Navigating the “information superhighway” may soon be even more complicated. As early as November, the first of hundreds of new domains will become available, vastly expanding the Internet from websites that end with traditional suffixes like .com. Kojo examines concerns about fairness and fraud, and probes a potential revolution in online search as the world gears up for .google, .app, .green — and the first domains in non-English scripts.

Guests

  • Tim Switzer Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, DotGreen
  • Amy Mushahwar Attorney, Ballard Sphar
  • Cyrus Namazi Vice President of Domain Name System Services, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Transcript

  • 12:22:23

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIWhen you're trying to find a business online, you know it's probably got a website ending in dot com, and if you're looking for a nonprofit group, you'll likely find it in the dot org domain, but internet searches could change dramatically with the upcoming launch of hundreds of new domains, the part of the web address to the right of the dot. Some of the new domains will be proprietary, controlled by and named after companies. Dot Pepsi, Dot Google, Dot Ford.

  • 12:22:48

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIOthers will be open to the masses. Dot Doctor, Dot Ep, Dot Green. Supporters of the expansion say it will revolutionize web search by creating more categories of websites, but skeptics worry about fairness and fraud as disparate groups win bidding wars to govern these new domains. Joining me to explore the new internet domains that will soon go live, as soon as November, is Cyrus Namazi. He is Vice President of Domain Name System Services at ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Cyrus Namazi, thank you for joining us.

  • 12:23:25

    MR. CYRUS NAMAZIThanks for being here.

  • 12:23:27

    NNAMDIAlso with us in studio is Amy Mushahwar. She is an attorney at Ballard Sphar, who represents the Association of National Advertisers. Amy Mushahwar, thank you for joining us.

  • 12:23:38

    MS. AMY MUSHAHWARYes, thank you for having me.

  • 12:23:39

    NNAMDIAnd Tim Switzer is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer with Dot Green. Tim Switzer, thank you for joining us.

  • 12:23:47

    MR. TIM SWITZERWell, thank you for having us, and looking forward to it.

  • 12:23:49

    NNAMDIIt's a "Tech Tuesday" conversation. You can join by calling 800-433-8850. Do you like the idea of adding more domains to the internet? 800-433-8850. You can send email to kojo@wamu.org. You can send us a tweet at kojoshow using the hashtag tech Tuesday, or you can simply go to our website, kojoshow.org, and ask a question or make a comment there. Cyrus Namazi, I'll start with you. Can you explain the reasoning behind the plan to add hundreds more domains to the internet?

  • 12:24:26

    NNAMDIWe've already got dot com, dot net, dot org. Why do we also need dot book, dot Ford and dot Paris? Maybe dot Kojo.

  • 12:24:32

    NAMAZIYes, thank you, Kojo. Yes. The underlying foundation behind the expansion is really about the increase...

  • 12:24:39

    NNAMDIAh. You have inherited the incredible sinking chair. But go ahead.

  • 12:24:41

    NAMAZIYes I did. It sank on me. So, it's really about the expansion of choice. And I believe that with added choice, we can actually increase productivity and competition, which leads to, obviously, additional benefits to the users of the internet. The second benefit to the program, that actually is just as important, is the addition of support for additional scripts, Scripts other than the Roman scripts.

  • 12:25:09

    NAMAZISo that other people, 60 percent of the world, actually, do not have access to the internet today. And one of the impediments to that is the fact that they can't access it in their own original language. So, these two added benefits together, combined, provide the most fundamental change in the short history of the internet that we've seen to date.

  • 12:25:30

    NNAMDIAmy Mushahwar, you're not convinced we need these new domains. What are the existing domain options for someone who wants to create, say, a new website?

  • 12:25:38

    MUSHAHWARYes. And it's not that I'm convinced we need names altogether. Where you can make a good business case for actually deploying a domain name, and you can do it responsibly, my clients have no problem in actually moving the program forward. What, the problem that we're having is we're just seeing continued security risks that a number of us have raised within the internet security community and consumer protection community, over several years, that have just been unresolved.

