The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has finally approved the usage of .___ top-level domains (TLDs) for organizations. This decision comes on the heels of the earthquake in Japan where the Red Cross had to deal with false websites set up with the words “Red Cross” and “Japan” in them stealing money from people who thought they were donating to a good cause. Similar situations happens every day since current rules allow anyone to purchase a TLD containing any words so long as it is not already registered to someone.
The new rules, expected to be released by ICANN soon will allow for business, brands, trademark holders, organizations, charities, and even entrepreneurs to become the master of their own domain. This means that they will control who can have access to their TLD, so there will be .redcross websites, .coke websites, etc.
TLDs have proven to be an easy way to have an online presence as they are easy to remember for visitors who just see the domain once or even hear it. They have also proved problematic for owners of legitimate websites that are spoofed by people who register TLDs with similar names. While the ICANN has made it easy enough for companies to sue spoofers under various laws, it is still financially not feasible when there are a large number of them. These new laws will serve to protect legitimate companies from these types of Internet attacks by easily showing if a company has taken the time to prove they are not going to be scamming people.
The Internet will soon begin its transition away from the .com era, which was originally reserved for commercial businesses, but has since been flooded with all types of websites. While a .___ might not totally guarantee a website’s legitimacy, it is a step in the right direction for ICANN.
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