ICANN CEO sets off explosion of new Internet names

fadiStarting next week, the Internet is going to look very different — and ICANN Chief Executive Fadi Chehade is the one who’ll get both the credit and the blame.

Today, Net addresses end with 22 familiar terms — .com, .net, and .edu — called generic top-level domains (GTLDs). But starting Feb. 4, the first of hundreds of new GTLDs will begin arriving — .ninja, .farm, .shoes, .photography, .bike, .pink, and even .wtf.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization, oversees the domain-name expansion and the core Internet technology called the Domain Name System that makes it tick. Chehade took over ICANN leadership in 2012 and now is grappling not just with the GTLD expansion, but also the dwindling supply of numeric Internet addresses and an attempt to wean the Internet from the US government’s dominant oversight role.  More