ICANN is looking at “consistency issues” in new gTLD String Confusion Objections, program manager Christine Willett said in an ICANN interview published last night.
The nature of the probe is not clear, but ICANN does appear to be working with the dispute resolution provider, the International Centre For Dispute Resolution, on the issue.
In the interview, Willett said:
Staff is working diligently with dispute resolution service providers to ensure that all procedures have been followed and to look at the expert determinations — we’re looking at these consistency issues.
I would hope that ICANN is looking beyond just whether “all procedures have been followed”, given that the root cause of the consistency problems appears to be the lack of guidance for panelists in the policy itself.
Also in the interview, Willett said that she expects the first new gTLDs to be “in production” before the end of the year, and guessed that the second round of applications “is a couple of years down the road”.
Watch it here:
The eleventh 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.
Tuesday 17 September 2013
As شبكة. gets closer to launch, signing up Registrars becomes ever more critical and we have started discussions with potential partners across three continents. To participate in Sunrise, Registrars must have already completed two steps: 1) Signed the 2013 RAA; and 2) Completed TMDB Accreditation.
To date, around 20 Registrars have signed the 2013 RAA according to the InterNIC website.
However, because Registrars cannot access the TMDB environment until they have signed the 2013 RAA, even fewer have started TMDB accreditation. Many of those that have signed the RAA have been frustrated by TMDB OTE access problems.
Is there any official ICANN database where Registries can confirm Registrar TMDB Accreditation?
Registries are locked out of the TMDB environment until the 2013 RAA is signed. Why not let Registries access the TMDB as needed (now) to accelerate readiness for the launch of IDN gTLDs?
And why aren’t ICANN or Deloitte publishing TMCH numbers for non-English trademarks? How can we decide whether the Sunrise Phase should be 30 days or more if we don’t know the numbers? Why not publish the forecasts and let the Registries decide how to optimise launch phases for their businesses model?
Read previous and future diary entries here.
Will companies defensively register their phone numbers? Telnic is to start selling long numeric .tel domain names for the first time, so we’re about to find out.
The company plans to lift the longstanding restriction on numeric domains of eight characters or longer on October 15, according to a press release (pdf) this morning:
Registrants wishing to register strings such as 00442074676450.tel or 0207-467-6450.tel will be able to do so through ICANN-accredited Registrars from 15:00 GMT on Tuesday 15th October.
“Registrants now have an increased choice of registering a .tel name or a .tel number under which they can publish all types of contact information online,” said Khashayar Mahdavi, CEO of Telnic. “This means that if the customer knows either the business name or telephone number for a business, it can be reached online quickly in a mobile-friendly way.”
Telnic expects numeric .tel domains to cost the same as regular .tel domains, which varies by registrar but can be as low as about $15. There’s not going to be any special sunrise period.
Telnic has had the ability to do this since early 2011, when ICANN approved its Registry Services Evaluation Process request to lift its original ban on numeric-only second-level domains.
The RSEP was not without controversy. Telnic, remember, was one of two applicants for .tel back in 2003, and it won partly because its application committed the company to avoiding numerals.
There had been concern expressed by the International Telecommunications Union and others that phone number .tel domains might interfere with ENUM-based numbering schemes.
Those concerns had largely dried up by the time Telnic submitted its RSEP in 2010, when the only complaint came, weirdly, from Go Daddy.
.CLUB Domains has come up with a simple workaround for its applied-for .club gTLD being categorized as risky by ICANN.
The company wants to reserve the top 50 .club domains that currently see DNS root traffic, so that if and when .club goes live the impact on organizations that use .club internally will be greatly reduced.
It’s not a wholly original idea, but .CLUB seems to be unique at the moment in that it actually knows what those 50 strings are, having commissioned an Interisle Consulting report of its proposed gTLD.
You’ll recall that Interisle is the company that ICANN commissioned to quantify the name collisions problem in the first place.
