The TLD Security Forum brought leaders in cyber security, Internet infrastructure, Internet policy and the domain industry together for discussion focused on digital security and the expansion of the Internet through new Top-Level Domains.
The basis of discussion was name collisions, and whether the introduction of new TLDs will cause unacceptable security risks. Verisign (.com), and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have been particularly vocal in seeking delays claiming that launching new gTLDs represents a risk to the security and stability of the Internet.
The issue has polarized new gTLD applicants, industry members, technical and domain name service providers against the ANA and the .com giant, blaming them for causing program delays for their commercial benefit.
The ANA is asking for an extension of several months, to allow their members to examine potential effects of the launch of new TLDs. The ANA claims that ICANN’s comment period on the topic was “not long enough” and didn’t give big companies the time needed to determine potential security risks. Therefore, they are asking for more time – which really means delays. DotGreen asked Amy Mushahwar and Dan Jaffe how it was that they and their large corporate clients were caught off guard in not having enough time to think about potential Name Collisions and also by the “velocity of new gTLDs” as Jaffe described the 2012 publicly published list of 1409 new gTLDs.
ANA’s corporate clients have been using the Internet for a long time, which means they have been interacting in cyberspace and engaging in successful business, and seeing benefits of operating online. Name Collisions is an old issue (which Mushahwar agreed with) that exists among other noise in the rapidly growing innovative and global Internet. New ideas, programs, and websites shape the Internet everyday while all who are online, adapt and grow. ICANN has been governing names and numbers for 15 years, and adding new gTLDs is not a new occurrence in the evolution of a still young Internet. The current program has been in the works since the Generic Names Supporting Organization ,GNSO approved the new gTLD policy in 2007. The list of 1409 new gTLDs has been published and openly talked about at all ICANN meetings since June 6, 2012 – a worldwide confirmation new gTLDs are happening again! Perhaps the length of time this program has taken is testament to the number of voices that have participated. Mushahwar, responding to how her organization thought they were (unfairly) caught off guard, changed her complaint of having only 2 weeks to respond to a story that explained the ANA has actually been working hard on behalf of their members for 2.5 years.
DotGreen Community, Inc. (DGC) has a story too. DGC is an applicant for one of the public’s most awaited TLDs – with the potential for social, environmental, business, and economic benefit for all. The .GREEN TLD represents an online community movement of Internet users, corporations, businesses, and governments who are all critical to our shared future on Earth. DotGreen Community, Inc. has followed and complied with the framework of the new gTLD program, and has attended 18 consecutive ICANN meetings these past 6 years, along with Internet technology experts. Requests asking for delay at this late time in the program seem questionable because technical evaluations of each of the strings have already been completed and each string has been approved by qualified ICANN evaluators. Asking for a delay now over an old and known issue such as Name Collisions is not in the spirit of collaboration with the Internet Industry community – and perhaps more alarmingly – doesn’t seem to reflect a serious respect of the global multi-stakeholder model where stakeholders around the world have had a seat at the table at ICANN (regardless of what country they operate or live in) and have participated within the framework of the process.
In the case of .GREEN, a new delay is detrimental to the online green movement, progress for online global awareness of sustainability, and the sustainable future we all want and need. The DotGreen Community, understands how collaboration is a basic of successful International business, the global Internet, and what it takes to protect our global ecosystem across a single planet. From our perspective, yesterday’s ANA presentation was narrowly focused and has the potential to damage the global multi-stakeholder process known as ICANN which is so important to maintaining one world, one Internet for all.