Rod Beckstrom sure hopes he doesn’t leave his job as head of the company that manages Internet domain names with a big glitch still unfixed.
Beckstrom, who has been CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers since 2009, stressed that that goal is purely personal and that no official time for reopening the database has been determined. Beckstrom steps down in July.
“What is driving us here is quality, not speed,” he said in an interview. ICANN has been overseeing the rollout of new top-level Internet addresses, but the system for applying for those addresses was shut down last month after some user information became visible to other users.
To prevent further problems, the system will now track users’ every keystroke, Beckstrom said.
The glitch, which ICANN says is not a result of any kind of cyberattack, only added to simmering controversy over ICANN’s new system to allow new domain name such as .bank or .anything. Critics questioned whether the organization can handle the massive global growth of the Internet.
But Beckstrom said that the glitch should only underscore ICANN’s ability to handle problems that may arise.
“Software glitches are unfortunately inherent to almost any software system, and it’s just unfortunate that this glitch came up at this time,” he said. “We think the thorough method in which we deal with the issue, our standard of care, and our openness in communicating should support the role of this institution in carrying out its duties further in the future.”
On Wednesday ICANN announced that of 1,268 registered users and 95,000 file attachments in the applications system, about 455 might have been viewed by another applicant. ICANN says it hopes to talk to each of the 105 applicants whose information was visible by Tuesday, as well as the roughly 50 users who may have seen the information.
Beckstrom, who has been reaching out through media outlets to apologize for the glitch, said that when the timing for opening up the system is still unclear, but that applicants will have at least five additional business days to complete their application. At this point, applicants should not see a difference how they use the system, he said.