International internet regulators are trying to reassure world bodies such as the UN and the IMF about an expansion of website address names that they say threatens their online identities.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, has just begun accepting applications for a vastly expanded range of domain names – the .com or .org type code that appear at the end of internet addresses.
The UN and IMF are among 26 organisations to have complained that their domain names could be seized by so-called ‘cybersquatters’ who apply for the ownership of addresses wth the aim of selling them on.
ICANN, which is a non-profit body based in California, says international organisations’ identities are normally protected by treaties and have the same security as trademarks.
However, a number of big private corporations are also worried and the dispute looks set to rumble on.