The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ system for submitting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) has been down for almost a week, and ICANN is not yet sure when it will be back online.
The application platform, called TLD application system (TAS), was taken down after a glitch was reported which allowed applicants to see each other’s user names and file names. ICANN set April 12th as the last day to submit applications before taking the system offline, after its board of directors approved an increase of the number of gTLDs from the current amount of 22 last June. ICANN had said it would publish an updated list of domain names applied for no later than Friday.
ICANN COO Akram Atallah had said, “We will update the target date for publication as part of our update on the timing of the reopening, no later than Friday, 20 April at 23.59 UTC,” in response to organizations seeking a list of applied-for domain names, which was initially set for April 30th. Now ICANN is saying that April 20th is no longer feasible, and is not exactly sure when the system will be back up. Regarding the technical issue affecting the system, Atallah states that there was a problem with how the TAS “handled interrupted deletions of file attachments.” ICANN is investigating an effective solution, as well as logging which applicants’ information became visible, and who saw what. After going over customer service tickets, ICANN says it is apparent that the problem began on March 19th.
The ability to create new TLDs via ICANN’s plan has come under fire from trademark holders, citing that it will be difficult to protect their content amidst a new influx of domains.