The domain name "name" is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. It is intended for use by individuals for representation of their personal name, nicknames, screen names, pseudonyms, or other types of identification labels.
The top-level domain was founded by Hakon Haugnes and Geir Rasmussen and initially delegated to Global Name Registry in 2001, and become fully operational in January 2002. Verisign was the outsourced operator for .name since the .name launch in 2002 and acquired Global Name Registry in 2008.
On the .name TLD, domains may be registered on the second level (''john''.name) and the third level (''john''.doe.name). It is also possible to register an e-mail address of the form [email protected] Such an e-mail address may have to be a forwarding account and require another e-mail address as the recipient address, or may be treated as a conventional email address (such as [email protected]), depending on the registrar.
When a domain is registered on the third level (''john''.doe.name), the second level (doe.name in this case) is shared, and may not be registered by any individual. Other second level domains like johndoe.name remain unaffected.
When the name TLD was first launched, only third-level registrations (and forwarded e-mail addresses) were available. In January 2004, second-level registrations became available. The original intended structure of domain names was first.last.name, so that an individual could get a domain corresponding to his or her actual name.
The purpose of this sharing of second level names was to ensure that the highest number of people possible could get an email address of the type [email protected] and domain name of the type first.last.name. This sharing could be done without impacting any other people with the same last name, and research by Global Name Registry showed that a majority of the world's population does not have an overlapping firstname + lastname combination and therefore could get a highly attractive and memorable email address and personal website domain.
In November 2009, internationalized domain names (IDNs) became available for second and third level name domains names. IDNs are domain names that are represented by user applications in the native character set of the local language.
The ''name'' whois service is available at the URL whois.nic.name. Domain name registrations are available from accredited ICANN registrars.
In late September 2007, security researchers accused Global Name Registry of harboring hackers by charging money per Whois lookup. The policy of selling detailed registration info about name domains for US$2 each was criticized as hindering community efforts to locate and clean up malware-spreading machines, zombies, and botnet control servers located in the name. The registry, however, does offer free unlimited lookups for legitimate users through the free Extensive Whois access program.