Governments raise objections to web domain namesJosh Halliday, guardian.co.ukGuardian
Plans to introduce a string of new web domains including .islam and .movie have been hit by a setback after a panel of governments raised more than 250 objections.
A list of contentious domain names posted online by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) reveals underlying tensions over the use of potentially sensitive new internet addresses.
The governments of India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have separately raised serious concerns about commercial ownership of the domain .islam.
In its filing, the Indian government warned that private control of .islam had a "very high potential to stoke tensions and negatively affect the wellbeing of millions of Mulims and non-Muslims in India".
The UAE expressed its own concerns over the ownership of .islam by a company called Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar, whose bid it claimed had received backing from Iran.
The objections were submitted by the GAC on behalf of governments across the world. The new addresses, which will rival the traditional .co.uk and .com, will radically change how people use the web.
India raised the most sensitive objections to the planned rollout, issuing warnings about the use of .islam, .bible, .army and .airforce, among others. Officials in Mumbai said that private ownership of domains associated with the armed forces could "cause irreparable harm to the security and stability of the nation".
The GAC's warning list also exposed concerns about broad sectors including .casino, .charity and .search.
Online retail giant Amazon is applying for several wide-ranging domains, such as .news, .shop, .song and .video. Many of these applications have been opposed on competition grounds by Australia, which warned that Amazon could block out rivals if it is granted exclusive access to a series of broad internet addresses.
Australia has also objected to applications for .wtf and .sucks and to French beauty firm L'Oreal's application for .beauty, .makeup and .salon.
The international agency behind the planned rollout, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), has indicated that the first new top-level domains will be in use by May 2013. However, industry experts have said that is now likely to delayed.