The new generic top-level domain application system remains offline after a technical glitch ICANN discovered last week that allowed applicants to see file names and user names of other applicants.
In a statement released on Sunday, ICANN chief operating officer Akram Atallah said ICANN continues to investigate what went wrong, and is using “outside experts” to resolve any issues before the application window is reopened.
A press release on Saturday states that ICANN’s preliminary review identified a user report on March 19 as the first report related to this technical issue.
ICANN expects the application process to reopen on Tuesday, but said it will not be able to confirm this until 23:59 GMT on Monday. Initially, applications were supposed to close on Friday, but the technical issue discovered on Thursday thwarted those plans. The new deadline is expected to be Friday, April 20.
At World Hosting Days in March, Thorsten Einig, managing director of OpenSRS talked about the impact the new TLDs would have on web hosts. He said in his presentation that while the new TLDs will provide challenges to hosts, it will also offer a lot of opportunity. For example, web hosts will be able to target customers by region with internationalized domain extensions.
While ICANN said its only some file names and user names that were exposed, a report on the Guardian claims that applicants could uncover important clues about how to word their own bids by seeing rival bids that are meant to be confidential.
“An intensive review has produced no evidence that any data beyond the file names and user names could be accessed by other users. In addition, it does not appear that this issue caused any corruption or loss of data,” Atallah said in a statement.
ICANN is still working on figuring out which applicants were affected, and will inform applicants once the data is confirmed.
April 30 is the still the target date to publish the applied-for new domain names, but this may change, according to ICANN.
Talk back: Did you apply for a new gTLD? If so, how does this technical glitch affect you? Let us know in the comment section.