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Neustar wins .gay contract

Kevin Murphy, February 9, 2011, 23:17:10 (UTC), Domain Registries

Neustrar has signed a deal to provide back-end registry services to DotGay LLC, one of the companies hoping to apply for .gay as a new top-level domain.
There are currently two companies planning to apply for .gay that I’m aware of. The other, the Dot Gay Alliance, has chosen Minds + Machines as its back-end partner.
The positioning is quite interesting. Scott Seitz, CEO of DotGay, played up the need for more security and stability in a TLD that may find itself the target of homophobic cyber-attacks.
In a press release due out tomorrow, Seitz says:

While security is always a concern for any gTLD, the GLBT community is at a higher risk of discrimination, making system integrity a critical component in the selection of a registry partner.

Neustar, which runs .biz and several other TLDs, has more experience running high-traffic registries than M+M. However, this fact will likely not be relevant to which company wins .gay.
Under the ICANN new TLDs program, applicants have to prove themselves capable of running a registry, but contested TLD applicants are not compared against each other based on technical prowess.
It’s much more likely that the two (or more) .gay applications will live or die based on community support or, failing that, how much money they are prepared to pay at auction.
The .gay TLD is likely to also be a flashpoint for controversy due to ongoing debates about governments’ ability to block TLDs based on “morality and public order” objections.
Recent mainstream media coverage has focused on .gay as a likely test case for governmental veto powers.

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Comments (6)

  1. gtld says:

    Interesting to see which will be more controversial this extension or .xxx ? time will tell i guess

  2. Jonathan says:

    Great – I can block them both right at the firewall level for every computer I ever come in contact with.

  3. theo says:

    .xxx is already a major hot potato to swallow.. .gay ?? i don’t see it fly ..
    If approved it will open the door (just a lil) for .
    Prolly not the best examples i post here but some will argue that they want their own tld also …
    so dot gay . it is just not gonna fly.. dot pig

  4. avri doria says:

    One of my favorite souvenirs from ICANN is .co’s flying pig. And .co has educated us: pigs do fly.
    I see no reason for .gay not to fly. There are lots of good reasons for using a gTLD to support a global community. So if it is handled correctly, by an organization with strong roots in the community, it has as good a chance as any new gTLD, and better than some.
    When it comes to US and other nations with a potential GAC veto (if they get their desired empowerment) I wonder what they would do about .right2choose?

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      The funny thing about .gay is that everybody’s focusing on the civil rights issue and ignoring the fact that a great big chunk of the namespace will be inevitably devoted to gay porn.
      .gay’s biggest competitor is not going to be .org, it’s going to be .xxx

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