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ICANN’s core principles and the expansion of generic top-level domain names

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Information Technology
Journal number4
Volume20
Number of pages18
Pages273-290
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

ICANN is a self-regulatory body that oversees the registration of domain names and coordinates Internet protocol addresses. As a multi-stakeholder body with significant influence over the root of the Internet, ICANN’s role is crucial in order to maintain its stability and interoperability. From January 2012, a call for Expressions of Interest in the registration and running of generic top-level (g-TLD) domain names was opened. This process allows an applicant to self-select a g-TLD and then be responsible for registering second-level domain names. The initiative represents a significant expansion of available g-TLDs, which could potentially lead to an increase in cybersquatting. It also hands the power to register second-level domain names to a wider pool of registries. This is a pivotal point in ICANN’s development and how it manages the expansion will either highlight the strengths or expose the flaws in the nature of multi-stakeholder Internet governance. This article seeks to analyse the initiative to expand g-TLDs in relation to a number of ICANN’s initial core aims: stability, competition and private, bottom-up coordination.