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US Government Responds Harshly To ICANN gTLD Plans 133

Posted by kdawson
from the and-your-shoe's-untied dept.
ICANN posted its proposal for expanding gTLDs late in October, and now the US government has issued its scathing response (PDF, 11 pp., linked from there), from the departments of Commerce and Justice. The initial criticism is that John Levine sent a note to a policy mailing list and summarized the concerns raised as ranging from "...insufficient attention to monopoly and consumer protection, to lack of capacity to enforce compliance, to overreach into non-technical areas such as adjudication of morality, to what they'll do with all the extra money since they are a non-profit. Their first concern is that in 2006 the ICANN board said they would commission a study on economic issues in TLD registrations such as whether different TLDs are different markets, substitutability between TLDs, and registry market power, issues which are fairly important in any new TLD process. Here it is two years later, they're rushing to set up the new TLD process, but there's no study. 'ICANN needs to complete this economic study and the results should be considered by the community before new gTLDs are introduced.'"
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US Government Responds Harshly To ICANN gTLD Plans

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  • I get a 404 on that PDF. Anyone have a mirror?

    From TFS, I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Why does anyone care? Pretty much anyone can buy a .com name, for any reason, and then resell subdomains -- this is just the same thing, without the .com, and much more expensive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kalriath (849904) *

      Try http://forum.icann.org/lists/gtld-guide/pdfVeSal4DHqu.pdf [icann.org] - it's linked off a linked page off TFA.

    • Re:Slashdotted? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Slashdotvagina (1434241) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @09:32PM (#26195881)

      The difference is that for a new TLD, ICANN estimates the fees involved as:

      The Evaluation Fee is designed to make the new gTLD program self-funding only. This was a recommendation of the Generic names Supporting Organization (GNSO). A detailed costing methodology â" including historical program development costs, and predictable and uncertain costs associated with processing new gTLD applications through to delegation in the root zone â" estimates a per applicant fee of $US185,000. This is the estimated cost per evaluation in the first application round.

      The fee also includes $US100,000 per applicant relating to both fixed and variable costs of processing each application.

      So if you have $100,000 to give to ICANN plus another $85K or so for expenses, you can have your proposal for .goatse or .profit considered. For a non-profit organization, it's surprising that it costs $100K for just the application fee. Given that they're essentially opening the floodgates for new TLDs, surely their historic costs for organizational overhead with maintaining only a few TLDs will drop drastically, such that the absurd fees they're charging will no longer be warranted.

      I predict the ICANN board members and key employees will be given very hefty bonuses and pay raises to offset the potential for profits.

      • My assumption would be that the $100k is meant as a deterrent to that flood of TLDs. I'm guessing most organizations would rather pay $10 or $50 for a domain or three.

        And, hey, it's like the "I Am Rich" app. If the rich want to waste their money, let them.

        The only part that's not fair is the fact that one organization gets to monopolize this, and unilaterally decides how much it should cost, what the procedure is, etc. But that hasn't changed, and I have no idea what a good solution is.

        • by mysidia (191772)

          Given the profits that can be made selling subdomains of the TLD, $100k is a drop in the bucket, for the corporations that would be flooding with TLD registrations.

          The capital is there. Companies may be tightening in rough economic times, but $100k is still absolutely nothing, as far as capital outlay for anything except a small business.

          i.e. the big domain registrars who have the most to gain by having lots of TLDs, will easily provide the flood of registration requests.

          • Given the profits that can be made selling subdomains of the TLD, $100k is a drop in the bucket,

            That balances out, I think -- that is, if it's really so cheap, and really so profitable, a large number of corporations which have that $100k will spend it, and before you know it, the domains won't be worth as much. But that'll happen faster than with .com, and you won't exactly have trolls willing to spend $100k just on the offchance of a Google hit.

            • by mysidia (191772)

              the domains won't be worth as much. But that'll happen faster than with .com,

              Names are english words.

              Squatters will seek first to buy out every possible english word.

              That way when an english speaker types "socks" into their browser, it goes to the buyer's site which is full of paid ads for socks.

        • That is like spit in the bucket for the people who would buy TLD's. And worse, all it does is make it easy for those with means to buy TLDs and those with out to get screwed.

