ICANN system for applications for new gTLDs still down

ICANN is still unclear about a date for the reopening of its application system

The system for applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) is still down after nearly a week, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) still unclear as to when it will be restored.

ICANN said Tuesday it will update no later than Friday on the date when its application system will reopen, and when it will publish the list of new domain names applied for.

The organization said on April 12, the last date for submitting applications, that the application system was taken offline, after it found that there was a software glitch, which resulted in some users being able to see some other users' file names and user names.

The board of directors of ICANN approved in June last year an increase in the number of gTLDs from the current 22.

ICANN had initially said that the system, called TLD application system (TAS), would be restored by April 17, and moved the last date for applications to April 20. But the organization later said that would not be possible.

In a statement on Tuesday, ICANN chief operating officer Akram Atallah, said that a review of the technical glitch indicates that the issue stems from a problem in the way the system "handled interrupted deletions of file attachments."

ICANN said it is seeking confirmation that its solution for the issue is effective, and is also finding out which applicants' file names and user names were potentially viewable, and which applicants had the ability to see them.

Organizations are seeking information on whether ICANN will proceed with the planned publication of applied-for domain names on April 30. "We will update the target date for publication as part of our update on the timing of the reopening, no later than Friday, 20 April at 23.59 UTC," Atallah said in the statement.

ICANN said on Saturday that after going through customer service inquiries received since the opening of the application submission period, it had identified a user report on March 19 that appears to be the first report related to the technical issue.

The gTLD plan brings the ability to create new TLDs including in non-Latin, non-English scripts, but trademark owners object to it, as it will make it difficult for them to protect their intellectual property over the large number of new TLDs.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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