According to several reports, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission Jon Leibowitz said said today that a proposal to allow for an unlimited number of new Internet addresses could be a “disaster” for consumers and businesses.
The proposal would allow for almost any new top-level domain name, which is the suffix that comes to the right of the dot, such as .Law or .coke or .NYC.
In comments made to House Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman hearing on antitrust enforcement the Chairman said:
“We are very, very concerned about the rollout of the new domain name proposal that has the potential to be a disaster for consumers and for businesses,” . “We see enormous costs to consumers and businesses and not a lot of benefits.”
Leibowitz said his concern was the effect the addition of hundreds of new TLDs might have on the agency’s ability to fight Internet fraud.
“We worry that if ICANN goes broadly and doesn’t ensure accuracy, it’s going to be exponentially worse. There is going to be a burden on businesses, which will have to defensively register. We see a lot of cost, but not a lot of benefit,”
Leibowitz told the subcommittee the FTC has been in talks with the Commerce Department, which manages a contract that ICANN needs to operate. The FTC also plans to speak with ICANN.
On Thursday the Senate Commerce Committee, will also hold a hearing on the new gTLD plan.
The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications & Technology has also scheduled a hearing Dec. 14 on ICANN’s new gTLD program.
Of course the question that comes to my mind is where has the FTC been all these years while the plan has been discussed for years and there have been 6 prior versions of the Guidebook
In any even its about to get more interesting.