FTC Warns That Rapid Expansion of Internet Domain Name System Could Leave Consumers More Vulnerable to Online Fraud

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 18, 2011

News release: “The Federal Trade Commission today sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that oversees Internet domain names, expressing concern that the organization’s plan to dramatically expand the domain name system could leave consumers more vulnerable to online fraud and undermine law enforcers’ ability to track down online scammers. In its letter to ICANN, the Commission warned that rapid expansion of the number of generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) – the part of the domain name to the right of the dot, such as “.com,” “.net” and “.org” – could create a “dramatically increased opportunity for consumer fraud,” and make it easier for scam artists to manipulate the system to avoid being detected by law enforcement authorities. The Commission urged ICANN – before approving any new gTLD applications – to take additional steps to protect consumers, including starting with a pilot program to work out potential problems.”

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