Governments complain to the ICANN Board about the release of two letter domain names in new gTLDs

In the context of the ICANN58 meeting, held in Copenhagen, on 11-16 March, several governments represented on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee have expressed strong dissatisfaction with ICANN’s Board decision to allow the registration of two-letter domain names – including country codes –  in new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The decision, taken in November last year, is seen by governments as a rejection of previous GAC advice (in which governments cautioned the Board that the release of two-letter country codes could create confusion among end users in that they may interpret the domain names as being affiliated with a government or a country code TLD manager). In a joint GAC–Board meeting, the Board said that, in its view, the decision is fully consistent with GAC advice, as it asks registries to implement measures aimed to mitigate the risks of confusion. However, the GAC communique released at the end of the Copenhagen meeting advises the Board to ‘explore measures to find a satisfactory solution on the matter to meet the concerns of these countries before being further aggravated’.