WASHINGTON, November 17, 2009—The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) supports enhancing the ability of users to navigate the Web in their own languages but urges ICANN to implement protections for Internet users as the organization begins accepting applications for non-Latin script top level domains (IDN ccTLDs).
“The introduction of any new domain extensions – regardless of what language they are in – will increase the chances for bad actors to commit crimes online,” explained CADNA President Josh Bourne. “CADNA is particularly concerned with the fact that the increase in available domain names will increase opportunities for cybersquatters, who exploit Internet users’ trust in brands by registering domain names that are confusingly similar to brand names. To help prevent instances of cybersquatting, ICANN should require enhanced security provisions for the establishment of IDN ccTLDs.”
Abuse will likely come from fraudsters registering pre-existing Latin script names in IDN ccTLDs to cause confusion, thus taking advantage of the change. It is worrisome that while opening up the domain name space to IDN ccTLDs will create new opportunities for fraud, ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom was quoted in the New York Times as saying that IDN ccTLDs will not increase cybersecurity risks.
Overall, ICANN has not sufficiently addressed the cybercrime currently pervading the Internet, and so CADNA urges ICANN to reexamine its current security mechanisms before moving forward with both IDN ccTLDs and new generic top level domain names (gTLDs). Increasing the size of the Internet will not only bolster cybercrime, it will also exacerbate the already difficult task of apprehending bad actors online.
“Unfortunately, ICANN is unable to address these security problems on its own because those dictating its policies are focused on enhancing their financial interests. CADNA believes ICANN should work with the US government and others to establish an outside commission to help it reform,” Bourne said.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and ranking member Susan Collins (R-ME) recently announced plans to cosponsor a bill addressing cybersecurity issues. CADNA encourages ICANN to work with the Congress in order to ensure a safe, secure Internet worldwide.
The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the systemic domain name abuses that plague the Internet today. For more information, please visit www.cadna.org.