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ICANN May Expand Domain Names

Those not satisfied with the shrinking amount of available domain names may have their chance to snatch up new ones, as the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers is considering adding new domain name extensions to the standard .com, .net and .org suffixes.

At its quarterly meeting in Cairo, Egypt this week, ICANN board members agreed that new extensions need to be added. Easing the demand for domain names by adding new generic suffixes may limit cybersquatters' attempts to swindle big bucks for popular domains, as well as resolve some intellectual property issues -- issues currently rampant the domain name industry.

A few possibilities on how to incorporate new suffixes include having ICANN select the domains and let registrars apply for them or letting new registrars individually submit proposals for new names.

According to published reports, proposals will be made to ICANN's board of directors Friday, though the group will be cautious before taking any action. No movement on the issue is expected until at least July and ICANN will take public comment on the issue before making any final decisions.

ICANN was formed to oversee the registration of domain names from Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) after its government contract expired.

NSI made headlines earlier this week when it was purchased by Internet security firm VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) for $21 billion in stock.



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