Mandarin is a tricky language, but ICANN may want to learn the expression chóngfù before leaving the Beijing meeting. Chóngfù means “do-over” and that’s what ICANN needs to forestall an entirely preventable disaster in the delegation of new top-level domains (TLDs).
The issue of “string similarity” seems straightforward. Nobody inside ICANN or out there in the real world wants Internet users to be confused by new TLDs that are confusingly similar. Imagine hearing an ad offering low rates at car.loans but you encounter something completely different at car.loan instead? And what would stop somebody from launching a new TLD by just tacking an “s” onto popular domains like .com or .org?
The Government Advisory Committee (GAC) is catching a lot of flack for it’s Beijing Communiqué, but one thing the GAC got right was its advice that singular/plural strings are confusingly similar.
So how did we get to a point where ICANN inexplicably failed to find confusing similarity for 24 pairs of singular and plural forms of the same words, including .web /.webs, .game/.games, and .hotel/.hotels? More important, how do we fix this?Read More
The latter half of 2012 is one of the heaviest periods of Internet governance activity ever, with three critical events that could change the course of the next decade. So it’s important to take a step back from the catchall phrase “Internet governance,” and ask what it even means… and why it really matters.
It started earlier this month in Toronto with the 45th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and continues through the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Baku, Azerbaijan in November. (NetChoice was a prominent actor at the ICANN meetings and will attend the IGF next week, too.) Then, December brings us the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. Taken together, these events present a series of critical decision points for the Internet’s future.Read More
Last week in Prague, the GAC (Government Advisory Committee) relentlessly hammered ICANN over a range of issues relating to the new gTLD program. And while their criticisms were legitimate, one has to wonder to what extent governments were punishing ICANN for past offenses.
At the same time, the ICANN board and management seem to have finally — much belatedly — figured out how important it is to maintain a constructive and positive relationship with governments. ICANN representatives approached the GAC deferentially during Prague meetings, explaining issues with new gTLDs and being flexible about timing for objections to new gTLD applications.Read More
Dear Mr. Chehadé,
Congratulations on your appointment as the next CEO of ICANN, and welcome to our little rogues’ gallery. Some denizens of this domain (your humble author included) may strike you as a little odd at first, but we’re mostly harmless.
We usually steer first-timers onto the Newcomers track, but in your case, that may be… inadequate. And while we would never presume to tell you how to do your job — which may be one of the world’s hardest — we thought we might offer a few pieces of friendly advice, based on our time here.Read More