Its report is what ICANN used to categorize all applied-for gTLD strings into low, high and “uncalculated” risks, putting .club into the uncalculated category, delaying it by months.
(Interisle was at pains to point out in its report for .CLUB that it is not making any recommendations, interpreting the data, or advocating any solutions. Still, nice work if you can get it.)
By reserving the top 50 clashes — presumably in such a way that they will continue to return error responses after .club is delegated — .CLUB says .club would slip into ICANN’s definition of a low-risk string.
In a letter to ICANN (pdf) sent today, .CLUB chief technology officer Dirk Bhagat wrote:
blocking the 50 SLD strings from registration would prevent 52,647 out of the 89,533 queries from a potential collision (58.88%). After blocking the top 50 strings as SLD strings, only 36,886 (41.12%) queries remain, which is 12,114 fewer invalid queries at the root than .engineering, which ICANN classified as a low risk gTLD.
He adds that a further chunk of remaining SLDs are random strings that appear to have been created by Google’s Chrome browser and, many say, pose no risk of name collisions, reducing the risk further.
It’s hard to argue with the logic there, other than to say that ICANN’s categorization system itself has already come in for heavy criticism for drawing unjustified, arbitrary lines.
The list of domains .CLUB proposes to block is pretty interesting, including some strings that appear to be trademarks, the names of likely .club registrants, or potentially premium names.
Nominet has raised the ire of critics of its Direct.uk proposal for refusing to engage with them, including forcibly ejecting one of their number from a .uk policy meeting.
Opponents of Direct.uk, which would open .uk’s second-level for the first time, have cataloged a number of instances of Nominet apparently failing to act in a transparent manner over the last few weeks.
Most notably, domainer Stephen Wilde of Really Useful Domains, author of a paper critical of Direct.uk, was “escorted” by hotel security staff from a recent policy discussion co-hosted by Nominet.
Domain lawyer Paul Keating was also refused entry and left without an escort.
The event was jointly hosted with the British Computer Society and the Digital Policy Alliance and was restricted to BCS members.
Wilde said that he had joined BCS specifically in order to attend the meeting and had then spent four hours on a train to get there. He said that there were plenty of empty seats in the venue.
Nominet spokesperson Elaine Quinn told DI that Nominet’s goal is to get as diverse a range of views as possible.
Wilde had already attended multiple previous meetings on the same topic and had been quite vocal at those, it seems. Nominet was worried that he might prevent other voices from being heard at the BCS event.
Quinn posted a statement to Nominet’s members-only forums, which was provided to DI, which read in part:
Two individuals who had been informed that they would not be able to attend in advance nonetheless turned up. Both initial requests to join were polite and were met in turn with a polite response. When the decision to deny entry was repeated, one person continued to remonstrate with our staff. He was then asked to leave the private area (not the hotel) by the hotel security. Upon refusal, the hotel security guard escorted the individual out of the area.
Colleagues at the event felt that the behaviour exhibited was unacceptable and that steps to protect our staff and to allow the event to proceed as planned were, unfortunately, necessary.
The BCS meeting was the latest in a series of controversies that have been raised by Direct.uk’s opponents and cataloged on the pseduonymous blog NominetWatch.com, which claims Nominet is trying to “silence dissenting voices”.
Another of its posts relates to the UK Network Operators Forum, an event on Friday in London.
A Nominet executive had been scheduled to speak at the event and others were due to attend, but all withdrew after the company discovered that Emily Taylor, its former head of policy and now one of its fiercest critics, was also speaking.
Taylor’s presentation (pdf) criticized Nominet’s lack of transparency, comparing it to ICANN’s relatively open culture.
Quinn confirmed that Nominet’s would-be attendees withdrew from the event, but said that this was because they were technical staff not qualified to speak to Taylor’s governance-focused criticisms.
Quinn confirmed that comments were closed, but said it was a temporary measure while Nominet, which had staff on vacation, sifted through some of the many defamatory comments that had been submitted.
Comments have since been reopened and a backlog, many of which are critical of Nominet, have been published.