The historic decision from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to open the top-level domain market has received a lot of criticism ever since its announcement last year. Recent developments, however, are bringing even more concerns to table about the stability of the program.
The application process for the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which was originally scheduled to end on April 12, has been put on hold indefinitely after a technical glitch was detected in ICANN’s software system. What’s more, the security issue also resulted in a data breach that allowed some applicants’ information to be compromised.
The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has raised issues about the program from the beginning claiming that it could be harmful to both consumers and brands. Dan Jaffe, the Group Executive Vice President of Government Relations at ANA, told us that ICANN needed to check the security of the system before the application process began.
ANA has asked that ICANN bring in a third party consultant to investigate the issues. It is also requesting that the Commerce Department press ICANN for answers and transparency before allowing it to move forward with its plan. Jaffe said he would like to see ICANN take steps that ensure these problems don’t arise in the future as well.
At this point, ICANN is notifying the applicants that were compromised and is expected to re-open the application process once everyone is informed.