          So you'll get www.cocacola and www.pepsi (or just pepsi) but never www.apache or www.firefox.

          That actually raises an interesting question. Under this hypothetical regime, if I cough up a cool $100k and register "coryking", do I have to add a hostname? Can I just be "http://coryking" and "cory@coryking" or will I have to go "http://ho

          • by rpetre (818018)

            Theoretically it's doable, once you have the TLD, you can have whatever you want in that zone.

            However most (all?) resolvers out there when being confronted with a hostname with no dots in in assume it needs to be qualified an try appending the entries specified in the search domain list. They'll probably try it as a TLD only after exhausting the alternatives. BTW, nothing prevents using your fancy TLDs in your private network, just declare them in your nameserver.

            Oh, and I've not even touched how some brows

          • So you'll get www.cocacola and www.pepsi (or just pepsi) but never www.apache or www.firefox.

            I don't see how that's less fair than the current situation, where merely being a nation gives you a TLD. There is not a www.firefox, but there is a www.tk.

            And I would not be incredibly surprised to see at least a few of those -- maybe not apache, but firefox seems to get a fair amount of funding.

      • Re:Slashdotted? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lysergic.acid (845423) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @11:25PM (#26196541) Homepage

        from the day ICANN was created it was pretty much bound to become a corrupt puppet-organization for commercial interests. that's why it's been headed by economists, businessmen, and corporate consultants rather than IT professionals and computer scientists/researchers. the lack of transparency/openness, community dialog, and international input has guaranteed that ICANN's policies serve the interests of corporations like InterNIC rather than the global online community.

        it's very tragic that we have such an undemocratic and profit-motivated organization running the internet rather than a more civic-minded and open organization like the W3C, which is actually run by technically competent individuals who are more interested in technological progress than giving kick-backs to their corporate buddies.

        • It is a big step forward from the days when if you wanted a domain name, you had to go to Internic and hack up $75/year. Now you can register at godaddy for $7/year or you can even renew for the "low price" of $30/year by being stupid and replying to those fake-invoices you get in the mail from scam companies when your domain is about to expire.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rs79 (71822)

            " and hack up $75/year"

            It was $100 for two years and $50 for renewal per year. 1/3 of that went into the NSF's "Intellectual infrastructutre fund" that NSF staffer Don Mitchell (who started and ran this) wanted to "keep the IETF *process* (not the IETF per se) alive. This fund was pretty much stolen by Mike Roberts the first CEO of ICANN. It was his reward for clearing the way for the ICANN steamroller back a decade ago at it's incepttion.

            You all understand the institutional purpose of ICANN is to prevent

        • ICANN or other institution, the results would be the same. They did not open the door, they asked for comments. I believe all the pessimism exhibited is due to people having lived these past eight years in the USA, where life under the current president was an exercise in frustration, cronyisme, profit taking, and poor to non-existant judgement. ICANN wants feedback. They did not impose anything.
      • by HJED (1304957)

        The difference is that for a new TLD, ICANN estimates the fees involved as:

        The Evaluation Fee is designed to make the new gTLD program self-funding only. This was a recommendation of the Generic names Supporting Organization (GNSO). A detailed costing methodology â" including historical program development costs, and predictable and uncertain costs associated with processing new gTLD applications through to delegation in the root zone â" estimates a per applicant fee of $US185,000. This is the estimated cost per evaluation in the first application round.

        The fee also includes $US100,000 per applicant relating to both fixed and variable costs of processing each application.

        So if you have $100,000 to give to ICANN plus another $85K or so for expenses, you can have your proposal for .goatse or .profit considered. For a non-profit organization, it's surprising that it costs $100K for just the application fee. Given that they're essentially opening the floodgates for new TLDs, surely their historic costs for organizational overhead with maintaining only a few TLDs will drop drastically, such that the absurd fees they're charging will no longer be warranted.

