EC warns of .eu domain scammers

The European Commission is warning users over the registration of .eu Internet addresses. It seems some companies are prematurely offering .eu domains for sale.

Intended to be an alternative to country-specific domains such .uk or .fr, the new address is not scheduled to go live until the beginning of 2006.

Martin Selmayr, the Commission’s spokesman for information society and media, said that European citizens should treat any such services with caution, reports Reuters.

‘We are warning EU citizens to check carefully … It can’t be a completely serious offer,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘A commercial operation cannot register you today and cannot register you better than you can do yourself. You can register at the start of 2006.’

There will be a ‘sunrise’ period of four months before that, but it will only available to public bodies and companies in possession of a suitable trademark. Its precise duration has not yet been agreed.

Earlier this month the body responsible for the technical co-ordination of the Internet formally approved another two domains – ICANN approves .jobs and .travel Internet addresses, further widening the Internet address space.

Among the critics of this proliferation of Internet addresses is the creator of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He has previously argued that by adding new addresses the existing domains are simply devalued.

‘When you print money, you devalue the money you have already printed,’ he told the World Wide Web Conference in New York back in May 2004.

This was in response to the creation of .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, and .pro addresses, which have been added to the original .com, .net, .org and country domains.

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