Lesley Cowley spoke to V3.co.uk about generic top-level domains, and a more co-ordinated approach to internet security.
V3.co.uk: How did Nominet react to
concerns about a lack of safeguards to ensure that the organisation fulfils
its public purpose?
Lesley Cowley: Well, we had an extraordinary general meeting in February which, from my perspective, was the culmination of five years of discussions on constitutional change. Each change was supported by 90 per cent of members, which was incredible, and it was very important from a strategy point of view because it enshrined our public purpose and gave the opportunity for a well balanced board. We've always operated as if we had a public purpose, but now that's been formalised. There is a challenge in balancing everyone's diverse views, but hopefully you won't expect to see a change. It means that episode is done. We're trying to keep the politicians out of it.
There didn't seem to be much news coming out of the last Icann
meeting in Nairobi. Was much achieved?
There was progress on new top-level domains [TLDs] but not headline progress. A decision was made not to proceed with an 'expression of interest' stage, which was first proposed at the Seoul meeting. This would have been a pre-stage before registering for a new TLD, and it did have demonstrable support, but it was decided against. It was thought it may be difficult to synchronise with the official process, and could even lead to delays with the real programme.
Without this stage, though, is the new TLD programme in danger of
Well, increasingly we're seeing a number of firms saying that they will apply when the process begins. Canon is the first big brand to put a stake in the ground. The new guidebook for the generic TLDs [gTLDs] will be available in June in Brussels, but I'd be surprised if it was the final book. We currently have eight issues out for public consultation.
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