  • 12:26:10

    MUSHAHWARAnd ICANN, before it deploys, needs to finish its unfinished business.

  • 12:26:14

    NNAMDIThat unfinished business would be addressing those security concerns.

  • 12:26:18

    MUSHAHWARThat unfinished business is considerable security risk to large enterprises. For example, there are many corporations that use proposed domain names to actually go ahead and enable their internal internet infrastructure. So, there could be potential clashes of those current names with the new names that will come online, which means things will break. And ICANN, quite frankly, hasn't done enough quantification of what actually will break before it's going to proceed forward.

  • 12:26:52

    NNAMDICare to respond to that, Cyrus Namazi?

  • 12:26:54

    NAMAZISure. I appreciate what Amy is saying. Security and stability of the internet is always at the forefront of anything that ICANN and the ICANN community is concerned about. So, to actually assert that the security of the internet might be at risk is a very a substantial statement. Now, what Amy is referring to is not something new that is actually associated with the new gTLD program that we just talked about.

  • 12:27:21

    NAMAZIIt's an issue that's existed for quite some time, and we have learned how to deal with it. We have -- at ICANN, we've actually conducted a very thorough technical study that we just published a couple months ago, the results of which, led to a categorization of the new strings, 80 percent of which were categorized as low risk categories. Low meaning that they won't have material impact once they go into what we call delegation, and going live into the internet.

  • 12:27:51

    NAMAZIWe actually are advised by some of the best and most brilliant technical minds in the internet industry. Paul Mockapetris, who is actually the one that engineered the so called DNS, which is the plumbing of the internet, is an advisor to this program. Steve Crocker is the Chairman of the Board of ICANN, who is actually one of the key founders of the so called internet. So, a lot of effort is going into understanding the risk and quantifying the risk and coming up with mitigation.

  • 12:28:19

    NNAMDIWe will pick up on that discussion a little bit later as we talk about the potential for cyber crime, with the increased number of domains. But Tim Switzer, your group has applied to run a new internet domain called dot green, as an open domain, which means you'd let other people use it. What's the vision for this new domain, and who would you invite to use it?

  • 12:28:39

    SWITZERWell, it's very open and inclusive, and what we mean by that is that when you think about the green movement, it's been around for a long time. And it's very -- it has been very relevant, it's very relevant today and it's only gonna be more relevant in the future. And it's very global. Green, and what green means, from the standpoint of social responsibility, the environment, health, food -- it's a very broad concept. And it actually touches most everyone in the world.

  • 12:29:15

    SWITZERI mean, you have this growing movement and it's large corporations, small and medium companies, associations, governments, individuals. And so you have this very growing movement, and very important and critical movement. And then you have the fact that the internet's growing and mobile, and social media. So, it naturally kind of brings them together via dot green, and really creates an area on the internet for all things green to come together, and for people to understand where green products and services are.

  • 12:29:50

    SWITZERI mean, the average individual wants to find green products, wants to shop green. They want to go green, and this is a way to really kind of open that up and bring that community together, and really have an online presence for everything around the world that people are focusing on, because it's a wide array of things. Large corporations, corporate social responsibility, their activities in the community. A lot of large companies, a lot of companies are doing a lot of great things in the world of green and not everybody knows about it. And this would be a great way to show that.

  • 12:30:21

    NNAMDIAlso more about that later. We're taking your calls at 800-433-8850. Do you like the idea of adding more domains to the internet? If there's a new domain dot D.C., who should decide which businesses or which groups can use it? 800-433-8850 or send email to kojo@wamu.org. Cyrus, under the expanded domain name, how would I apply, for instance, to own the domain dot Kojo? And what would it cost me?

  • 12:30:49

    NAMAZIThe application process for new top level domains, which is the domains that actually go after the dot, opened up early last year, and it closed after we received about 1900 applications for about 1400 distinct strings. So, right now, that process is closed, so dot Kojo is not available to you. But, we do plan, within the next maybe year or two, to open up for a second round of applications for people to come in. It's not an inexpensive process. The first round of applications, each application costs 185,000 dollars, and it entails a very thorough analysis of the background of the people and entities behind it.

