Feeds

US.gov questions DNS liberalisation plans

ICANN gets the call on .whatever

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.