South American countries slam ICANN over .amazon domain name decision
A battle that's been raging for seven yearsBy Rob Thubron 10 comments
In context: In today's tech age, most people think of Jeff Bezos' online shopping giant when they hear the word "Amazon," rather than the 4,000-mile long river in South America. It's partly why the presidents of four Latin American countries have spoken out against the company being granted the rights to the .amazon domain.
For the last seven years, Amazon has been locked in a battle against Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela---who work together as the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO)---over the retailer's quest to grab the .amazon domain name.
In 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that oversees internet addresses, expanded its list of generic top-level domains (gTLD), thereby allowing companies to apply for new extensions. Amazon, not too surprisingly, wanted the .amazon domain, but the eight countries believe this exclusivity could impact on matters of their sovereignty.
The issue heated up in 2018 when ICANN removed the "Will Not Proceed" status from Amazon's application. Last week, the organization said it would grant Amazon's request for the name following a 30-day period of public comment.
That decision has led to Peru's Martin Vizcarra, Colombia's Ivan Duque, Ecuador's Lenin Moreno and Bolivia's Evo Morales promising to work together to protect their countries from "inadequate governance of the internet," reports Reuters.
In a joint statement, the four presidents said the decision sets "a grave precedent by prioritizing private commercial interests above the considerations of state public policies, the rights on indigenous people and the preservation of the Amazon."
ICANN last week said it "remained hopeful that additional time could lead to a mutually acceptable solution regarding those applications. However, ACTO and the Amazon corporation were unable to come to a mutually acceptable solution or agree on an extension of time for continued discussions."