The government is tightening control over the body responsible for administering Hong Kong domain names after a global internet-security company's survey showed domains bearing the .hk suffix were the most risky in the world. It is cutting the number of directors of the non-profit Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation from 13 to eight, of whom half will be government appointees. At present, the government appoints only one director. Security company McAfee found that almost a fifth of .hk websites were regarded as dangerous or potentially dangerous sources of electronic junk mail, excessive pop-ups or malicious code. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang told the Legislative Council yesterday that the changes were in line with the recommendations of a consultation paper issued in May last year. The paper also suggested the government-affiliated company set up a consultative and advisory panel. Mr Ma said the timing of the McAfee survey, the results of which were released three weeks ago, 'happened to coincide with a brief period in which the .hk domain was being targeted by malicious operators'. Apart from the government appointee, the company's board comprises representatives of internet users and service providers, the information-technology industry, commerce and industry, and universities. 'We envisage that the appointed directors will be chosen to give the company access to experienced non-executive directors and to insights about the wider interests of the community,' Mr Ma said. Some existing directors would be invited to join the new board, Mr Ma said. An extraordinary general meeting of the corporation will discuss the new arrangement, which is expected to be implemented this year. Mr Ma said the authorities had stepped up efforts last year to crack down on more than 14,000 malicious and suspicious sites using the .hk domain. Since the McAfee survey, he said, 'there has been a drastic drop in spamvertising and phishing cases using .hk domain names'. He noted that last year an average of 262 such cases a week were reported but that in the past three months just two a week had been reported. Liberal Party lawmaker Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung said the government should consider enhancing the company's corporate governance by making it a statutory body to improve its transparency.