Work Remains For ICANN’s New Top Level Internet Domains (IP-Watch)

Internet Technical Body an Authority on Morality? ICANN announced the “biggest extension of the DNS [domain name system] in 40 years” after its decision last week to finish implementation of a new policy for introducing new top-level domains (TLDs). According to the timeline presented at the ICANN meeting in Paris, new TLDs to compete against the existing .com, .biz or .museum TLDs will be open for application in the second quarter of 2009. … But the most discussed and criticised reason for an objection clearly is “morality and public order.” This objection criterion would allow any government to veto strings (domains), ICANN director and US law professor Susan Crawford warned before the vote on the new TLD policy. This could undermine ICANN’s mission to act as a private self-regulatory body, she said, by giving such influence to governments. “It’s allowing governments to censor,” Crawford said, adding that the idea of having a private internet governance model was also “to avoid having the domain name system used as a choke-point for content.” Together with her colleague Wendy Seltzer, who acts as liaison of the ICANN At-Large User Community to the board, Crawford asked for clear-cut and narrow rules for the morality objection….

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