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2012 Domain Dunce: TAS and Digital Archery

“Glitch” filled system gets Domain Dunce honors in 2012.

ICANN’s new top level domain program is the most watched initiative in the non-profit’s entire history.

So you’d think ICANN would have double and triple checked all of the technology supporting it, including the TLD Application System (TAS).

Alas, TAS failed. Big time.

In April ICANN had to take the system offline due to a technical “glitch”. The glitch made it possible for some applicants to see file names submitted by other applicants.

ICANN didn’t reopen TAS until May 21.

ICANN would have been better off requesting applications be sent via FedEx.

The group’s inability to properly manage the technical aspects of TAS made a lot of people uncomfortable about its ability to manage the controversial “digital archery” scheme.

Digital Archery was a game ICANN wanted to run to determine the order in which new TLD applications would proceed through the review process.

It’s a lot more complicated than just drawing names out of a hat, but ICANN’s legal team was worried a draw would violate lottery laws.

So it created the Digital Archery idea that created a cottage industry of digital archery specialists offering to increase your chances of getting a better slot.

To use Digital Archery you had to login through TAS. Yes, the same TAS system that had problems.

And guess what happened? Digital Archery had technical problems. It wasn’t shelved just because of that, but ICANN later killed the idea.

What did it do instead?

A lottery.

I guess they got a second legal opinion on that one.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Colin says

    The whole thing has been a load of crap. Smacks of corruption. How many ICANN high-ups are planning to quit/already have quit to join consultancies/start-ups selling TLDs etc?

    F*cking ridiculous.

  2. Tom says

    I think it is more like the US Congress. Simply average people with below average intelligence, with more assertive personalities than their peers, hence moving into positions of responsibility. So it’s the dumb ones minding the store.

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