  • 12:31:33

    NAMAZIAs well as their technical capabilities to be able to manage and run a new TLD.

  • 12:31:37

    NNAMDIAmy, our listeners may not realize that there is a whole market place for selling web addresses. What's the difference between a registry and a registrar, and how does each one make money?

  • 12:31:49

    MUSHAHWAROh, certainly. Well, a registry is, essentially, the owner of the domain space. So, dot com and dot net and dot org are all controlled by registries like Neustar and Verisign. A registrar is actually a promoter of a registry, that is going to be like GoDaddy or others that will be a repository for people to see the website and actually determine whether or not they would like to register a name in any number of registries.

  • 12:32:22

    MUSHAHWARThe very interesting thing that people tend to not be aware of is that because we have this duel registry and registrar structure, there is actually, there's a great deal of coordination, but there aren't necessarily all the same actors who have all of the same interests at play. Some registries...

  • 12:32:45

    NNAMDIIf I'm the registry, I own the night club. The registrar is the one who gets people to come to my party.

  • 12:32:52

    MUSHAHWARExactly.

  • 12:32:53

    NNAMDIOkay.

  • 12:32:53

    MUSHAHWARAnd when you own the building, you're going to be much more secure than someone trying to sell tickets. And we find that same dynamic with registries and registrars, in that there are some registrars that have domain name spinners, where you can type in names of very well known corporations and register those names to benefit off of the traffic that people typically get because you're a large corporation.

  • 12:33:25

    MUSHAHWARSo, for example, we found that you can type GE and a domain name spinner and any number of registrars, and it not only comes up with permutations of GE, but permutations of GE's business units like GE Health Care. So there's certainly a great deal of room for some funny business to happen.

  • 12:33:42

    NNAMDIWell, this has apparently resulted in companies trying to protect their brand name, buying web addresses in multiple domains. Talk about so called defensive registration.

  • 12:33:52

    MUSHAHWAROh, absolutely. Typically, the way that a company protects itself online is it buys a very large volume of defensive registrations in high volume registries. So, you know, dot com and dot net and dot biz. The difficulty with that economic model is it breaks down severely when you're going to have 1400 new names, 700 of which may likely be public names where people can register it.

  • 12:34:25

    MUSHAHWARSo, what that means is it might be very likely that there will be individuals that register extremely close names to corporate names in order to siphon and benefit off of that internet traffic. So, if I was a consumer, I'd be very careful and look at the urls extremely closely in the coming year to 18 months as these new names come online, and as we get used to the new organization of the internet.

  • 12:34:52

    NNAMDICyrus, what's your response to these concerns? How is the new trademark clearing house intended to protect plan holders?

  • 12:34:59

    NAMAZISure. Let me actually address one other thing that Amy has said earlier. One of the added benefits of this new gTLD program is actually the added mechanism for security and fraud protection that we have implemented. And the whole industry has really risen up to that level, including all the registers and registrars. And signed up to much more robust instruments of protection of consumers. So, there's actually much more going into the program than there is today.

  • 12:35:30

    NAMAZINow, to your question, Koji, the trademark clearing house is actually a database of trademarks that was envision and put together in concert with the entire community of trademark owners and other players that has just gone into business, which allows the trademark owners to register their trademarks so that their trademarks are protected from being taken up by someone else and used illegally. It's a protection mechanism.

  • 12:35:57

    MUSHAHWARNot necessarily. There's a big caveat, and my apologies for interrupting. But the trademark clearing house, please be advised, you know, when you're worried about fishing attacks, when you're worried about large scale hacks, the attack factor that normally occurs is within 24 to 48 hours. The trademark clearinghouse does not stop the registration of a name, so that illegally registered name moves forward and harm can ensue. If you catch it, as a large enterprise, in time, great. If you don't, that's a problem.

  • 12:36:35

    MUSHAHWARBut the trademark clearinghouse is not an actual protection. It does not stop the registration of the name. That harm will still ensue.

  • 12:36:43

    NNAMDIWell, how do you stop the registration of the name?

