Thursday, November 29, 2012

ICANN, Make a Difference

Meinrath, Sarah and Elliot Noss. "ICANN, Make a Difference." Slate, November 27, 2012.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is little known, but it wields a tremendous amount of power: It controls all of the Web’s top-level domains (those letters after the “dot,” like .com and .org). Currently, ICANN is in the midst of creating hundreds (and possibly thousands) of new, generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that span a host of different ideas, from .web to .cars to .anything_else_you_can_imagine. These new gTLDs have the potential to dramatically affect the future of Internet browsing, and they’re already stirring up some serious discussion. (Saudi Arabia, for one, doesn’t want .gay, .bible, or other dozens of other proposed domains to be approved.) But the auction process to distribute them also has the potential for even greater impact than currently envisioned.