ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers that controls Top Level Domain extensions, is anticipating a request for a new controversial TLD; .GAY. Scott Seitz, founder of dotGay.com says he plans to ask ICANN to approve the .gay extension but fears new US government powers to block ‘objectionable’ TLDs will scupper his hopes. It’s proposed that the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) members be given the power to roadblock the usual ICANN discussion process, perhaps in response to ongoing issues over the contentious .XXX extension.
The Obama administration proposal says: “Any GAC member may raise an objection to a proposed string [gTLD] for any reason. If it is the consensus position of the GAC not to oppose objection raised by a GAC members or members, ICANN shall reject the application.”
Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller described the proposal as an “assault on Internet freedom” and agreed it could jeopardise Seitz’s efforts to get a .Gay TLD established.
Speaking about the veto proposal, Seitz said: “It’s problematic, and it’s discrimination on a terrible level. It’s not even appropriate for countries [to have the ability to veto] because of freedom of expression. Anything beyond [restricting speech that] incites violence is discrimination. .Gay will be a venue for enhancing our ability to interact with each other as a community.”
Also the founder of SPI Marketing, Seitz has a background in marketing to the gay community, public relations and event planning. He concluded: “.Gay [is also] a global networking opportunity, linking community centres. It’s really going to be a hybrid not-for-profit and for profit – that’s really the vision. There is a business plan in place. There is, I believe, a way to have a happy middle of the road. Our goal is to reach out to the initial community that’s out, including the gay and lesbian business community.”