        I predict the ICANN board members and key employees will be given very hefty bonuses and pay raises to offset the potential for profits.

        or perhaps it is to dither people who can't afford the infrastructure or people who would do phishing scams

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "to overreach into non-technical areas such as adjudication of morality"

    All the governments that don't have the same level of free speech (pretty much just the US) delve into censorship via guise of morality. Considering the strength of the internet, it would be especially worrisome if the governing authority will start deciding you and what you say is not all right with them. It starts with the things hard to defend (say Stormfront) but are protected under the 1st amendment and the loop will close from t

    • All the governments that don't have the same level of free speech (pretty much just the US) delve into censorship via guise of morality.

      Indeed, the US government even had the clarity of mind to come up with free speech zones!

    • by Nathrael (1251426)
      So you are saying that free speech is very restricted in the US? I think there are a couple of countries you should visit, and no, I'm not speaking about some fundamentalist middle-eastern nations, but industrial ones, like Germany or Australia.
      • by theaveng (1243528)

        Germany?

        You can't say the word "Nazi" there or sell swastikas (an ancient Hindu symbol) without getting arrested or fined. That's not free speech.

        • You have the freedom to reread his post.

          He's claiming that the US has more free speech than Germany.

          But I don't buy that argument--being less free somewhere else doesn't mean that I should take it when the government tries to take my rights away from me.

    • by rs79 (71822)

      Keep in mind it was the USG that nixed .xxx on "moral grounds" in the only ever demonstration of a moral imperative trumping a technical DNS addition at the root level.

      (Karl Rove had it done allegedly as a favour to the Southern Baptist convention).

      So I find this part a little ironic.

  • Opening TLDs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Sunday December 21, 2008 @09:32PM (#26195879) Homepage Journal

    This is such a bad idea. I think any company who buys these will be shooting themselves in the foot. I mean, in the 90s companies generally hated putting http:/// [http] in advertising. Then they dropped the www part and just made it company.com. Now they are having their ultimate dream. To drop the .com part too. But with that comes a major problem. How are average people going to distinguish what is a internet address from something else?

    Imagine this, Ford says in its advertising: "Go to ford.com". Its obvious here what to do. Now imagine they get just the TLD 'ford'. So what do you say. "Go to ford"? What the hell does that mean. Now they'll start having to say things like "Type ford into your web browser's address bar" Yeah, that's a whole lot easier to say than ford.com. Idiots.

    I hope this totally backfires on all the marketing and sales people in the world so that they learn their lesson.

    • Re:Opening TLDs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @09:38PM (#26195931) Homepage Journal

      The other problem is that the proposed approach essentially is such a mess that it actually shoot itself in the foot. By creating so many new TLDs confusion created, rather that eliminated and we potentially end up in a situation when where TLDs are useless.

      • tlds largely are useless, anything other than .gov or .edu is a mess
        • Re:Opening TLDs (Score:5, Informative)

          by JanneM (7445) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @10:11PM (#26196147) Homepage

          "tlds largely are useless, anything other than .gov or .edu is a mess"

          You mean that .com and -org are a mess. Most tld's are not a mess at all. Country tld's are usually much better managed than those free-for-all domains, with some actual enforcement of who may register what kind of domain.

          • I do not think it is better enforcement, as much as simply not being such an attractive target for domain squatters and speculators.

            .uk has little enforcement (apart from .gov.uk and obscure things like .ltd.uk), and it is not (in general) a mess (apart fromthe fact that it is .uk in ther first place, when it should be .gb).

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Davidis (1390527)
              uk actually fits better as that is what the country is known as. the United Kingdom or Great Britain and Ireland to give it its full title. Northern Ireland and the channel islands are included in the UK while GB excludes them. Ireland has its own separate TLD now but this only applies to southern Ireland.
          • by pegdhcp (1158827)
            Remember when ripe.net dropped out of existence due to a missing receipt, taking most of European networks' ASN filters with it???
          • by drspliff (652992)

            I was going to register somethingch.an, but the registration laws required me to be a resident or a business incorporated in netherlands antilles, and to pay a $140 a year fee. For business that's fine... just for a pet project with a funny domian name? no way.

            I wish other TLDs were like this :/

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          tlds largely are useless, anything other than .gov or .edu is a mess

          Part of the problem is domain parking. I thought ICANN was meant to crack down on this, but once again money has continued the corruption.

    • The original TLD's were fine back when the Internet was primarily a US system.

