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ICANN takes down gTLD apps after revealing applicants’ home addresses

Kevin Murphy, June 14, 2012, Domain Policy

ICANN has temporarily blocked access to its newly revealed new gTLD applications after accidentally publishing the home addresses of many applicants.

Some applicants noticed today that the personal contact information of their named primary and secondary contacts had been published during yesterday’s Big Reveal.

In many cases this included these employees’ home addresses, despite the fact that the Applicant Guidebook specifically states that this information would not be published.

After being notified of the snafu by DI, ICANN confirmed that the addresses were published by mistake.

It’s taken down all the applications and will republish them later with the private data removed.

“This was an oversight and the files have been pulled down,” ICANN’s manager of gTLD communications Michele Jourdan said. “We are working on bringing them back up again without this information.”

It’s another big data leakage embarrassment for ICANN, following the recent outage caused by the TLD Application System bug.

It’s not likely to win ICANN any friends in the dot-brand community, where ICANN’s demands for background information on applicants’ directors caused huge procedural problems for many companies.

For applicants for controversial gTLDs, the revelation of this private data may carry its own set of risks.

It’s Reveal Day and there are 1,930 new gTLD bids

Kevin Murphy, June 13, 2012, Domain Policy

ICANN received 1,930 new generic top level domain applications, 751 of which were for contested strings.

While the unveiling of who applied for what is not expected to happen until early this afternoon in London, the organization just published a bunch of facts and figures about the bids.

A grand total of 230 strings are in direct contention, covered by 751 applications (39%) or an average of three or four applicants per string.

There are 66 self-designated geographic applications, aiming to represent many of the world’s cities and regions. That’s 3.4% of the total.

Internationalized domain names — gTLDs in non-Latin scripts — account for 116 applications, or 6% of the total.

Applications that have been pushed into the the tricky “community” route stand at 84, or 4.6%.

Organizations from a total of 60 countries are participating in the round.

North American businesses account for a little under half of all applications, with 911 (47.2%) active bids. Europe is the next largest with 675 (35%), followed by Asia-Pacific with 303 (15.7%)

It’s good news for applicants from Latin America and the Caribbean and from Africa. With just 24 (1.2%) and 17 (0.9%) applications respectively, they’re pretty much all guaranteed a spot in the first evaluation batch.

The names of every applicant — and possibly the public parts of their applications — will be revealed during an official ICANN event at Kings Place, here in London, today.

The gig starts at noon UK time (11am UTC), and will be webcast from 1pm here at icann.org for those not attending in person.

There’ll be a press conference, a panel discussion (which I’m moderating) and a networking event.

Some attendees are retiring to a hotel opposite the venue for drinks afterwards, but I suspect a lot of eyes will be glued to laptops.

Don’t expect many more posts from DI today, but please follow @domainincite for updates if you’re not already.

Big Reveal confirmed for London

Kevin Murphy, June 6, 2012, Domain Policy

ICANN will reveal details of the over 1,900 new top-level domain applications it has received during a press conference starting at 11am UTC next Wednesday.

The event will be held at Kings Place, a venue in the King’s Cross area of London, at noon local time, June 13.

CEO Rod Beckstrom and senior vice president Kurt Pritz will speak at the event, which will be webcast live.

An ICANN spokesperson said that the Big Reveal itself will happen during the press conference — there’ll be a break for journalists to attempt to absorb as much information as they can before the Q&A begins.

I’m waiting for confirmation on whether the full public portions of the applications will be published at that time, or whether it will just be a list.

ICANN said it “will reveal which companies, organizations, start-ups, geographical regions and others have applied for gTLDs and which domain names they are seeking”.

TAS to reopen May 22. Big Reveal on for Prague?

Kevin Murphy, May 9, 2012, Domain Policy

ICANN’s bug-plagued TLD Application System will reopen on May 22 and close on May 30, according to a statement just issued by chief operating officer Akram Atallah.

The dates, which are only “targets”, strongly suggest that that the Big Reveal of all new gTLD applications is going to happen during the public meeting in Prague in late June.

If ICANN still needs two weeks to collate its application data before the reveal, we’re looking at June 14, or thereabouts, as the earliest possible reveal date.

But that’s just ten days before ICANN 44 officially kicks off, and I think it’s pretty unlikely ICANN will want to be distracted by a special one-off event while it’s busy preparing for Prague.

For the Big Reveal, my money is on June 25.

Atallah also said this morning that all new gTLD applicants have now been notified whether they were affected by the TAS bug, meaning ICANN has “met our commitment to provide notice to all users on or before 8 May”.

That said, some applicants I spoke to this morning, hours after it was already May 9 in California, said they had not received the promised notifications. But who’s counting?

The results of ICANN’s analysis of the bug appear to show that no nefarious activity was going on.

“We have seen no evidence that any TAS user intentionally did anything wrong in order to be able to see other users’ information,” Atallah said.

ICANN has also discovered another affected TAS user, in addition to the 50 already disclosed, according to Atallah’s statement.

It’s official: April 30 is the Big Reveal for new gTLDs

ICANN has just announced that it is targeting April 30 as the date it reveals which companies have applied for which new generic top-level domains.

“Our plan always has been to publish the list of applied-for strings approximately two weeks after the close of the April 12th application window,” CEO Rod Beckstrom said in a press release.

“Setting a target date gives people the opportunity to plan for this highly anticipated event,” he added.

It’s only a target date, the press release notes.

ICANN does have a fairly reliable track record of missing deadlines when it comes to the new gTLD program.

Many new gTLD applicants are planning to meet unofficially in Las Vegas for the Big Reveal. The French consulting company Starting Dot had also scheduled an gathering in Paris for May 2.

There are also rumors of an official ICANN event, but the organization has yet to confirm anything.