Rod Beckstrom, CEO and president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), tasked the organization with enforcing stronger safeguards to help prevent any conflicts of interest in regards to the rollout of the new generic top level domains (gTLDs).
ICANN began the application process for new gTLDs in January, and has received 254 applications. Every approved applicant is allowed to claim up to 50 strings and create custom domain names with a maximum of 64 characters.
As part of Beckstrom’s new safeguards, ICANN members who hold roles outside of the organization that may cause a conflict of interest are prevented from helping to establish policies for the new gTLDs.
“It is time to further tighten up the rules that have allowed perceived conflicts to exist within our board,” said Beckstrom. “ICANN must place commercial and financial interests in their appropriate context. How can it do this if all top leadership is from the very domain name industry it is supposed to coordinate independently?”
Beckstrom also said that the gTLD application process was designed to give community groups the advantage over corporations, and to make sure that trademark-holders can register domains related to their intellectual property.
ICANN has invited all individuals in the industry to offer their own public comment on this issue here.
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