Dubai: The global internet body that approves generic top-level domains such .com, .gov and .org has added terrorism background checks to its application process, Gulf News has learnt.

According to Khalid Fattal, an advisory board member of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), the US-based screening process could be viewed as racial profiling of Muslim countries.

"The arbitrary inclusion of terrorism as a measuring stick without any internationally recognised laws or standards is wrong and offensive to many people around the world. If acted upon, it will be seen by millions of Muslims and Arabs as racist, prejudicial and profiling and would clearly indicate that Icann has gone far beyond its mandate," Fattal said in a letter to Icann President Rod Beckstrom.

"Icann should stick to its mandate and focus on doing it well."

He said Icann needs to clarify whether terrorism would be based upon things such as allegations or convictions.

Icann did not respond to multiple requests from Gulf News for comment.

Last month, the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia became the first four countries to receive Icann approval for multilingual, non-English domains.

Adrian Kinderis, Chief Executive Officer, AusRegistry International, who helped the UAE usher in its new .ae domain, said checks are critical to ensure the safety of the system but isn't convinced that Icann should oversee them.