FTC Wants ICANN to Delay New Top Level Domains Plan

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been instructed by a group of US law makers to postpone its vision of dishing out new generic top-level domains early next year.

According to the concerns expressed by US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the proposed gTLD plan laid out by ICANN may be a bad thing. Concerns were raised through a letter [PDF], but not without suggesting certain changes that could address all those concerns in an effective manner.

"A rapid, exponential expansion of gTLDs has the potential to magnify both the abuse of the domain name system and the corresponding challenges we encounter in tracking down Internet fraudsters," the letter read.

"Fraudsters will be able to register misspellings of businesses, including financial institutions, in each of the new gTLDs, create copycat websites, and obtain sensitive consumer data with relative ease before shutting down the site and launching a new one", the letter further read.

"We strongly believe that ICANN should address these issues before it approves any new gTLD applications," the letter added.

In related developments, 17 members of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee have sent another letter [PDF] to ICANN saying that the idea of more top level domains is shrouded with "significant uncertainty".

Analysts are of the view that the letter is intended to address how non-profit organisations as well as businesses will be compelled to spend a significant amount of money for registering domains after the new gTLD plan comes into effect.