The relationship between ICANN and the governments of the world could be best described as “interesting”. Or one could be slightly more explicit and call it “tense”.
While at an individual level many governments hold different views of how ICANN should be managing the roll out of the new top level domains (new TLDs), when the group as a whole speaks there is often both a degree of tension and conflict.
The latest missive to be sent to the ICANN Board on behalf of governments (the GAC) is in relation to “country and territory names”.
This issue has been the source of much frustration on the part of registry operators and applicants due to the GAC’s seeming inability to provide a coherent stance. Essentially some countries want to block everything, others want to be able to veto on a case by case basis, while others don’t seem to have any opinion.
While there could be some concerns, though whether they have merit or not is debatable, about the release of these strings in “open” TLDs, that the same restriction would be applied to “closed” .brand extensions is, in my opinion, bizarre. However as governments they are entitled to their opinions as are other stakeholders. How ICANN handles those opinions, however, is the current battleground. One of several.
Here’s the latest letter:
I assume that they’re referring in part to the requests from several brands as well as .xyz and .college.