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Domain tasting has been unnecessarily tying
科技时代_互联网之父:未来互联网将走向太空

The global internet regulator is investigating domain tasting, the controversial process where users register domain names to test their effectiveness in collecting extra traffic and then cancel the registration before fees become due.

The call for the investigation by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) came after it was found less than 1 per cent of .org domain names are registered.

"For business owners, this is a much-needed initiative," Catherine Logan, intellectual property expert at national law firm Hunt & Hunt, said. "People who want to use the internet to promote their business will welcome the increase in available names.

"Domain tasting has been unnecessarily tying up millions of available domain names and adversely impacting the average domain name registrant."

VeriSign, the US company controlling .com and .net generic top level domains, said in the past seven years domain name inquiries had risen from 1 billion to 30 billion per day.

VeriSign was set to raise the registry fees for these domains next month to account for the upgrading to registration systems needed to cope with the flood of automated applications by speculators. "Clearly the operational load on the registry systems caused by domain tasting is reason for concern," Ms Logan said.

She also said criminal practices such as phishing and pharming linked to domain tasting posed an even greater concern for businesses online.

She said anonymous parties often registered domains as replica sites to obtain confidential information from unaware customers. They were able to get private data without risk of identification as they were yet to register the domain name.

"This loophole obviously presents an unacceptable risk to both businesses and their clients," she said.

"There are also other unwanted commercial side-effects of domain tasting, such as consumer confusion and increased costs to regular businesses that have to register names defensively and allocate resources to monitoring the situation," Ms Logan said.

She said the ICANN investigation would look for ways to counteract unnecessary costs for businesses.