Since 1985, non-state actors under Jon Postel’s leadership have experimented creating virtual national spaces on the Internet through so-called “country code top level domain names” (ccTLDs). There are 251 ccTLDs on the Internet. In 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – the newly established coordination body for Internet addresses including ccTLDs – stressed out the principle of private sector leadership instead of public sector administration of Internet identifiers. ICANN’s coordination of ccTLDs required state actors to comply with the principle of private sector leadership in a top-down manner.
As of 2009, the question of how to govern ccTLDs is still disputed at the national level between state actors and non-state actors, with state actors starting to reassert their power over ccTLDs, ignoring the principle of private sector leadership recommended by ICANN. This study presents five different national ccTLDs dispute cases, to investigate why national ccTLDs disputes have increased after the establishment of ICANN and how are state actors trying to regain control over ccTLDs.
To download and read this article by Y. J. Park in the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy, see: