ICANN GAC concerned about community priority evaluations but not two-letter domain names.
The Governmental Advisory Committee to ICANN has issued its GAC Communique (pdf) from this week’s meeting in Los Angeles.
There are a couple notable items on it related to new top level domain names.
First, the GAC noted apparent inconsistencies with recent Community Priority Evaluations and asked ICANN to consider an appeal process. Based on the language, it appears governments are more concerned about communities losing out than applicants being harmed by a surprise decision in favor of a “community”:
The GAC has concerns about the consistency of the Community Priority Evaluation Process, following the rejection of a number of applications. There is a need to ensure that criteria for community priority treatment are applied consistently across the various applications.
Second, the GAC weighed in on the release of two character second level domains.
At a meeting on Sunday, GAC members that spoke up said they had no issues with the use of two letter second level domains, in most cases even if they match country codes.
The United States, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Spain all essentially said they don’t see why this is a problem. Here’s what the U.S. representative said:
The use of the, quote, “US,” unquote, two-letter country code at the second level has not presented any technical or policy issues for the United States. We, in fact, do not require any approval for the use of US two-letter — two-character country codes at the second level in existing gTLDs and do not propose to require anything for new gTLDs.
The governments also noted that individual countries can respond during comment periods for applicants’ registry service requests to use two letter labels.
The communique states:
The GAC recognized that two-character second level domain names are in wide use across existing TLDs, and have not been the cause of any security, stability, technical or competition concerns. The GAC is not in a position to offer consensus advice on the use of two-character second level domain names in the new gTLD registry operations, including those combinations of letters that are also on the ISO 3166-1 alpha 2 list.
The GAC did not yet render an opinion on country and territory names.