A federal consumer watchdog agency has called on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to scale back its generic top level domain name (gTLD) plan.

In a letter to the organization, the the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned that gTLDs will make consumers more vulnerable to fraud and make it more difficult to bring scammers to justice.

“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,” it stated.

The FTC claimed that gTLDs will create infinite opportunities for domain name scams such as cybersquatting and phishing.

According to the agency, ICANN needs to implement the new program as a pilot and substantially reduce the number of gTLDs that are introduced in the first application round.

It also needs to strengthen its contractual compliance program, and develop a new ongoing program to monitor consumer issues that arise.

The FTC urged ICANN to assess each new proposed gTLD’s risk of consumer harm as part of the evaluation and approval process, and improve the accuracy of data showing who owns each domain.

Scale back gTLD plan, FTC urges ICANN
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