Wednesday, 8 June 2005

".travel" registry policies posted

ICANN and the USA Department of Commerce remain silent on my requests for independent review of ICANN’s decision to create a “.travel” top-level Internet domain (TLD), and to stay that decison pending independent review.

But the “.travel” registry operator designated by ICANN, the Tralliance Corp. subsidiary of, has quietly posted what appears to be a prototype (not yet linked from anywhere else on the site) of a Flash intro page for the Web site that will be at if “.travel” goes live, including a link to a version of the .travel registry policies .

The newly posted policies give no indication of by whom, or through what process, they were or are being proposed or approved. They continue and extend the bias toward the travel “industry”, at the expense of travellers and consumers, that has characterized the “.travel” applications from the start.

Among the more obviously unfair provisions of the “.travel” polices is that a decision by the “Travel Partnership Corporation (TTPC) that an applicant is not eligible to register a “travel” domain name is final and unreviewable. But a decison by Tralliance and/or TTPC to allow a particular “.travel” registration can be appealed to an arbitration panel under ICANN’s “Uniform Charter Dispute Resolution Policy” (UCDRP).

Why would eligibility approvals be subject to the UCDRP, but eligibility denials not be? On its face, this policy flatly contradicts the supposed ICANN requirement (not that ICANN ever enforces or follows its rules) that all eligibility disputes be subject to the UCDRP. The only reason I can imagine for such a policy is for the travel industry — which along with Tralliance controls TTPC — to guarantee their unreviewable authority to exclude from the “.travel” domain the industry’s critics from amongst NGO’s, journalists, and consumer advocates and organizations.

And while no dates have been announced to travellers, consumers, or the public, organizations that have affiliated with TTPC are telling their members that “pre-authentication” of would-be registrants of “.travel” domain names will run from 1 July - 23 August 2005, with the first “.travel” registrations beginning 1 September 2005.

That’s if ICANN continues to disregard its bylaws, and my request for independent review, and if the USA Department of Commerce approves the addition of “.travel” to the root name servers.

Link | Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 8 June 2005, 20:14 ( 8:14 PM)
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