ICANN has decided to prohibit the use of dotless domains, according to a decision on Thursday by the group’s New gTLD Program Committee.
The decision comes after ICANN investigated the stability and security implications of dotless domain name functionality. Separately, in a statement released in July, The Internet Architecture Board warned against dotless domains, saying that they “have the potential to confuse users and erode the stability of the global DNS. By attempting to change expected behavior, dotless domains introduce potential security vulnerabilities.”
The resolution means that Google will not be able to operate the http://search dotless domain, which it had expressed interest in obtaining in a letter to the ICANN board in April.
In the letter dated April 6 from Google’s Charleston Road Registry, Sarah Falvey said that http://search, “combined with a simple technical standard will allow a consistent query interface across firms that provide search functionality, and will enable users to easily conduct searches with firms that provide the search functionality that they designate as their preference.”
Prior to the outright ban, applicants had to get permission from ICANN to operate a dotless domain, according to a report by Domain Name Wire. It is expected that ICANN will revisit the ban after people become more comfortable with new TLDs and the security concerns are addressed, DNW says.
While the new TLDs are close to being released, there have been many objections to applications. Recently, at the ICANN meeting in South Africa, the Governmental Advisory Committee officially objected to the .amazon top-level domain name, after objections from Latin American countries over the word’s geographic meaning.