The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) launched a public education campaign last month to raise awareness regarding new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). This Internet initiative comes at an important time as gTLD registration rates are expected to increase 2,500 percent over the next year.
Consumer safety and brand integrity can both be endangered when cybercriminals and cybersquatters manipulate the domain names of legitimate businesses and organizations. The reputational damage brands sustain in the aftermath of cybercrime committed in their names can be severe, so many are seeking control of any domain with potential brand associations. These defensive registration strategies are expected to cost $2.4 billion, according to CADNA.
Experts from the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) insist that this is not the case, however, asserting that the CADNA figure represents more than it would cost to own every .com and .net domain in existence. As a result, some perceive the awareness campaign as exaggerating threats in the service of brand interests while others point to education as the common solution for both public and corporate interests.