      Now that it is worldwide, they need to look at getting away from new TLD's and going to country code domains(example, .us or .cn). That way each country can establish its own standards for what is and is not allowed.

      And for those people who are going to say that it makes more work for the Pepsi people (or whatever) to register pepsi.whatever in each country, there should not be a problem with SCRIPTING that. And I'm sure that they

      • by JanneM (7445) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @10:14PM (#26196161) Homepage

        "Now that it is worldwide, they need to look at getting away from new TLD's and going to country code domains(example, .us or .cn). That way each country can establish its own standards for what is and is not allowed."

        Must have been a very comfortable rock, to be sleeping under for so long. ^_^

        Sorry - but seriously, that's exactly the system we already have today. Most companies, especially local companies only doing business in their home country (and that is the vast majority of businesses after all) already register only under their country domain, and most country domains already have their own country-specific regulations for their use.

        • by bug1 (96678)
          Sorry - but seriously, that's exactly the system we already have today. Most companies, especially local companies only doing business in their home country (and that is the vast majority of businesses after all) already register only under their country domain Because half of them have some advertising squater at the tld causing confusion to people looking for legit pages. If we had restrictions on who could have .com .net .org to start with then we wouldnt have gotten into this confusing situation of co
          • My concern with the restrictions on who can register is who gets to decide what the restrictions are? I own jcrouse.com [jcrouse.com] for example, I use it exclusively for personal purposes (I don't even have banner ads or other advertising on it - not that I wouldn't change that in the future if I saw a benefit). Mainly a picture repository and email. I own jcrouse.net [jcrouse.net] and I used to use it for some various projects I worked on but now basically for email. The webpage is a glorified placeholder. Since I don't have a
            • by bug1 (96678)
              1. Who gets to decide why I can buy a .com or .net (or .whatever)

              It doesnt matter who gets to decide as long as there are some rules to go by, like using tld for international purposes, why didnt you use your countries domain instead ?

              2. Why is it so "wrong" if I buy a domain to use it as an advertising placeholder. Annoying - very. Is it a 'Commercial domain' (.com)? I would say yes. Sleazy? Very. Wrong? I don't know. . .

              Defining right and wrong is a complex issue, but i would say that for somethin
      • That way each country can establish its own standards for what is and is not allowed.

        This is the most important reason for control to remain in the hands of the US as long as possible. At least with the US at the helm, crazy theocracies and brutal one-party governments are at least forced to work at preventing the enlightening power of the internet from spoiling all their brainwashing. Besides, your argument is irrelevant as there has long been .co.[nation].

        • by msuarezalvarez (667058) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:50AM (#26197003)
          Of course, that does not do anything against crazy theocracies and brutal two-party governments...
        • by Thiez (1281866)

          > This is the most important reason for control to remain in the hands of the US as long as possible. At least with the US at the helm, crazy theocracies and brutal one-party governments are at least forced to work at preventing the enlightening power of the internet from spoiling all their brainwashing.

          What? Why would you care what other countries ban or don't ban under their own TLDs? Countries can already block most of the web if they'd like (just look at china). To allow countries to manage their own

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        No offense, but the last thing the world needs to do is become MORE provincial.

        The guy in the UK who wants to register a name for his local business can do that today under the UK tld and he doesn't need to worry with .com.

        • by RMH101 (636144)
          Why doesn't anyone use .co.us for US businesses?
          • by MightyYar (622222)

            Simple historical reasons. dot-com is cheap and was available well before dot-us. Remember that dot-us had these really stupid rules, which made dot-com much more attractive. Until 2002, you couldn't register a 2nd level domain under dot-us, so your address would look like "carls-auto.nj.us".

            In other words, there was no such thing as a "US" domain, only a bunch of individual state domains. So... dot-com took off instead. You do see dot-us a lot more now that they changed the rules.

          • by Kadin2048 (468275)

            Mostly because it's harder to register .us domains and they're generally more expensive. The pooch really got screwed with the .us TLD; it should have been made cheaper and easier than gTLD domains, but in reality it was the opposite. So rather than local businesses using localized domains ("joespizza.dc.us" or something similar), we got everyone cramming themselves into the gTLD namespace ("joespizza-washington.com") and trying to avoid running into each other.

