ICANN domains .MIA; OpenNIC:Be a .pirate

ICANN has been promising choose-your-own top-level domains for four years. Result so far: .NYET


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the august body that keeps straight the top-level domains of the Internet, would like you to know the Internet has gotten too crowded.

Since people like you refuse to get off it to leave more space for people at ICANN, ICANN has had to do something to reduce the overcrowding.

(Actually it had to do something about the overcrowding starting in June of 2008, when it announced it would expand the number of top-level domains and thereby the number of virtual addresses available; until now it hasn't gotten around to actually making those changes, but has talked about it enough to give the appearance of activity to those who don't look too closely.)

After three years of discussion over how many new top-level domains should join the existing 22 (somewhere between "a few" and "thousands" has been the best estimate), ICANN took a huge step last June: it announced again it would increase the number of top-level domains at some time in the future.

In January of 2012 ICANN made another important announcement: it would expand the number of top-level domains, possibly by 100 million, not just a few thousand.

Rather than choose all the new top level domains itself, ICANN decided to allow anyone to create a top level domain using whatever term.com they liked, but that registering a domain would cost $185,000 rather than being free.

It worked out so well ICANN made no real progress on it until April, when ICANN had again announced it would take applications for new TLDs. A security glitch in the system it planned to use to track the domains caused another delay that became a serious problem only in that it was impossible to tell the difference between an ICANN delay and normal ICANN progress.

(This page explains the process of creating and maintaining top-level domains, btw; it may be the only resource within ICANN that has the information. )

By May ICANN had investigated and discovered it knew very little about either the activity of applicants, status of TLD applications, cause or impact of the glitch.

It declared victory and moved on; more accurately, it continued with its previous level of progress. The new TLDs remained entirely theoretical.

Photo Credit: 

ThePirateBay (used in violation of copyright because that's how TPB would wantit.)

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