back to article ICANN knifes Africa's internet: New top-level domains terminated

Domain-name overseer ICANN has killed off the majority of Africa's new internet. California-based ICANN, which has faced repeated criticism for its failure to reach beyond a North American audience, saw just 17 applications from Africa out of just over 1,900 applications for new dot-word domains back in 2012. Of those 17, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As bad as ICANN is now wait until it does eventually operate under the UN where it will become yet another battle ground for Israel and the Palestinians and every other state actor with an axe to grind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: uggghhh

      pick a random one of those who've had their African domain names accepted, the money for them accepted, and as compensation, just award them .ICANN, to do with as they see fit? ICANN's taken their money, and is now doing what it wants (it set the rules without a global apolitical consultation, after all)?

    2. goldcd


      You can get your .il or .ps domains right now if you want.

      Lovely thing with the internet is somebody just clicks a button, and you get a name. Another click and it's on any server you fancy anywhere (which makes a nice change from the regular postal service, where somebody has to conquer somebody else).

      My personally feeling is that the domains mentioned in the article are "utter-shit-money-grabbing-bollocks"

      Feel free to join me in criticizing this.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: uggghhh

      Palestinians are actually not "state actors".

      Now that the two state solution has gone to the shitteris encountering strong challenges from the realities on the terrain, this is unlikely to change....

      Death's head because, you know, free-fire zones, most moral army and all that.

      1. asdf

        Re: uggghhh

        My point was not to bring up that shit show in particular but to point out any one that thinks the UN is the solution, that it takes a special kind of organizational incompetence to go in to help Haiti and yet make hell on earth actually worse by giving them yet a new 3rd world disease. They have also done a smash up job with Syria. Finally helping out Africa with pedophile peacekeepers is just the icing on the horse shit cake Peace for our time.

  2. AustinTX

    They CANNT

    Isn't it clear that ICANN doesn't facilitate services? Instead, they charge big money to remove encumbrances. Seriously, we don't need this obscenely corrupt company any more!

    It's insane to be charged money for the right to tack a dot and a reserved word onto the end of our web addresses. I wish an influential Internet company like Google, OpenDNS, or the like would implement their own non-ICANN domain registry. By that, we could register any 256-character string as a domain name the same way we used to register free subdomains. People need only configure their DNS server to one of these providers to enable an overlay of non-ICANN domains, which falls back to ICANN if there is no match. This does lower the bar to enabling certain misuses, but the current system hasn't exactly had much effect on spam, phishing and malware.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: They CANNT

      "People need only configure their DNS server to one of these providers to enable an overlay of non-ICANN domains, which falls back to ICANN if there is no match."

      Which people?

      Big ISP companies? Why would they bother?

      Individuals? How would they do that?

      1. hellwig

        Re: They CANNT (which people)

        Which People? Google.

        All my home computers run through the Google public and DNS servers. Even my old ISP used those two DNS servers as the default (i.e. that's what their system served up over DHCP).

        If Google started it's own domain registry system, who could stop them?

        1. goldcd

          An interesting point

          I've still got Google as my backup, when my ISP decided to fall over.

          Your choice of DNS does reflect your personal trust. Does ICANN offer me DNS?

          Any certificate chain to a trusted ISP, should I decide to trust?

          FFS this whole internet thing is built on damp, sagging paper


        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: They CANNT (which people)

          Google don't want people to have easily memorable domain names. Google's idea of a perfect internet is one where nobody ever enters a domain name, they just enter the name of whatever company they're looking for into Google.

          Quite possibly, your suggestion might be one way to achieve that. But it seems an unnecessarily convoluted and expensive way.

          1. AustinTX

            Re: They CANNT (which people)

            @veti: yes, and perhaps this is why Google hasn't made the plunge yet. People want more flexibility in domain names. Google wants us to give up domain names. Once their URL-shortener runs out of combinations, they may change their minds. More about that at:


      2. AustinTX

        Re: They CANNT

        @Terry.6: A good point. What carrot to hang from the stick? How not to become the new oppressor? Since this opens up a tremendous amount of new 'real estate', every organization, company and internet provider will be eager to secure their namesake. And, if they want to homestead their new domain name, make it a requirement that they use and promote the alt-DNS too.

        The application could include a field to submit trademarks, so that anyone who later applies to register a name containing those phrases will be flagged for review. Impose a fee at cost. There would be a list of exceptions one can pick from a list, such as "I-hate-%domainname%" or "%domainname%-fansite" so bloggers can launch their free speech or parody site without delay.

        I mean, you can lob gruesome obstacles at me all day, and I can post creative solutions back atcha. I've been thinking about this for years.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: They CANNT

        Short answer, individuals would go into their ADSL router's config pages and set the nameserver to whatever. (No, I don't think that's terribly likely either, but...)

        ...Longer answer, it has been tried (via a browser plugin, i believe, about 20 years ago), but the fatal problem is that unless you can persuade all of your customers to also route their DNS to the same provider, that link on your website to http://I' won't work for them.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: They CANNT

          Well, this is the point. Most users seem unable to even install a programme without accepting yet another browser "helper", don't realise they should change the default password on their internet box thingy and don't know you can enter a URL without typing it into Google. The chances of almost anyone doing something to a thing called a DNS which is something to do with connection to the GooglerNet seem remarkably low.

          And if Google did take over (which pretty much is what does happen when users do bypass using URLs and type into the search bar) they'll own us completely.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            ICANN has too much power...solution = Google?

            I think you picked the only organization less suited to be entrusted with the namespace of the internet than ICANN, congratulations!

    2. Shadow Systems

      @AustinTX, re: DNS.