  • 12:36:45

    MUSHAHWARYeah. Well, currently there are mechanisms to stop the registration of the name after the fact. So you cannot prophylactically act. So, the problem that we have in this new gTLD environment is that there's going to be so many more names that are going to come online. So, right now, large enterprises are overwhelmed with the amount of fraud going on. And they're overwhelmed, as well as law enforcement is overwhelmed, with the sheer amount of fraud and cyber crime.

  • 12:37:13

    MUSHAHWARAnd it will only become more difficult now that people can easily use corporate names in order to siphon traffic.

  • 12:37:20

    NNAMDI800-433-8850. Tim, I'm gonna get back to dot green in a second. We have a concern from Don in Ashburn, Virginia that I'd like aired first. Don, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:37:33

    DONHi. Thanks so much for taking my call. So I work as a network engineer for a large hosting provider here in Ashburn. I actually help run some DNS infrastructure. And my concern is that we're a small to medium business, and for us to be able to register the name of our business dot com and dot biz and a couple other options, and, you know, maybe preemptively register all the variations with dots on the end, right, it's really not that big an expense. But if all of sudden we're spending, you know, even if it's five, ten, or if it's something like 100 dollars per registration, across a thousand different CLDs, all of sudden, that's a huge marketing expense for an SMB that is really just nothing to a large scale player.

  • 12:38:26

    DONSo, it feels like this is going to be a disadvantage. If I don't get ahead of it, then I potentially have the situation of having to try to react to someone who's registered the name. And, at that point, I'm potentially getting customer emails with passwords and other sensitive data that they're trying to send to me and instead, are sending to some random hacker in Taiwan.

  • 12:38:48

    NNAMDIDan, are you saying that as a small business, you would find it important to have your own domain?

  • 12:38:56

    DONI'm saying that I think it's a disadvantage to me and not a disadvantage at all to a large business when there are so many different domains that I effectively have to register my name under.

  • 12:39:08

    NNAMDIGotcha. Okay. Cyrus Namazi?

  • 12:39:11

    NAMAZIYeah, I'm not sure, Don, if that situation actually describes a realistic scenario because having the new gTLDs and the new domain names does not necessarily force you or obligate you to go sign up the new domain names. It actually provides many other businesses who have not been able to register their domain names because the so called dot com, dot net, dot org space is so overcrowded and oversold, to be able to actually go establish their presence into the DNS.

  • 12:39:46

    NAMAZISo, I don't that concern is necessarily going to pan out into a realistic situation.

  • 12:39:52

    NNAMDIDan, thank you for your call. Tim, allow me to see if dot green can be illustrative to people like Dan about what options exist for them. Dot green wants to operate the domain of the same name. How would you decide who to let in and who to keep out?

  • 12:40:07

    SWITZERThat's a great question because what we want to see with bringing green online via dot green is to have the green activity and the green online presence expand. So this is not about us keeping people out or only letting a certain amount of folks in. We want to be very inclusive. And as I've said before on various comments and panels, we welcome all shades of green.

  • 12:40:38

    SWITZERWe want the person who's very green today or the corporation. We want the person who may be considering it. We want the person who hasn't even thought about it. We don't want to limit who can be and participate in green. We certainly will monitor. And if there is egregious behavior with a dot green name, we will take action against that.

  • 12:41:00

    SWITZERBut we want to be very open, inclusive, and not limit who can have a green -- that -- we're not here to certify who's green. We're not here -- we're here to create a space online for folks to come on and share their information about green, what they're doing, and maybe they're not even sure what they're going to be doing yet. But we want them to work toward that.

  • 12:41:22

    SWITZERAnd that's the kind of environment we're trying to create with being a very inclusive top level domain.

  • 12:41:27

    NNAMDIWell, your application to operate the dot green domain raises another issue. You are not the only applicant. You've got three competitors. So the way this process works, you can decide among yourselves, hold a private auction, or let ICANN hold an auction. Where does the bargainer stand at this point for .green?

