ICANN says ‘no’ to wildcards.
Registries that are awarded new top level domain names will be prohibited from wildcarding unregistered domains, based on the latest version of ICANN’s applicant guidebook.
The new registration agreement reads:
For domain names which are either not registered by a registrant, or the registrant has not supplied valid records such as NS records for listing in the DNS zone file, or their status does not allow them to be published in the DNS, the use of DNS wildcard Resource Records as described in RFC 4592 or any other method or technology for synthesizing DNS Resources Records or using redirection within the DNS by the Registry is prohibited. When queried for such domain names the authoritative name servers must return a “Name Error” response (also known as NXDOMAIN), RCODE 3 as described in RFC 1035 and related RFCs. This provision applies for all DNS zone files at all levels in the DNS tree for which the Registry Operator (or an affiliate engaged in providing Registration Services) maintains data, arranges for such maintenance, or derives revenue from such maintenance.
.Com registry VeriSign created a wildcard several years ago, dubbed SiteFinder, that automatically showed ads to internet users who typed in non-existent domain names.
Although registries will be prohibited from wildcarding, they can register domains in their TLD and do with them as they please. All that’s required is that they register the domains through an ICANN-accredited registrar (which they may own) and pay the associated ICANN fees for each registration.