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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home addresses, despite the fact that the Applicant Guidebook specifically states that this information would not be published.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.

Afilias’ magic number is 305

Afilias is involved in 305 new gTLD applications, the company has just announced.

Thirty-one of the bids are being filed in Afilias’ own name, the rest are for clients. This two-pronged strategy is probably going to set the company apart from its main competitors; we’ll find out for sure tomorrow.

Afilias said in a press release:

The applications span a range of new TLD ideas, and include 18 Internationalized TLDs (for example, Chinese and Cyrillic), four community domains, four geographic domains and more than 170 “dot Brand” names.

Added to Neustar’s 358 and Verisign’s 220 applications, Afilias brings the total number of wannabe gTLDs signed up to incumbent gTLD registry service providers to 883, or about 45% of the new gTLD market.

Crossovers from the ccTLD world to disclose so far include ARI Registry Services (161), Nominet (seven), Nic.at (11) and Afnic (16).

New entrants include Minds + Machines (92, including 68 of its own), Demand Media (at least 307 with Donuts and 26 more of its own) and Internet Systems Consortium (at least 54 with Uniregistry).

Fourth digital archery service launches

Knipp has become the fourth company to reveal a service to help new gTLD applicants automate their participation in ICANN’s digital archery application batching system.

With First Come First Batch, you only pay if you get into the first batch.

It appears to be the cheapest such service to launch so far, with “early bird” pricing starting at $7,500. If you sign up after June 20, it will set you back $12,500, still the cheapest on the market.

The service is limited to 500 gTLDs, with a limited number per ICANN region and a Europe bias.

Knipp is the outfit behind the Germany-based back-end provider Tango Registry Services which has partnered with Minds + Machines on the .nrw (North Rhine-Westphalia) application.

ICANNWiki boss applies for 10 gTLDs

A new company run by ICANNWiki founder Raymond King and business partner Peter Brual has applied to ICANN for 10 new generic top level domains.

Top Level Design has applied for: .blog, .llc, .group, .wiki, .gay, .art, .style, .design, .ink, and .photography.

The company is entering contention sets on most of those, but I believe it’s the first .wiki bid announced to date.

It’s also the only portfolio player so far to announce that it’s using CentralNIC, best known for pseudo-gTLDs such as uk.com, as its back-end registry provider.

The company said the venture “will not interfere with the presentation or neutrality of ICANNWiki.com”.