Trevor Little

ICANN has confirmed that the April 30 gTLD reveal date has been postponed. While it has not provided a new timeframe, with the online application system likely to be down for another week, a mid-May date looks the best bet.

WTR previously reported on the technical glitch which allowed some applicants to see the file and user names of other applicants, prompting ICANN to take the TLD Application System (TAS) offline. The organisation had hoped to provide an update on the timing of the application system’s reopening on Friday, but has now stated that it will provide an update by the end of this week.

Akram Atallah, ICANN’s COO, explained: “It is essential to ensure that all potentially affected applicants are accurately identified and notified. Until that process is complete, we are unable to provide a specific date for reopening the application system. In order to give all applicants notice and an opportunity to review and complete their applications, upon reopening the system we will keep it open for at least five business days. No later than April 27 2012 we will provide an update on the reopening of the system and the publication of the applied-for new domain names.” 

Should the window reopen on Monday April 30, this would mean a close of Friday May 4, making the planned disclosure of received applications impossible. This was confirmed over the weekend when ICANN created a ‘Frequently asked questions’ page, which stated that the announcement of applied for domains had indeed been postponed.

In the meantime, applicants will have to wait to find out whether their application was one of those affected by the glitch. Considering the potential implications, Bruce Tonkin, chief strategy officer at Melbourne IT, told WTR that, while there is concern over the situation, “it looks like sensitive data, like directors’ addresses and financials, has not been compromised - it is the user and file names that may have been seen. This is perhaps more of a concern for those applying for generics, as they may have used the name of the term in the file name, which is quite common. For brands it is less of an issue – we know that Deloitte is applying for ‘.deloitte’ for instance. But if they were applying for ‘.accounting’, and this was revealed, it could be more of a concern to them”

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