what problem are we solving? (was Re: ICANN opens up Pandora's Box of new TLDs)

Scott Francis darkuncle at gmail.com
Fri Jun 27 21:02:34 UTC 2008

On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM, David Conrad <drc at virtualized.org> wrote:
> On Jun 27, 2008, at 12:23 PM, Scott Francis wrote:
>> If we can't even guarantee
>> reliability with the small handful of TLDs currently in use, when we
>> start introducing arbitrary new ones to anybody that can pay, I'm
>> concerned that it's going to make user support even more of a headache
> I might suggest that the assumption that reliability can be guaranteed by
> TLD (any number), regardless of what the labels might imply, is where things
> are broken.  That ship has sailed (and already crashed into the rocks and
> sunk).

indeed, TLD provides no assurance of authenticity. However, my concern
is that adding add'l TLDs will make this problem worse, not better -
what little assurance we have that e.g. bankofamerica.com is the
legitimate (or should I say, _a_ legitimate) site for the financial
institution of the same name becomes less certain when we have e.g.
bank.of.america, www.bankofamerica.bank, www.bankofamerica, www.bofa,
and other variants.

Perhaps the solution is to devalue names (through the introduction of
some theoretically unlimited number of variants) to the point that
users come to rely upon reputation-based systems (e.g. PageRank)

Or maybe I'm just brewing a tempest in a teapot. *shrug* What I do
know is that the folks @ ICANN who were involved in this are
universally more experienced than myself, so I think perhaps I'll pipe
down for a while and see what happens. :)

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