US Gets Threatening Over ICANN’s New Internet Domain PlanPublished on 6 May 2011 @ 10:27 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch
US Assistant Secretary for Commerce Larry Strickling said yesterday the Obama administration expects all issues to be resolved before the internet is opened to a large number of new top-level domains. And he hinted that the US might reconsider the special role of the internet coordination body if it does not comply.
Strickland is head of the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), which handles the US government relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In a speech at the Giganet conference in Washington, DC, Strickling said that while the administration would not tell ICANN to halt its decision to introduce new top-level domains (TLDs), it expects ICANN to solve all open issues put forward by governments.
ICANN has announced it would approve the final applicant guidebook for introducing new TLDs like .nyc, .hotel or .music on 20 June at its meeting in Singapore. Strickling said there remain open issues with regard to objection procedures, law enforcement and consumer protection issues.
In a hearing of the US House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet on 4 May, congressmen supported the complaints of IP rights holders and asked for a delay of the introduction of new TLDs.
Strickling said with regard to ICANN’s timeline: “What I don’t want to have is that they say, we have run out of time.” Strickling also said his agency is “seriously considering” using the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) – the entity administering the domain name system root zone currently managed by ICANN under a contract with the US government – to push for accountability and transparency of ICANN.
To some, this might be considered a threat.
For ICANN, this could mean losing core functions, such as DNS root zone management, including the TLDs and ccTLDs (country-code top-level domains, like .uk), internet protocol address allocation management on the global level, or protocol assignment.