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Geographic gTLD Proposal Politicizes Domain Name System

Geographic gTLD Proposal Politicizes Domain Name System

Lenard Files Comments with ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee

Contact: Amy Smorodin
(202) 828-4405

November 12, 2014 – A proposal to require applicants to secure approval for new geographic area gTLDs would “insert governments into the operation of ICANN in an unprecedented way”, explains Thomas Lenard in comments filed today with ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC). Granting governments a veto power over a potentially large class of new gTLDs would politicize the domain name system and is inconsistent with the market-oriented approach that allocates TLDs to their most highly valued uses. The comments were filed in response to the ICANN GAC draft document, “The protection of geographic names in the new gTLDs process.”

Lenard, Technology Policy Institute President and Senior Fellow, warns the proposal would also impose substantial administrative and logistical burdens on applicants, governments and ICANN. This is in part because the potential domain names that might be affected, and the relevant authorities from which applicants would have to receive approval, are not clearly defined.

The proposal’s claim that the internet naming system must be administered in the public and common interest is also a cause for concern. This “vague and undefined standard would invite politicized decision making” and is “inconsistent with ICANN’s traditional limited technical role in the operation of the domain name system.”

Lenard concludes that the proposals would hinder the prospects for innovation on the internet and recommends that they not be adopted.

The comments are available on the TPI website.

The Technology Policy Institute

The Technology Policy Institute is a non-profit research and educational organization that focuses on the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world. More information is available at https://techpolicyinstitute.org/.

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