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  • 6 January 2012 | Reuters

    ICANN to expand top level Internet domains despite critics

    ICANN, an independent body responsible for organizing the Internet, plans to press ahead with plans to expand the number of possible website addresses despite criticism from industry and concerns from some law enforcement groups. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which decides who gets to manage .com, .net and other domains to the right of the period in a URL, plans to begin accepting applications next week for a hugely expanded number of Web domain options. This has infuriated and worried corporations, which already troll the web looking for trademark violations and sometimes buy web addresses they don't plan to use to prevent them from falling into the hands of cybersquatters. In a letter Tuesday, Lawrence Strickling, administrator of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, urged ICANN to take steps to minimize the need for these defensive registrations. Strickling also urged ICANN to do a better job of identifying who controls particular websites, with the goal of being able to aid law enforcement if the sites are used for criminal activity. ICANN said on Wednesday that it would review Strickling's recommendations.