Registration of 'southafrica.info' successfully challenged
The South African government has taken advantage of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN's) decision last month to make '.info' country names available for registration by the relevant country's government and public authorities. This follows the South African government's discovery in September 2001 that 'southafrica.info' had been allocated to a party that had no connection to the government.
Numerous governments seeking to register their country name under '.info' had confronted similar problems. This led to unprecedented intervention by ICANN, as it instructed Afilias to register all country names appearing on the United Nation's International Standard List in the name of ICANN as a holding measure.
Registration in the name of ICANN was made where:
- a country's name had not yet been registered;
- a registration had been successfully challenged; or
- there had been no challenge but it appeared that the registrant was not associated or connected to the country's government or public authorities.
Pamela Stein, Cheadle Thompson & Haysom, Johannesburg
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