      Congratulations, you've just described America Online, CompuServe, & all the other early "internet walled gardens". In order to visit an AOL hosted site, you had to log in to AOL to get there, but AOL users could then visit the rest of the internet if they desired. Ditto with CompuServe: subscribers can access the CompuServe hosted domains, nobody else can reach them, & their members could visit the rest of the web if they wanted. It was utter shite to try & point nonmembers to internally hosted domains because those companies *specificly* blocked you from getting there without you being a member & paying for the privelege.

      I remember QuantumLink (an early Commodore branded walled garden) that had all sorts of "member's only" places to visit, but if you paid extra to get there you could connect to other similar places. You may be old enough to remember Q'Link, they're currently known as America Online. I dropped them like a hot brick shortly after the rebranding, I saw the writing on the wall & decided I'd rather NOT be forced to play inside their prison.


      1. AustinTX

        Re: @AustinTX, re: DNS.

        See, an actual walled garden, by definition, doesn't let you visit places outside. But I welcome the good, old fashioned anti-aol nerdrage! :)

        You should realize those "members only" sites didn't exist on the open Internet at all, but rather on the paid service's internal network. Charging corporations extra to reach a minuscule extra percentage of eyes, was never going to last. If someone is adding value to your service, they expect to be paid, not charged!

        Furthermore, customers jumped ship from those old walled gardens because they didn't like being restricted AND charged for free content. In time, I think the same effect will kill ICANN. The fella posting earlier stated that his ISP uses google DNS by default. Those are the first steps. (So does my ISP, but then, I have Google Fiber, lol)

        ICANN is the walled garden here. It may be a big garden, but they're a monopoly on domain names, and as long as that goes on, they'll be free to make any rule that benefits them and charge any amount they think they can get away with. For providing no real service.

        What I'm proposing is a better, opt-in, more flexible and less-restricted "list" of sites that *includes* ICANN's. This is good, legal, and ICANN can't do a thing about it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Austix TX - why customers left those walled gardens

          It had nothing to do with the restrictions, the average person had no idea about that. It was because they were dialup services, and broadband killed them. Why would you keep paying $15/month for AOL when you were paying for internet access via your cable or phone company? The only thing that AOL/Compuserve account gave you was your email address and those bits of walled garden.

          Had Comcast purchased AOL and used AOL for their broadband service, there would still many many millions of AOL accounts on the internet today.

          1. AustinTX

            Re: @Austix TX - why customers left those walled gardens

            @DougS: Don't forget that when phone companies brought "web browsing" to cell phones, they fought hard to keep people in walled gardens too. The service providers hoped to make content providers and consumers alike pay, and make themselves the only way to come together. But, customers had already heard of "the Internet". Ultimately, it fell apart because it cost the providers far more to maintain the artificial restrictions than it benefited them. As I said, customers didn't like paying more for a restricted network than others were paying for open Internet.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Austix TX - why customers left those walled gardens

            AOl cut a deal with ATT to get cheaper DSL into homes with AOL. took that deal up because att the time ATT was the only game in town and they charged allot.

  3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Unfortunate, indeed...

    ...that they had over 200 miscreants to choose from but the first 10 they picked just happened to be South African. Yeah. I bet their PR department is cursing their bad luck.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    ICANN is a riot

    I guess firing the whole lot would just set new precedents in bold steps towards "upgrading productivity and flexibility" unseen since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  5. Efros

    Is there a


    sounds as if there is.

  6. Herby

    Too crowded anyway.

    We should go back to nice two letter top level domains. Maybe .org for REAL organizations and .net for real network operators with .com for the rest if they want it.

    Do I really want "accountonline" to be citibank?? I've got other accounts you know.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Not in Africa you can't.

    Seriously though, it doesn't surprise me that the folks in ZA faffed about for over 12 months.

    The wheels turn slowly over there. IT services in Cape Town at least are generally awful and overpriced. Dunno about the rest of ZA.

    Ive been out there 4 times for a month each time (since the better halfs family is out there), I usually get mobbed for IT support.

    Seriously, have a look at Shodan at all the exposed kit out there. Its a goldmine...and its not even complex stuff to fix.

    Id set up shop and expand out there if I could but its insanely hard to get a visa to do so. Even if you're married to a national it seems. 6 months in each hemisphere sounds like a plan to me.

    Plus there seems to be a general loathing of Brits in some corners. Especially white male ones. Arguably the worst demographic to be in.

    Im now awaiting third world downvotes to happen (assuming mweb is working and theres no loadshedding). Ill accept downvotes via mail (except those stolen by the ZA postal system).

    My address is PO Box 13244, First World, Civilisation, Western Hemisphere.

    Get your Malawian "gardener" to post it for you. :)

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: ICANN

      "Seriously though, it doesn't surprise me that the folks in ZA faffed about for over 12 months."

      And seriously though, much as I dislike ICANN's money-grab, WTF are people doing paying such a ludicrous sum for a vanity domain and then not using it? What happened inside their heads? And why shouldn't ICANN keep their mad-money, because they obviously didn't need it themselves.

    2. craigb

      Re: ICANN

      Actually, as far as I can tell, all those TLD's that got hoofed are property of one corporate entity. Their failure to perform is pretty much a reflection of their customer support.

      No ad hominenm attacks here,no need to resort to that level.

  8. localzuk

    Kinda makes sense

    I somewhat agree with the time-limit to get the gTLDs up and available to be honest. It stops organisations bidding on them and stopping them being used.

    That said, it maybe should be done on a case by case basis, as some areas of the world may work a little more slowly than others!

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