Feeds

US.gov questions DNS liberalisation plans

ICANN gets the call on .whatever

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The US government has criticised an ICANN plan to allow many more top level domain extensions, raising questions once again over the organization's independence from political interests in Washington.

The Los Angeles-based quango that runs the domain name system (DNS), is consulting on liberalistaion proposals that would allow large companies, cities or NGOs to run their own registry. It's planned each permission will cost $200,000.

The proposals also allow for domains using non-latin character sets, such as Cyrillic, which the Russian government has lobbied for.

In a letter to ICANN last week, Meredith Baker, who is in charge of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), wrote it was unclear "whether the potential consumer benefits outweigh the potential costs," AP reports. She added that new domain extensions must not jeopardise the stability or security of the DNS.

Baker also told ICANN that if the new rules are applied it should leave decisions over whether to allow controversial domain extensions to national governments, "such as adjudication of morality, public order and community objections". A long running debate in the domain community over whether there should be a .xxx extension for porn sites ended in 2007 with the ICANN board rejecting the idea - under political pressure - eight votes to four.

The effect of NTIA's intervention will be closely scrutinised by ICANN observers. In principle, ICANN is independent from the US government, but in reality runs the DNS under a federal contract, meaning Washington has significant sway. The plan to liberalise top level domains has been several years in the making.

The perceived political influence over ICANN was one of the reasons for the founding of the Internet Governance Forum by the UN. It serves as an annual forum for global discussion of internet policy issues independent of the US administration. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.