Net overlords OK stricter registration


The agency in charge of website addresses has passed a major milestone on the path to broadening the world of domain names by the end of this year.

The board of the U.S.-based Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) touted freshly approved benefits and responsibilities for registrars who essentially act as domain-name wholesalers. Changes to contractually enforceable rules include requiring registrars to confirm phone numbers or addresses of those purchasing domain names within 15 days.

ICANN is considering more than 1,800 requests for new Web address endings, ranging from the generic, such as “.shop,” to the highly specialized, like “.motorcycles.”

The first new website address endings should be available in the final quarter of the year. The revamped agreement will affect more than 1,000 domain-name registrars around the world.

ICANN has been negotiating with domain handlers for more than two years on agreement revisions, with interests of governments and law enforcement agencies among those factored into the changes.