By Doug Isenberg Now here's a study in contrasts:
Case Study #1: After years of preparation, ICANN officially began accepting applications for new top-level domain names (TLDs) on January 11, 2012. Although the application window was due to close on April 12, ICANN abruptly shut down the system on that date, citing its discovery of a "technical issue" with the TLD Application System (TAS), which ICANN later said was first reported to it 24 days earlier.
After 18 press releases offering minimal information about the issue, ICANN finally described the problem as "a technical glitch that may have allowed some users to see some file names and user names of other users." ICANN then said that it intends to reopen TAS on May 22 -- 40 days after it first publicly reported the problem, and 64 days after it apparently first learned of the problem.
In the meantime, ICANN announced that it had received 2,091 applications for new top-level domain names, resulting in approximately $350 million in application fees. Trademark owners around the world, among others, anxiously await publication of these domain name applications, which could vastly change how we all use the Internet.
Case Study #2: A popular start-up called Kickstarter -- which bills itself as "a funding platform for creative projects" -- announced on May 13 that, two days earlier, "one of our engineers uncovered a bug involving Kickstarter's private API, which is used to display projects on the Kickstarter homepage."
In its announcement, Kickstarter said: "This bug allowed some data from unlaunched projects to be made accessible via the API. It was immediately fixed upon discovering the error. No account or financial data of any kind was made accessible."
So, in the span of two days, Kickstarter apparently discovered a technical glitch that exposed user data, fixed it, announced details about it, and returned to business as usual.
Perhaps ICANN needs a kickstart?