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ICANN’s archery contest misses its target

Systems all a-quiver

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Confusion continues to surround ICANN’s gTLD program, with the organization canceling the “digital archery” program it had planned to determine the winners of contested generic TLDs.

Digital Archery” is now not even lurching towards reality: ICANN hasn’t worked out a replacement process for the land-grab domain releases.

In “Digital Archery”, applicants were supposed to choose an arbitrary time, and submit their applications as close to that time as possible. For some reason, nobody considered that the Internet’s variable latency might cause problems with the process, until applicants began complaining.

The gTLD program is also under scrutiny by governments concerned that businesses are trying to squat on their domains. Argentina has complained about American clothing maker Patagonia trying to register its name as a “dot-brand” domain.

It’s not the first time ICANN has fallen foul of technical hitches in the registration process: its registration system was taken offline for six weeks earlier this year, after a bug allowed some registrants to see the details of other applicants. ®

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