  • 12:41:46

    SWITZERWe're still obviously in contention as we sit here. We've had discussions. I would say at this point that it's heading toward an auction. Whether that be private auction or ICANN auction is still to be determined. You know, I would say that the one thing, from a standpoint of contention, that, I guess, from an ICANN standpoint and the model and the application process, is that one of the things I know ICANN called out as being very important with an application was comments of support, comments of folks that are supporting a specific application.

  • 12:42:33

    SWITZERThere was actually even an open comment period after all the top level domains were revealed that allowed for comments received by a certain a date would be considered by the evaluators. And then there's also the government advisory committee, the GAC, that's part of the ICANN multi-stakeholder model.

  • 12:42:54

    SWITZERAnd as part of the applicant guidebook, they have a role to play in providing GAC advice to the board. And they've come out very strongly and advised that ICANN board should listen in instances where community support has been very strong for one applicant over another. That's the case for us 'cause we are applying only for dot green.

  • 12:43:18

    SWITZERWe've been living in the green world and the Internet world for the last five-plus years, have built a community, have built a brand, and have a lot -- have global support from all around the world. And it doesn't seem to be being taken into account, and it's a very objective process that ICANN is running that basically you pass the technical and financial bar, and, you know, all applications are created equal kind of a thing.

  • 12:43:46

    NNAMDIGotta take a short break. When we come back, we'll continue this Tech Tuesday conversation of hundreds of new internet domains preparing to launch and taking your calls at 800-433-8850. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.

  • 12:45:43

    NNAMDIWelcome back to our Tech Tuesday conversation about hundreds of new internet domains preparing to launch. We're talking with Tim Switzer. He is chief operating officer and chief financial officer of dot green. Amy Mushahwar is an attorney at Ballard Sphar. She represents the Association of National Advertisers. And Cyrus Namazi is vice president of the Domain Name System Services at ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

  • 12:46:09

    NNAMDIOne of the initial incentives, Cyrus, for adding new domains was to allow languages and alphabets other than language. Talk about the goal of internationalizing the Internet and how new domains and Chinese and Arabic, for example, will work.

  • 12:46:23

    NAMAZIYes. In fact, the Internet -- the way it was born actually, it came out of the United States, and, of course, the English language and the Roman alphabet were sort of the underlying engine behind it. As it caught on and expanded and became a global force, some of these elements have not really kept up with the fact of the matter that this is a global community and people with different languages using different scripts will need to also access the Internet.

  • 12:46:49

    NAMAZISome steps have been taken along the way to enable that. But the most significant one that is actually going on under the new program is to enable full script support for additional languages, a total of 12 scripts, which actually translates into a lot more languages, including Arabic and Chinese and (word?) and so on and so forth, will be supported within the new gTLD program to enable people to use one keyboard, people who are not familiar actually with the Roman alphabet, so that they don't have to type in their own language of a domain name with a dot C-O-M, for instance, to follow.

  • 12:47:30

    NAMAZIAnd that, from my perspective, really will enable the reach of the global Internet to get to the people of the world that have found this to be an impediment. It's just as important from my perspective to put this element, this benefit, into play as it is to actually add domain names as well to the Internet.

  • 12:47:50

    SWITZERAnd if...

  • 12:47:51

    NNAMDIPlease go ahead, Tim.

  • 12:47:51

    SWITZERAnd if I could add something -- sorry to interrupt.

  • 12:47:54

    NNAMDIIt's all right.

  • 12:47:54

    SWITZERThere's also the concept of -- from the standpoint of globalizing the Internet, a lot of domain names -- and I'll talk about dot green. I mean, we view dot green as a, you know, international term, but in, you know, in (word?) letters. But there will also be -- for example, we'll be launching with international domain names to the left of the dot, so that's also in 18 different languages.

  • 12:48:21

    SWITZERSo in addition to the right of the dot expanding the internationalization of the Internet, I think a lot of top level domains will also be offering that to the left of the dot as well.

