Sudden move seen as final step toward DNS privatization
The U.S. government, often accused of having a disproportionate say in the working of the Internet, is about to loosen its grip considerably by ceding control of key domain name functions to the international community. To this end, U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers (names, IP addresses and protocol parameters), “to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA.”
ICANN—the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers—is finally starting to roll out some new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) after announcing their intentions a few years back. With only 22 gTLDs currently, the 1,400 new domain suffixes might finally spell the end of .com’s dominance.
Bookseller Borders was unable to survive the crushing onslaught from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, eventually leading to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing earlier this year. As the shell of a company continues to sell assets to pay creditors, it’s started scraping the bottom of the barrel. Borders has agreed to sell off its last significant asset; 65,536 IPv4 addresses. Software vendor Cerner will pick them up for $12 each.
Later this year, the much-debated .xxx top level domain will go live, but the domain name gold rush is already on. The .xxx domain is being presented as a sort of “red light district” for the internet. But before all that happens, individuals and organizations with a trademark are being given the opportunity to snap up .xxx domains to protect their brands. It turns out that one group taking advantage of this is higher education.
VeriSign manages the .com domain (amongst others), but it doesn’t really OWN it. There’s a whole host of ICANN regulations in the way that keeps VeriSign from being able to take down any website it wants, anytime it wants. It’s looking for relief for some of those restraints in an appeal to ICANN that is first and foremost about responding to governmental takedown requests – at least on the surface – but contains slippery verbiage that could cause headaches for website owners around the world.
If you’re the owner of a Furry fetish page and sick of receiving concerned emails sent by dog-loving (just not that kind of loving) grannies who inadvertently stumble across your site, today’s your day: the .xxx domain is officially kinda open for registration. Porn and adult sites who aren’t ashamed of having those scarlet letters branded into their webpage URL can now call dibs with ICM Registry, the owner of the .xxx domain. It’s the first step in the Web’s cautious move to create a virtual red light district.
Good luck finding a .com address that isn't already registered to someone else for your awesome new website idea. Most of the good ones have already been taken, but the good news is if you have enough money, you can apply for your own domain suffix rather than settle for .net or .info. During a special meeting, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of domain name endings.
As the number of remaining iPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses continues to dwindle, Microsoft went on a buying spree of sorts. The world's largest software maker agreed to pay a tidy sum of $7.5 million to Canadian communication equipment manufacturer Nortel in exchange for 666,624 iPv4 addresses at $11.25 a pop.
After years of wrangling over the issue, ICANN has approved the .xxx top level domain (TLD). The new registry will be executed and overseen by the ICM as it was last submitted in August 2010. The creation of this new TLD will create a section of the internet specifically set aside for material of a, shall we say, mature nature. But not everyone is happy about the move.
By now, we're all familiar with the recent practice of government agencies seizing domain names suspected of wrongdoing. But a new initiative could allow world governments to veto future top level domains. This could lead to accusations of stifling free expression, and unjust control over the internet. A meeting in San Francisco next month will be the site of the final decision on who gets to control the next set of domains that augment .com, .org, and the others.