitrary amount of mandatory notifications to any holder of IP address space. It will be highly impractical to detect such attacks or find their source by technical means. On the other hand there are quite a number of motivations for such an attack directed at the recipient or the sender of the notifications. The backlash towards the registry operator, ICANN and other parties in the chain will be even more severe once the volume increases and when it turns out that the notifications are for “non-existing” queries.

With a suitably large botnet, it’s easy to see how an attacker could generate the need for many thousands of mandatory notifications.

If the registry has a manual notification process, such a flood would effectively DDoS the registry’s ability to send the notices, potentially delaying the gTLD.

Even if the process were to be automated, you can imagine how IP address block owners (network admins at ISPs and hosting companies, for example) would respond to receiving notifications, each of which creates work, from hundred of affected gTLD operators.

It’s an interesting view, and one that affected new gTLD applicants (which is most of them) will no doubt point to in their own comments on the name collisions mitigation plan.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 6, TMCH Integration Testing

Kevin Murphy, August 26, 2013, Domain Services

Today, the sixth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Monday 26 August 2013

We attended the second IBM webinar on the TMCH which ran smoothly. The guys at IBM were pretty responsive and helpful.

Having received our registration token from ICANN, we logged on to the TMDB System to create credentials for the OT&E platform, provide contact details and accept the TMCH Terms and Conditions. TMCH integration testing is now on hold since we were not able to download the DNL file or upload the LORDN file. IBM confirmed that this functionality will not be available until the Trademark Claims functionality update scheduled for the 9th of September.

The testing environment was communicated as the TMCH accreditation environment that would include all the functionality required for Sunrise processing. It’s currently a limited test environment but we’re looking forward to conducting further tests as IBM continue to add functionality.

We recommend those planning on conducting TMCH Integration Testing in the near future wait until the Claims functionality update scheduled for the 9th of September before proceeding.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

New gTLD Application Tracker 3.0 launched

Kevin Murphy, August 12, 2013, Domain Services

While we’ve added several smaller requested features to the DI PRO New gTLD Application Tracker over the last few months, the time has come for the second big update to the service.

Subscribers have asked for a number of changes and upgrades to make it easier to quickly get at the data they need, and we’re happy to oblige.

The Application Tracker, has been updated in three areas.

New “Current Status” Tab

Talking to subscribers over the last few weeks, it became clear that different people are using the Application Tracker in different ways for different reasons.

Some want to be able to find out if, for example, an application has ever been objected to or received GAC advice, while others only want to know whether those objections and advice are still active.

From today, both use cases are made easier with the introduction of a new Current Status tab.

Searches conducted under this tab automatically filter out all withdrawn and rejected applications. If a contention set has been won, the winner will not display as contested in results.

Similarly, if an application managed to fight its way through objections or GAC advice, it will show as unopposed and unencumbered in search results pages.


Subscribers who want to carry on using the service to access historical information about applications can continue to use the previous version of the Application Tracker under the new “Original Status” tab.

Full IE Results

The existing IE Results database has been folded into the Application Tracker under a new tab, and there’s also a new option to see the full scores for each application that has passed through Initial Evaluation.

The new IE Results (Detailed) tab shows the scores each application received for each of the 27 Applicant Guidebook questions for which scores are made available

The Basic tab shows the financial and technical evaluation subtotals along with other information about the applicant and back-end provider.

New Search Options

With ICANN’s publication of Interilse Consulting’s report into the potential security risks of new gTLDs last week, each string was assigned a risk profile: Low, High or Uncalculated.

The database was updated with this information the same day it was published, but now you can search on it too, choosing to limit your search to, or omit, any of the three classes.

You can now also search for, or exclude, applications that have been rejected by ICANN. There are only three such applications right now, but I’m sure this option will become more useful in future.

Past and Future Updates

For details of all the original features of the Application Tracker, see this April blog post. For DI PRO subscription information, click here.

Subscribers can send suggestions for future updates to, as always.