Glitch delays Icann's net suffix deadline

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The new net suffix application process has been thrown into disarray after the body in charge of the scheme was forced to take its computers offline.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers said "a possible glitch" had allowed a limited number of users to view each other's details.

Icann said it planned to close down its application system until Wednesday and was extending its application deadline.

Registered organisations now have until 20 April to apply for the new domains.

The process had been scheduled to end at midnight GMT on 12 April.

"We have learned of a possible glitch in the TLD [top level domain name] application system software that has allowed a limited number of users to view some other users' file names and user names in certain scenarios," Icann's chief operating officer Akram Atallah wrote in a statement.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we took the system offline to protect applicant data. We apologise for any concern this may have caused and will communicate on a regular basis on our website."

Name explosion

The TLD extension promises to radically increase the number of website address endings.

At present there are 22 generic suffixes such as .com and .org, and about 250 country codes including .uk and .de.

The move could allow a company like Canon to operate web addresses ending in .canon, .ixus or .eoscamera.

The Japanese camera maker has confirmed it is one of 839 parties involved in the process. Each registrant can apply for up to 50 net address endings.

Organisations had to pay $185,000 (£116,000) in fees to take part. Successful applicants will face $25,000 in annual costs to maintain their domains.

Icann had previously said it would announce who had applied for which of the gTLDs on 30 April. It did not say whether this date would be affected by the incident.

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