ICANN in New Delhi – what happened

As ICANN calls a close to its meeting this week in Delhi, we can look back at the major happenings there. domain name front running, domain tasting and Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) were the main some of the main issues discussed.The meeting was attended by 720 participants from 76 countries, including 290 participants from the host country India.On front running, ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee investigated 120 claims of front running and found the claims of front running generally resulted from misunderstandings about how the registration procedures work.”When Internet users are unable to distinguish among different market activities, they often appear to conclude that they have fallen victim to a domain name front runner,” the committee said in a new report.A number of cases of alleged front running were in fact multiple people trying to register the same domain name. So ICANN has recommended better education of registrants so they are aware of what may happen.Domain tasting came up for discussion, with ICANN’s proposal to charge its existing fee of 20 cents per domain name even if the name is not kept following the Add Grace Period. This would make tasting masses of names more expensive.Discussions took place during the week on IDNs with no real progress occurring, but a better understanding of IDNs, according to ICANN’s CEO Paul Twomey.According to the Associated Press, “At issue is a proposed ‘fast-track’ mechanism for specific countries to get non-English suffixes _ the “.com” part of Internet addresses. For example, many Internet users in China would like to see a Chinese-character equivalent of the “.cn” suffix.”Under one scenario, each country would be entitled to one non-English suffix while work continues on resolving broader challenges, such as how to make sure a domain in one language isn’t inadvertently offensive in another.””At the beginning of the week, various groups mapped out their extreme positions,” Paul Twomey told AP. “By the end of the week, it became a more reasonable conversation.”The discussion on IDNs now moves to ICANN’s Paris meeting in June, although he does not expect ICANN will begin to accept bids for specific names till the end of the year at the earliest.And on another issue that seems to go on forever, rules for new gTLDs are still being formulated, and on one of these, .post for postal services, the board took no action.ICANN’s news release wrapping up the conclusion of the meeting notes:
The ICANN board passed a number of resolutions at the meeting, including:

  • Directing staff to continue implementation work on New generic top-level domains, inform the GNSO and the public on progress made in implementation efforts, discuss some issues raised by the staff and Board regarding implementation with the GNSO Council, and provide information to the Board in a timely manner to enable the Board to discuss the recommendations and implementation issues and quickly determine a course of action for the introduction new gTLDs, with staff to provide an update at the Board workshop on 17 April 2008;
  • Asking ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees to continue their ongoing collaborative efforts and commitment to recommend a course of action to the Board in a timely manner;
  • Have ICANN deploy IPv6 across its infrastructure and provide regular feedback to the community on progress and lessons learned;
  • Approval of the Framework and Principles on Accountability and Transparency;
  • Approval of a bylaw-change request from the At-Large Advisory Committee that will provide Regional At-Large Organizations with an important role in evaluating applications and increase transparency of the consideration of applications.

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