Mike has been explaining tech stuff to me than much longer than I’d like to admit. We’re lucky to have him in the community because he does a great job. He picks up on important issues and can pull out the most salient aspects – as was the case last night at the TISP meeting. I have the videos below – followed by questions. (Thanks to both Mike and Milda Hedblom for allowing me to record the session.)
The super quick take – Mike explains gTLD. Most folks will recognize a TLD (top level domain) as .com, .org or .net. Well there is a push to add 1200 new TLDs. ICANN is the organization that is involved in that move; Mike is a member. They are a consortium of people who care about Internet names and numbers that includes people who want to buy and sell domain names. So 1200 names changes the marketplace – but incorporating those names into addressing is going to be tough and opens the door to some scary stuff…
As long as the ICANN route is trustworthy people will use it. Once it ceases to be trustworthy, people will quit using it. It’s not that difficult to set up an alternate route.
That might open the door to a “more grown up” supervisors/solutions.
Who is responsible for name-space collision?
The ITF is writing about it but they are more interested in protocol. ICANN is more interested in practical.
The potential for hackers
People issue CERTS to internal names. That hasn’t been a problem but a hacker with the right top level domain can run havoc. You need the CERT and the name – then you have the tools to hack.
.home and .corp are reserved because of the potential for unintended use. The first time around they decided what to reserve based on volume. Now there’s more room with qualitative decisions.
Why isn’t this more widely known – like the Y2K issues?
ICANN has always been polarized – people who want to sell domain name and those who want to buy. And this is going very slowly – in the eyes of the domain name buyers. They have paid $185,000 just to get into this and they are getting impatient for a ROI. And those who are buying want to hold off. Now no one can see beyond their own side.
Within ICANN people were surprised that there were 1200 names. But ICANN does make money based on selling names so that’s a bit of a conflict of interest.
In 2009, they thought about putting things off with education before rollout. But lots of people had issues with that plan. If you want to go into the right of way – we know what names are hitting your TLD – we’ve studied that. If you reserve all of the names that have hit your TLD – you can go into the room. If you’re a corporation and you run into issues you can ask that your name gets reserved.
What are the odds that someone like Jeff Bezos decides to become a registry?
It’s possible but a tough sell. And it would fragment in different countries.
One of the big geopolitical issue has been one-root-one-system. But if you can’t count on it, it’s not worth anything.
Verisign has been trying to highlight the issue.
The NSA also throws some spanners in the works.
One of the groups at the table is law enforcement. They are frustrated – especially with whois database. Criminals are using domain names and they are less than truthful with the whois database. And privacy advocates don’t love whois. SO people have setup privacy and proxy services. No standards for relay and reveal.
When they renegotiated the registrar contract these issues come up. And there are issue especially with coordination with European privacy laws.
Internet of Things
Fragmentation could be a big issue with Internet of things.
More in the number than GTLD space. And discussion in the privacy arena. With the Internet of things – we can now track when you open the fridge, turn on the heat…
Role of the US
How does distrust of US fit into the picture – especially with NSA actions?
It’s more of an evolving story. Question from last meeting: Can ICANN say that they have no connection to the NSA? No one answered.
Does it make sense for a small business to look at getting the higher level domain name?
The cost to enter is really too high for most small businesses. And there are ongoing fees ($35,000 a year to ICANN) and you’d be buried by regulatory expectations.
We could do brand domains. Once people realized this – there was a shift. Prediction: Brands are going to have a tough time with these things.
What about End Users?
Big issue will be confusion. Mistyping will lead to rabbit holes – on a good day. Landmines on a bad day. The potential for confusion will make original domain names very valuable. People will go back to what they know. Also there’s a great potential for hacking and other dangers.