ICANN screws up (again)

ICANN reveals address of applicants for new top-level domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' program to expand the number of domains on the internet has suffered another embarrassing setback.

ICANN has temporarily taken down details of domain suffix applications after it inadvertently published the addresses of applicants.

A statement issued by ICANN says: "It has come to our attention that we have published the postal addresses of some primary and secondary contacts for new generic top-level domain applications. This information was not intended for publication. The addresses appeared as responses to portions of questions six and seven on the application.

"We have temporarily disabled viewing of the application details and will provide more information on this matter as it becomes available."

In April, ICANN was forced to suspend the process of applying for so-called 'dot word' domains like .bank after its system was found to reveal details of applicants' file name and usernames. The system was brought back online in May.

ICANN's method of dealing with applications for new domains has also been the subject of criticism. ICANN is proposing to deal with the 1930 applications it received in batches of 500, which could mean that domains dealt with in later batches will come online years after those in earlier batches.

To determine which batch an application is placed in ICANN is proposing to employ a controversial system dubbed "digital archery": Applicants will nominate a particular time then attempt to click a mouse button as near to that time as they can, with those closest to the nominated time receiving preferential treatment when the applications are divided into batches.

Over 10 per cent of the proposed new domains have more than one applicant, meaning they will be subject to ICANN's dispute resolution process.

More than 30 Australian businesses and non-profit organisations have applied for new top-level domains.

Rohan Pearce is the editor of Techworld Australia. Contact him at rohan_pearce at idg.com.au.

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @rohan_p

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @techworld_au

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