  • 12:48:32

    MUSHAHWARYeah. And expanding the international invasion is a laudable goal. The difficulty that, you know, the members of our coalition, which include the ANA, Verisign, Verizon, many others, ISPs, it's not as -- we're not wanting to ban the expansion altogether. We just want to ensure that it's being done responsibly. And at the moment, there is scant evidence that real security concerns, like DNS clashes, for example, that we will explain in just a bit, are actually being mitigated and that the harms that could ensue are actually being evaluated.

  • 12:49:12

    MUSHAHWARYou know, take, for example, the study that Cyrus actually referenced a few moments ago that counted the number of DNS clashes and the potential numbers of security concerns and issues. ICANN has only counted the potential number of problems. ICANN has no idea what potential use cases, what potential things could break when they release the new gTLDs over the next year to 18 months.

  • 12:49:43

    MUSHAHWARICANN has said that it will do a slow roll out, but a slow roll out, to those of us who understand operational environment, simply means, we're gonna wait and see what will actually break. ICANN has not undertaken the public relations campaign to warn enterprises of the risk. And they certainly haven't understood what things will actually break before they proceed forward.

  • 12:50:06

    MUSHAHWARThe evidence that ICANN has put forward is like an Army medic going on to the field and that Army medic counting the number of wounds but treating scrapes the same as arterial bleeds. That's simply irresponsible given that we're dealing with the entire organization of the Internet.

  • 12:50:24

    NNAMDIWhat do you say to people who say, as a representative of the Association of National Advertisers that now dominates the Internet, that your concern is that you may be losing business to competitors in other nations and that's one of your concerns about slowing down this roll out?

  • 12:50:40

    MUSHAHWARNot at all. Not at all. And let me be very clear. Today, my views are my own. I am not speaking on behalf of the ANA. But the ANA, I know from representing them for a while, they are not interested in slowing out the roll out because they see an economic issue. And every meeting that we have had, it has been concerns over enterprise environments and concerns of either Internet stability and Internet security.

  • 12:51:08

    MUSHAHWARAnd we have had the Federal Trade Commission weigh in our favor. We have had a number of individuals and companies weigh in our favor, understanding that there is considerable amount of risk. It's not just large and small companies worried about business scenarios.

  • 12:51:25

    NNAMDIWe're running out of time, and I wanted to get to this other issue. The applications for new domains are raising some interesting questions about who should have the rights to a word, whether it's generic or more specific. Amazon's application offers a good illustration. The company asked for the rights to dot book. Would it get sole ownership of that domain? What would that mean for companies like Barnes and Noble or even the public library?

  • 12:51:51

    NAMAZISo there have been actually multiple applicants for some of these more popular generic terms, including .book, of which Amazon is one. To answer your question, whoever ends up so-called prevailing in getting their application through successfully will end up owning the domain name.

  • 12:52:13

    NAMAZIBut there are discussions going on within ICANN, within the ICANN community, as well as actually the representatives of governments around the world, which constitute a big part of ICANN in regards to what to do and what rights the owner of such a generic term will have in restricting access to that generic term. So that question is still sort of being debated and discussed.

  • 12:52:34

    NNAMDITim, proponents of expanding Internet domain say it will revolutionize the way we search on the Internet. How?

  • 12:52:42

    SWITZERWell, I think, all of a sudden, it gives you a lot of different choice and creative ways to expand the use of the Internet and to create really new communities of users. I mean, I think the innovation aspect here is just unlimited. And, all of a sudden, you'll be able to hone in on, you know, whether it's in our case green kinds of activities or whether it's music or movies or autos or shopping or whatever.

  • 12:53:12

    SWITZERIt really allows kind of creative approaches to how people not only search but how they kind of identify themselves with their main website. And it kind of says, this is what our business is. This is what we're doing on the Internet. And it allows much more clarity around what they're doing.

  • 12:53:30

    MUSHAHWARUm-hum. And really we're not discounting the innovation that's here. All large and small businesses and many of my other clients are concerned about is the mantra of move fast and break things just doesn't work when it comes to the entire organization of the Internet. You know, for example, the new environment that has been proposed and the new names that have been proposed will be very confusing to many consumers.

