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ICANN has long upheld the stance that its role, though critical to the everyday functions of the Internet as we know it, is very limited. In fact, on the Frequently Asked Questions page of ICANN’s website, it says the following:

“ICANN’s role is very limited, and it is not responsible for many issues associated with the Internet, such as financial transactions, Internet content control, spam (unsolicited commercial email), Internet gambling, or data protection and privacy.”

This delineation of what exactly it is that ICANN is responsible for and what it is not was stated again by its interim CEO Akram Atallah in a recent Reuters article about the deluge of public comments ICANN has received over who should operate certain religious gTLDs that were applied for as part of the New gTLD Program, namely .BIBLE, .ISLAM and others. While certain comments implore ICANN to make sure that these names do not fall into the “wrong” hands, Atallah told Reuters, “We don’t look into whether the Vatican has the right to the .CATHOLIC name. Hopefully, the process will get to a conclusion that is satisfying to the majority.” Continue Reading…