            Ideally, the gTLD namespace should have been

        • by xaxa (988988)

          No offense, but the last thing the world needs to do is become MORE provincial.

          The guy in the UK who wants to register a name for his local business can do that today under the UK tld and he doesn't need to worry with .com.

          Except that people in the UK are so used to ".com" that they might type that first, and end up at a squatter's page. (Having said that, I'll often hear "is that com or co-dot-uk?" when telling someone an address.)

          But in practice, I think most people just type the company name into Google.

    • Re:Opening TLDs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @10:01PM (#26196079)

      This is such a bad idea. I think any company who buys these will be shooting themselves in the foot. I mean, in the 90s companies generally hated putting http:/// [http] in advertising. Then they dropped the www part and just made it company.com. Now they are having their ultimate dream. To drop the .com part too. But with that comes a major problem. How are average people going to distinguish what is a internet address from something else?

      Imagine this, Ford says in its advertising: "Go to ford.com". Its obvious here what to do. Now imagine they get just the TLD 'ford'. So what do you say. "Go to ford"? What the hell does that mean. Now they'll start having to say things like "Type ford into your web browser's address bar" Yeah, that's a whole lot easier to say than ford.com. Idiots.

      I hope this totally backfires on all the marketing and sales people in the world so that they learn their lesson.

      I don't know what planet your from, but on planet earth being intrinsically unable to learn lessons is a prerequisite for entry in sales or marketing.

      • Re:Opening TLDs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Al Dimond (792444) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:59AM (#26197037) Journal

        I'm sure you meant this as a joke, but sales and marketing people are no fools. Just because most sales pitches and advertisements are silly and useless to knowledgeable and rational people doesn't mean that they're not generally effective, or that marketers don't work pretty hard to learn what sort of sales pitches work.

        • I'm sure you meant this as a joke, but sales and marketing people are no fools. Just because most sales pitches and advertisements are silly and useless to knowledgeable and rational people doesn't mean that they're not generally effective, or that marketers don't work pretty hard to learn what sort of sales pitches work.

          Yes, I was half-joking, but as many other respondants have opined not only are _many_ of the practices of sales and marketing types morally questionable (to put it lightly) but frankly there is often a gaping chasm between being clever or smart and demonstrating intelligent, insight or wisdom, and most of the behaviour that is practiced by people in these as well as many other professions (professional management practices, politicians and stockbrokers come to mind) demonstrates a strong bias in aptitude fo

          • I'm sure you meant this as a joke, but sales and marketing people are no fools. Just because most sales pitches and advertisements are silly and useless to knowledgeable and rational people doesn't mean that they're not generally effective, or that marketers don't work pretty hard to learn what sort of sales pitches work.

            Yes, I was half-joking, but as many other respondants have opined not only are _many_ of the practices of sales and marketing types morally questionable (to put it lightly) but frankly there is often a gaping chasm between being clever or smart and demonstrating intelligent, insight or wisdom, and most of the behaviour that is practiced by people in these as well as many other professions (professional management practices, politicians and stockbrokers come to mind) demonstrates a strong bias in aptitude for cleverness over intelligence or wisdom.

            ..bad form to respond to my own post I know but:

            To get an insight into how thoroughly insidious marketing and sales techniques really are, you aught to do a little research into the origins of their tool of choice: advertising. Advertising itself is amoral (note I didn't say immoral), it serves the simple and required function of announcing the availability of your goods and/or services to the market. However, _modern_ (TV and film) advertising techniques have their origins in one [wikipedia.org], film, a work which is b

    • by rickb928 (945187)

      Interesting. Just typing 'ford' could get you to www.ford.com. No I know, it's just 'ford'.

      This is cool, in that it would seem hard to hijack the 'ford' tld.

      On the other hand, this would screw with various search toolbars and gizmos, since your browser would have to be prepared to accept 'ford' as a valid URL.

