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.phew, .abouttime: Internet naming body agrees to expand domain names

The organisation has voted to allow the creation of new domain suffixes, meaning .google, .apple or .thejournal are a possibility.

THE ORGANISATION WHICH oversees assigning names and numbers on the internet has voted to allow a massive expansion of web domain names.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has said that from next year website suffixes will be available in different languages and scripts, reports The Guardian.

Icann is calling the move “one of the biggest changes ever to the Internet’s domain name system”, and says it is opening the Internet’s naming system “to unleash the global human imagination”.

The new system will allow companies and brands to apply for their own domain suffixes, meaning the likes of .google and .coke are a possibility. The BBC reports that it will cost about €130,000 to apply for a new name. Companies don’t need to worry about someone snapping up their names either, because anyone applying will need to show that they have a legitimate claim to the suffix. Applications will start on 12 January.

However, not everyone is convinced that the new naming system is a good thing. The Guardian reports that it could create confusion and lead to an increase in “phishing” sites. Gulfnews.com reports that an Icann advisory committee member has expressed concern about possible “racial profiling”. Khalid Fattal says that applicants who don’t meet US foreign policy approval may be declined. He says that “background checks” will be carried out on applicants under US law, which may lead to a boycott of the system.

There are currently only 22 domain name suffixes in use, which are separate from the country-level domain names like .ie or .uk

By the way….paws off .thejournal…we saw it first!

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Emer McLysaght

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