ICANN on Verge of Creating Chaos
While there are still strong groups trying to stop the insanity ICANN is about to unleash on the Internet community, recent events clearly show the disaster that will ensue if ICANN succeeds.
No one should have missed the significance of ICANN’s delay in revealing the slew of companies who applied for new TLDs because they could not maintain security on their own system. The delay was necessitated by hackers getting into the ICANN database and seeing who applied for what well before the proposed announcement. So the “reveal” was postponed until mid-June. ICANN has yet to fully explain why it happened and how they can assure the community that it won’t happen again. Typical lack of true transparency by ICANN. If they can’t protect data on their own system, why should anyone believe a launch of thousands of new TLDs on the DNS will be secure? Only a fool believes that security will not suffer significant breaches.
Companies are leaking out what they’ve applied for, not waiting for the reveal. And it’s quite a potpourri of new TLDs. Google is applying for more than 50, including .lol. Others are applying for upwards of 80 or more. Some of those include .sucks, .green, .home and a host of other generic words. Some brand owners are also rushing to apply for new TLDs with no intention of every using them — no ROI and a total waste of shareholder value. It just doesn’t make sense.
In truth, the scam is nothing more than legalized cyber-squatting, except this time it’s ICANN and the registrars and registries highjacking brands and trademarks. Worse, they’re all chasing money to protect reputations from being lampooned on sites like .xxx (already happening) and on .sucks and similar sites that add no value. In an economy that’s one the brink of another recession, this kind of waste is reprehensible.
If you’re a brand owner, start adding it up. Figure out what it will cost to cover your brands on thousands of new TLDs, including all the variations you’ll want to protect as well. Then add what it will cost to police the new domains. It’s real money. It’s shareholder money.
But pundits like to point out that brands can afford it. That’s not only foolish, it’s sheer hypocrisy. Whatever it costs brands will be passed on to consumers. And no one can predict or measure the damage to consumer confidence in ecommerce that all the phishing and scams will cause.
It’s a nightmare. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.