      I'm sort of in the mood to see the Google Toolbar (and Yahho!'s also) screwed with. So long as they get Microsoft-anything toolbars as well, I'm for it.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      Or they might say "go to mustang.ford for more info"

      People would see the dot, and figure it out.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by carlzum (832868)
      Even if you could go to ford, most web users will continue to enter the site name right into the browser's search box. It's not just a matter of laziness or the inability to type a URL. You have far less risk of inadvertently visiting a domain squatter's pop-up and porn riddled site, you see other sites that may be of interest (if you're buying a Ford, a Consumer Report review may be more useful than the corporate site), and most search engines recognize common spelling errors. Sure, people game page ranks
    • by DavidD_CA (750156)

      Or the advertising community will agree on something short like this:

      web: www.ford

      Or something like this:

      For more information, visit mustang.ford

      Or email me at david@us.ford

      It's really not that hard to think of some examples where people will understand what you're saying. And with enough advertising, people will catch on very quickly just like they know what "ford.com" means today.

      There could even be a symbol, like a globle or arror or something like we see today, when placed

    • Re:Opening TLDs (Score:4, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @11:00PM (#26196423) Journal
      Remember "AOL Keywords"?
    • So what do you say. "Go to ford"? What the hell does that mean. Now they'll start having to say things like "Type ford into your web browser's address bar" Yeah, that's a whole lot easier to say than ford.com.

      I think the idea is that they will register the ford tld and use addresses like: www.ford or car.ford etc.

      Most people think that www is compulsory: it is omitted from advertising because people will add it anyway. If you have an address like http://example.com/ [example.com] you have to have a redirect from http://www.example.com/ [example.com]

    • by mysidia (191772)

      They'll say "go to www.ford" or "go to web.ford"

      Which will just be aliases to plain ford.

  • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @09:45PM (#26195977)

    i look forward to visiting h t t p colon slash slash dot slash dot dot slash dot slash

  • This just in... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Subverted (1436551)
    This just in, the US government is pissed off at an international organization... Oh...wait, nothing new here.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When did ICANN become an international organization? It is the bitch of DoC and always has been.

  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @09:58PM (#26196059) Homepage

    The given URL is no good. Message with Department of Commerce document as attachment is here. [icann.org]

    I'm amazed that something this good emerged from regulatory agencies under the Bush Administration. I suspect that some staffers are thinking very hard about what happens to their career once government regulation again gets, as Obama puts it, "adult supervision".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      I'm amazed that something this good emerged from regulatory agencies under the Bush Administration. I suspect that some staffers are thinking very hard about what happens to their career once government regulation again gets, as Obama puts it, "adult supervision".

      I'd be surprised to find out that George Bush is an omnipotent god with an all-seeing eye. Likewise, I'd find it difficult to believe that his administration is ran by a Machiavellian cabal intent on undoing any sanity they come across (stroking pet cats optional).

      Instead, this act is likely done by one of the many bureaucrats that are doing their best in their little corner of the Government. They likely operate at a level that does not require the attentions of the President's inner (or even several-tim

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      I'm amazed that you're functionally unable to give Bush's administration credit for anything good, no matter how trivial.

      Get over your pathological hatred of George Bush, please - you won.

    • by rs79 (71822)

      " I'm amazed that something this good emerged from regulatory agencies under the Bush Administration. I suspect that some staffers are thinking very hard about what happens to their career once government regulation again gets, as Obama puts it, "adult supervision". "

      Ironically, the DoC was to provide "Adult Supervision" to ICANN as their overseers. Next up the food chain from the DoC is congress.

      NTIA/DoC has people there that have been monitoring this for a long time and actually know the issues. However,

  • by NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @09:59PM (#26196071) Homepage

    A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for use on the Internet.

    Overall, IANA currently distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:

            * infrastructure top-level domain (.arpa)
            * country-code top-level domains (ccTLD)
            * sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)
            * generic top-level domains (gTLD)
            * generic-restricted top-level domains

  • about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by r7 (409657) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @10:07PM (#26196109)

    Thank goodness for John Levin and Meredith Baker. Voices of sanity above the din. I don't know what is going on at ICANN but it clearly has been disabled by special interests, groupthink, and dispersion of responsibility. Their "any tld is fine with us" plan (originally proposed by France's Internic) shows such a profound lack of concern for the consequences that it's clear the bulk of their membership is simply not technically qualified.

