Saturday, April 14, 2012

ICANN’s Software Flaw Jeoparadised Entire Bidding Process Of New GTLDS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has recently admitted that a technical issue with the TLD application system software, or TAS, has allowed a limited number of users to view some other users’ file names and user names in certain scenarios.

TAS has been taken temporarily offline by ICANN. Further, in order to ensure all applicants have sufficient time to complete their applications during the disruption, the application period has been extended till 20-04-2012, 23:59 UTC.

Although cyber security incidents like these cannot be avoided absolutely yet keeping in mind the importance of this issue and stakes involved, ICANN should have taken the entire process more seriously.

This is just the beginning and in future many more techno legal issues could also arise. ICANN must revisit its strategy regarding new GTLDs application procedure, the scrutiny stage and finally the awarding of new GTLDs to the most deserving applicants.

Having a knowledge about rival’s bid amount and other crucial details can jeoparadise the chances of the applicant whose details were accessible to others. The confidentiality and integrity of the entire bidding system is doubtful in such circumstances.

This incidence would also affect the legal rights objection and dispute resolution process put in place by ICANN. ICANN must not only come out with a convincing explanation regarding revelation of competitor’s bids but must also ensure that the entire process of new GTLDs allotment is managed in a techno legal manner and free from irregularities and glitches.