Experts say web domain expansion plan may cause widespread disruption to Internet operations

With Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)'s plans for dramatically expanding the numbers of possible Web addresses set to take effect by the end of this summer, some security experts have expressed apprehensions about the move which will add over 1,000 domains such as ".buy," ".casino" and ".gay," among hordes of others.

In the wake of the fact that efforts to augment existing domains - like ".com" and ".gov" - is entering a critical phase with an international conference of Web industry officials coming together for a meeting which began in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday, security experts say that dramatic addition of new domains will likely lead to widespread disruption of Internet operations.

Since new domains are apparently set to go live at a somewhat disquieting pace of 20 or more each week, experts are criticizing the web domain expansion plan on the grounds that the speed as well as the scale of the expansion is quite reckless.

According to the experts, such a dramatic expansion of domain addresses - especially the possibility of widespread "name collisions" - will likely affect the Internet's global infrastructure, which is largely dependent on interactions among computer networks owned by companies, universities and individual users.

Noting that the web domain expansion move will lead to increasing concerns for critical systems, Danny McPherson - chief security officer for Reston, Va.-based Verisign, which manages most of the popular domains - said: "This could affect a million enterprises. It could absolutely break things."