The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has denied Tralliance Inc.’s request for a DNS wildcard for the .travel domain.
Tralliance is the registry in charge of the .travel domain, a rarely used top level domain name. The company requested clearance to introduce a DNS wildcard. A DNS wildcard would basically redirect any traffic to non-existent .travel domains to parking pages. This idea is similar to VeriSign’s (NASDAQ: VRSN) controversial SiteFinder service for .com and .net domains. The SiteFinder service was withdrawn after coming under fire from the internet community. SiteFinder became the basis for a lawsuit between Verisign and ICANN.
Tralliance tried to argue that the purpose of the program wasn’t advertising but instead ensuring people didn’t think .travel wasn’t there or was broken. As I pointed out in September, this idea is bogus. It’s not like people are typing americanairlines.travel into their browsers instead of americanairlines.com.
The official reason for ICANN’s denial was technical, not business. ICANN pointed out that the wildcards’ effects are not limited to web browsing. It can affect other applications including e-mail. It also could cause problems as non-English characters continue to be added to domain names.