The June 26 editorial “A more tangled Web” pointed out the challenges that Internet users may face as a result of the decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to expand the number of top-level domains.
However, steps can be taken now to protect consumers from what may crop up in the new space in the form of counterfeit goods, malware, financial fraud and other harmful content online, which often snare consumers through the misuse of a familiar brand.
The editorial failed to mention that there is already a federal domain-name law designed to combat some of these very harms — the 1999 Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). To clean up the Internet, U.S. lawmakers can examine this outdated law, since simple updates can make the law more effective in the domain-name space that may be expanding fifty-fold or more.
Already there is strong congressional support for changes to ACPA. Once passed in the United States, the underlying concepts of the legislation could be exported to create a global system that protects all Internet users from the abusive behavior that the editorial identified.
Josh Bourne and Nao Matsukata, Washington
The writers are, respectively, president and senior policy adviser of the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse.