Govt Objects to Dot Charity Domain
Thursday, 22nd November 2012 at 11:07 am
The Federal Government has objected to applications from two international venture capital companies to own and operate the global internet domain name, DOT charity. (.charity)
The Government’s objections cover two applications for the global top-level domain DOT.charity via ICAAN, the US based international body that oversees the top-level domain process, in its latest Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Early Warning notice.
Dr Bruce Tonkin, the chief strategy officer at Melbourne IT says the Australian objections state that there is the potential to misuse the domain name in any ongoing fundraising efforts.
“It appears that two entrepreneurial companies based outside Australia, Corn Lake and Spring Registry, have raised capital and applied for multiple domain names, including DOT charity,” Tonkin said.
Tonkin says that in both cases the Australian Government has objected to the register of the names by organisations that are not charities and where the collection of money ‘could be used to cause consumer harm.
The GAC Early Warning advice means that the companies have to provide stronger authentication for their applications to ICAAN which will make announcements on the domain name applications starting in March 2013.
In both applications the GAC Early Warning said: “The proposed string (.charity) refers to the charitable sector. In many jurisdictions, charitable organisations are exempted from a range of regulatory requirements that apply to for-profit entities, and are funded through donations or public money.”
“In this context, (they) do not appear to have proposed sufficient protections to address the potential for misuse in the proposed Top Level Domain (TLD).
“Without additional protections, this proposed TLD could result in misuse and consumer harm, and could result in damage to the trust that consumers and governments place in legitimate charities.”
Early warnings provide a mechanism to initiate a discussion between a government and an applicant on particular issues or questions.
Tonkin says the Australian Government has issues objections to more than 120 domains, including applications made by CPA Australia and Open Universities.
However, Tonkin says the Federal Government has not objected to an application to own and run the domain name DOT NGO.
In the US, the Public Interest Registry (PIR) – a Not for Profit organisation that already manages the .ORG domain – has applied for the creation and management of a new .NGO domain that will be available exclusively to NGOs, NFPs and the community sector worldwide.
PIR says that unlike .ORG the new .NGO will be a closed domain, meaning that organisations will need to show that they are registered as a Not for Profit to get a domain.
Dr Bruce Tonkin says given that there have been no objections to the PIR application there is a high chance of it being accepted.
Dr Tonkin is also vice-chairman of ICANN.