    The downside this all illustrates, beyond any doubt, is that ICANN does not and can not work in its present format. It needs to be reconstituted to insure that all members have no conflicts of interest and sufficient experience and expertise with technical and security issues. I hope it can retain the non-profit status and multi-country membership, without being so inclusive (of small countries) that it cannot avoid being corrupted as ISO was when Microsoft bought the ISO's endorsement for OOXML, or ICANN itself was when Verisign did the same to win the exclusive contract for .com.

    • The downside this all illustrates, beyond any doubt, is that ICANN does not and can not work in its present format.

      And that wasn't apparent during the whole Registerfly debacle? They really had no clue what to do if a registrar failed, kinda pathetic when such administrative matters were the whole reason the agency was created. Meanwhile they still have their lavish meetings all over the place, which I'm sure aren't cheap affairs. Gotta love those "profitable" non-profits that never seem to actually do something, how American.

  • Internet confusion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by panoptical2 (1344319) on Sunday December 21, 2008 @10:18PM (#26196179)
    There are several bad things about the ability for users to create gTLDs. As specified earlier, no one will be able to recognize them (for example, http://mustang.cars.ford/ [cars.ford] would this throw you off?).

    Some other overlooked problems are:
    a. The internet would become further disorganized. It's already plenty disorganized, but at least the majority of web sites out there are under the .com, .org, or .net gTLDs. Taking this away would only increase said disorganization.
    b. .com would be rendered obsolete, given a couple of years (possibly 10-20), and everyone who spent $10/year for their own .com domain would soon move to another gTLD that offers cheaper registration. This is a positive feedback sure to end in collapse; as competition over domain registration increases, profit margins for domain registration/gTLD maintenance companies decreases, resulting in a bubble sure to burst.
    c. Lastly, no mention is made as to who would be maintaining the new gTLDs, so I'm assuming that maintenance is left in the hands of the companies buying the gTLDs. This could mean that the quality of the DNS registries and root nameservers for TLDs would decrease. This is really bad, because currently, it's these DNS registries and the 13 root nameservers located around the world that control the internet.

    Thus, I side with the government on this one; ICANN is just looking for ways to make more money.
  • everbody on earth (with a decent connection) could download Firefox,use OpenDNS, and just type in the awesome bar..works for me!
  • Good thing! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nog_lorp (896553) * on Sunday December 21, 2008 @10:43PM (#26196349)

    Good thing we have a well organized, international body to regulate this process! Otherwise shit like this article would be happening all the time.

    OH SHI...

  •           ICANN.change.org?

  • by belmolis (702863) <billposerNO@SPAMalum.mit.edu> on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:53AM (#26197023) Homepage

    Am I the only person who noticed that the sentence:

    The initial criticism is that John Levine sent a note to a policy mailing list and summarized the concerns raised as ranging from

    is nonsensical? The criticism is not that John Levine sent a note. Rather, John Levine sent a note summarizing the US government's criticism. I don't care about fine points of prescriptive grammar, but it would be nice if posts made sense.

  • what they'll do with all the extra money since they are a non-profit.

    1. Allow creation of generic TLDs that are very lucrative for you.
    2. ???
    3. Not Profit!

  • How dare they do such a thing!

    Oh, wait, they are actually opposing the ICANN's terrible idea?

    And it's December, so this can't be an April fool's joke. Can someone explain what is going on here? Since when did the government actually step in to oppose bad ideas?
  • Is localhost still available?

  • ...insufficient attention to monopoly and consumer protection, to lack of capacity to enforce compliance, to overreach into non-technical areas such as adjudication of morality

    I guess the Bush Regime would know all about that, considering that's something they've done time and time again.

  • of my note. I expanded it into a post on my blog at http://weblog.johnlevine.com/ICANN/docnewtld.html [johnlevine.com]
  • Personally I can't count the times I've accidentally typed .cmo instead of .com after a URL

    I bet that with an everyone-can-create-their-own-TLD scheme it won't be long before less-than-reputable outfits register a .cmo (com) or .rog (org) TLD. If you own the entire TLD you just basically typo-squatted every major website on the planet.

    Or worse than just being another adfarm, the owner could even serve custom content for ebay.cmo , amazon.cmo, bankofamerica.cmo , etc, and many visitors will be none the w

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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