Home / Blogs

ICANN - Time to Act!

Stéphane Van Gelder

At the start of the TAS outage, I said ICANN had a great opportunity to get its crisis management right by communicating properly.

Now, nearly two weeks after the application window was supposed to close, ICANN has clearly done just that. We've had update messages every day and even a video of Security Chief Jeff Moss in which he provides an in-depth view of the way his team is handling the glitch. ICANN's latest communication initiative is a "TAS interruption FAQ” where it is confirmed that the April 30 "reveal day" will be postponed (the first time ICANN has officially recognized that it will not be able to publish the list of TLDs applied for in this first round at the end of the month of April as initially planned).

But clearly, communication isn't the only parameter in crisis management. At some point, you also need to act. So with ICANN refusing to commit to any TAS restart date, instead promising to "provide an update on the timing of the reopening no later than Friday, 27 April", perhaps more crisis management advice is needed…

What could that advice be? To carefully weigh the pros of checking every detail of the TAS data with the cons of looking rather inept by allowing the outage to continue. Seasoned ICANN watchers are appalled by the continued delay, but at least they are used to such things and therefore probably more tolerant of ICANN's capacity for missing deadlines and getting mired in its own processes than a new category of ICANN community member: the applicants and observers that the new gTLD program has brought into the ICANN universe.

ICANN has never been particularly mindful of its crowd of usual suspects, but it should definitely be wary of this new category that it has itself created through the new gTLD program and its desire to "change the Internet forever".

Because these people live in the real world, where missing deadlines by a month is science fiction, and where 70 million dollar organisations take hours to solve problems, not weeks. When you charge people $185,000 for the right to submit an application, you need to be able to show them that you are able to handle pressure and act fast.

So my advice to ICANN now: get your skates on! A typically British expression with a clear meaning: restart TAS. Stop faffing about trying to verify every single bit of applicant data that may have been impacted by the glitch. Your updates keep on telling us how no data was corrupted and no sensitive data from one applicant was even visible by another. So do a 180 degree shift in your current crisis management.

ICANN's next update (wishful thinking: tomorrow?) should be: "in the interest of getting the new gTLD program back on track, we've decided to restart TAS now."

But deciding that would require strong leadership. Like a CEO able and willing to take the risk of restarting the system before the full data analysis is complete. A CEO that would understand that this risk needs to be weighed against the damage that not restarting TAS is doing to ICANN's global image. Unfortunately, since the crisis began, the current ICANN CEO has gone AWOL…

By Stéphane Van Gelder, Consultant. More blog posts from Stéphane Van Gelder can also be read here.

Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance, Top-Level Domains

 
   

Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.

Comments

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

Cybersecurity

Sponsored by Verisign

IP Addressing

Sponsored by Avenue4 LLC

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias

Promoted Posts

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

Watch this video to discover how ACCELR/8, a transformative trading platform developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman, enables organizations to buy or sell IPv4 blocks as small as /20s. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Radix's .TECH, .STORE, .ONLINE and .FUN Get Approval from the Chinese Government

Join Neustar's Town Hall Meeting and Help Shape the Future Of .US

Domain Registrations Reach 331.9 Million, 6.7 Million Growth Year over Year

.brands Spotlight: Banking and Finance Industries

Google Buys Business.Site Domain for 'Google My Business'

Radix Announces Global Web Design Contest, F3.space

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 330.6 Million, 1.3 Million Growth in First Quarter of 2017

.TECH Gets Its Big Hollywood Break

.PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day for 3rd Consecutive Year

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 Years

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

Neustar to be Acquired by Private Investment Group Led by Golden Gate Capital

Startup League Reports from WebSummit, Lisbon

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast