Additional thoughts on TRANSITIONAL

John C Klensin klensin at
Fri Dec 4 19:07:09 CET 2009

--On Friday, December 04, 2009 08:04 -0800 Kim Davies
<kim.davies at> wrote:

> Whether
> a government has any legal involvement in their ccTLD varies
> from country-to-country, some countries have passed laws to
> nationalise the ccTLD but AFAIK most have not.


I have my own --at this point very cynical-- view of the
likelihood of ICANN's effectively interfering in the operation
of a TLD because of dissatisfaction with however the operator is
operating a domain.  Neither my view nor your, presumably more
optimistic, one seem relevant to this WG's decision-making.

However, your comment above misses some important cause and
effect relationships.  For those TLDs that were not
government-controlled before ICANN took over but which have
heavy government involvement (control, regulation, or oversight)
now, the vast majority made that change because of one of:

(i) A ccTLD got concerned about a perceived threat from ICANN or
some other party, took refuge in claims of national sovereignty,
and ended up with a good deal of government involvement as a

(ii) A government didn't like the behavior of the operator for
some reason (sometimes involving money) and moved to take the
domain over.  Sometimes that was handled as an entirely national
matter, sometimes ICANN got involved, but the motivating
decision was the same.

The second interacts with this discussion and the point I think
you were trying to make.  From my point of view and experience,
a ccTLD with no existing close governmental relationship could
rapidly find itself with such a relationship if it made
decisions that were seen as both important and contrary to
national policy.   

We could speculate endlessly on what it would take to be
important enough, contrary enough, etc., to get a government to
move, especially since some governments are more inclined (and
more able) to move than others in these areas.  But the point is
that the relationships and decisions about identifiers
--especially for governments that consider IDNs important--
interact with ccTLD - government relationships far more than
your observation would suggest.

And, as Andrew and others have pointed out, the whole discussion
is utterly irrelevant to most domains at other than the top
level and equally irrelevant many at the top level.
Independent of the alternatives Eric pointed out and in the
wildest fantasies of those who believe that ICANN is in charge
of the Internet, ICANN decisions can directly affect only about
300 domains and indirectly affect the policies those domains
use.  The other millions and millions of zones...


More information about the Idna-update mailing list