  • 12:53:55

    MUSHAHWARYou know, there have been a number of strings proposed, like auto and autos, car and cars. As a consumer, which gTLD do I go to? Which domain name do I go to to get my information? We are going to have several years of confusion that will ensue. And confusion ordinarily is followed up by criminal activity. I can't underscore that any more as a privacy and data security attorney.

  • 12:54:17

    NNAMDILet's talk about criminal activity for a second because you have said that adding domain names would increase the potential for cybercrime. I will quote from an article in the Washington Post that says, "The single-most aggressive bidder for lucrative new Web domains is a little known investment group with an intriguing name, Donuts, Inc. Its $57 million play for 307 new domains, more than Google, Amazon, and Allstate combined has prompted alarm among industry groups and Internet watchdogs.

  • 12:54:49

    NNAMDIThey warn that Donuts has close ties to a company with a well-documented history of providing services to spammers and other perpetrators of Internet abuse. And should Donuts come to control, hundreds of new domains, including dot doctor, dot financial, and dot school, consumers would see a spike in online misbehavior." So warn the critics. I don't know, Amy, if you are among those critics.

  • 12:55:12

    MUSHAHWARWell, and I can tell you, if you read the comments, Donuts isn't the only one where there's severe criminal concerns at the very highest of the organizations. I can tell you what's on the public record. And on the comments regarding the over 300 Donuts applications is that there are severe concerns regarding demand media and its subsidiary eNOM which has a number of connections and registrations that, you know, we have seen. And we have seen documented on the public record may have ties or may have permitted registrations that have resulted in criminal activity.

  • 12:55:49

    MUSHAHWARI think you definitely need to look at the comments on the record in order to make that decision. But there are a severe amount of concerns there and a number of applicants that could be concerning.

  • 12:55:59

    NNAMDIBut, Cyrus Namazi, Tim Switzer, there is this comment, a post on our website by Sam who says, "We are very excited about these new domains. The Trademark Clearinghouse is going to be a very effective protection against cybersquatting. It should help businesses protect their identity. It's a great opportunity to bring more structure to the web, from segregating important services to secure channels, such as .bank, and also bring personalized URLs to a wide range of communities. These are very exciting times for the domain industry." What say you to that, Cyrus Namazi?

  • 12:56:31

    NAMAZII couldn't disagree with that more. It's an amazing time in the age of the Internet. It really is, for me, personally, is such a profound change to the way -- you know, I equate that to having a gravel road today from point A to point B, which is really dominated analogy of it would be the dot com. And imagine a multilane highway going in that get us from point A to point B that actually allows us to gather communities and people with the specific common interests to come together, whether it's dot catholic or dot gay or dot Islam or whatever it needs to be.

  • 12:57:11

    NAMAZIPeople being able to go to a particular place where there is more choices now, this is going to be the most profound change in the history of the Internet.

  • 12:57:19

    NNAMDIWhen are we likely to see the first batch of new domains come online? What still has to happen before they're ready to use?

  • 12:57:26

    NAMAZIIn fact, this is a good question because I wanted to comment on this earlier.

  • 12:57:30

    NNAMDIWe only have about 40 seconds left.

  • 12:57:31

    NAMAZIBecause of the importance of the international domain names, which actually enable other scripts to be in the Internet, we have prioritized those applications of which there's over 100. And those are the first ones that will be enabled and go active into the Internet before the end of this year. The first one of them is actually a string called dot shabaka in Arabic script, which means network in Arabic.

  • 12:57:55

    NNAMDIAmy Mushahwar, is this conversation over? This one is over, but I mean the larger conversation.

  • 12:57:59

    MUSHAHWARThe larger conversation is most certainly not over. You know, it began -- there's many other entities that have a significant number of concerns about new gTLDs, and they have to be answered before we can move forward.

  • 12:58:09

    NNAMDIAmy Mushahwar is an attorney at Ballard Sphar. She represents the Association of National Advertisers. Tim Switzer is chief operating officer and chief financial officer of DotGreen. And Cyrus Namazi is vice president of Domain Name System Services. Thank you all for listening. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.

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