New gTLDs

Bruce Morton

Over the next year or so, some new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) names will be released. Just to catch everybody up, we currently have about two dozen generic TLDs that you can use to register a domain name. TLDs such as .com, .net and .org. There are also country specific TLDs (ccTLD) such as .ca, .us, and .uk.

ICANN is coordinating the approval of the New Generic Top-Level Domains. The new gTLDs won’t be in use until 2013. The new gTLDs will be registered by companies, governments, and other organizations to help support their goals and causes. For instance, Amsterdam has requested a new gTLD of .amsterdam. This would allow government and businesses in Amsterdam to register their own domains ending in .amsterdam. How about cityhall.amsterdam, thebestcoffeeshop.amsterdam or woodenshoes.amsterdam? There are many other gTLD requests, see New generic Top-Level Domains for more.

How will the new gTLDs impact SSL deployments? One issue is that some network administrators have used non-registered TLDs for their internal networks. They might have ended their server names with non-registered TLDs such as .corp, .mail or .site. All of these have been requested as new gTLDs. The requested gTLDs will have to be scrutinized and approved, but there is a chance that some users will have a conflict. If this is the case, then the public CAs will no longer be allowed to issue SSL certificates for the names that have not been properly registered with the new gTLD registrant.

If you are using SSL certificates on sites with non-registered TLDs, start to take action now by checking your certificates and networks and switch to registered TLDs sooner rather than later.

Bruce Morton
Bruce Morton
Director, Certificate Technology & Standards

Bruce Morton has worked in the public key infrastructure and digital certificate industry for more than 15 years and has focused on SSL and other publicly trusted certificates since 2005. He has been an active member of the CA/Browser Forum that released guidelines for extended validation (EV) certificates and Baseline Requirements for SSL certificates. Bruce oversees the governance and compliance of Entrust’s publicly trusted PKI.


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