WASHINGTON – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) released the much-anticipated list of new generic top-level domain (gTLD) applications. The New gTLD Program is set to dramatically change the Internet and the way we navigate it, by bringing thousands of new gTLDs into the marketplace. While such change brings with it the possibility of innovation, it also carries with it the risk of increased cybersquatting and other cybercriminal activity. The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), a representative and voice for brand owners, continues its efforts to address these future challenges as part of its mission to end the systematic domain name abuses that plague the Internet today.

CADNA has long been an advocate for brand owners who are concerned about protecting their brands and customers when it comes to cybersquatting, online fraud, and other cybercriminal activity. CADNA has been especially vocal about many aspects of ICANN’s New gTLD Program and critical of the measures in place to protect brand owners. In fact, recommendations CADNA made to ICANN in its December letter have begun to make their way into ICANN’s policymaking community. “While we applaud ICANN for being responsive to brand owners’ concerns,” remarked CADNA President Josh Bourne, “the establishment of better trademark protection mechanisms will be essential as ICANN ushers in this new era of gTLDs and we believe that there is still much improvement that can be made to the Program.”

In addition to working to shape ICANN policy, CADNA is working with members of the U.S. Congress to make much-needed improvements to the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), a law enacted in 1999 designed to decrease instances of cybersquatting and domain name abuse. In order to adapt to the changing Internet landscape, ACPA must be revised to create stronger deterrents for cybercriminals and prevent malicious activity online. These amendments will better protect brand owners and Internet users alike.

Given the dramatic changes to the Internet that are set to take place in the coming years, CADNA believes that it is more important than ever for brand owners to protect their brands and customers online. Cybersquatting is both a business and a consumer interest issue that affects millions of Internet users around the world. A crucial step for new gTLD applicants will be to remain active within ICANN’s multi-stakeholder process. By making their concerns heard, brands will be better able to facilitate change and protect their brands in the changing Internet landscape.