While most users are familiar with these common domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has been adding hundreds of new domains to increase choice.

San Francisco - State surveillance and government access restrictions pose the greatest dangers to the future of the internet, a report published Thursday by the Pew Research foundation said.

The Net Threats report also warned that commercial pressures could threaten the open organization of the internet, and that efforts to thwart the problem of information overload could overcompensate and make information too hard to find.

More than 1,400 experts contributed to the study, which warned of increased regulation and censorship of the internet by governments worldwide.

“Actions by nation-states to maintain security and political control will lead to more blocking, filtering, segmentation, and balkanization of the Internet,” the report said, citing the examples of China, Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey.

Report authors predicted an erosion of public trust in the wake of recent revelations about extensive government surveillance of the net. They also cautioned that monetization of internet activities could hamper the ways in which people receive information. - Sapa-dpa