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Staff of the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recommended Nov. 10 that no new top-level domains distinguishing between kid-friendly and kid-unfriendly material be added to the Internet at this time. ICANN, a nonprofit tapped in 1998 to oversee the Internet’s domain-name system, will choose from among 44 applications proposing new top-level domains at a meeting this week. The proposed domains are intended to ease the crunch on the existing and widely used domains such as dot-com, dot-net and dot-org. In a report released Nov. 10, ICANN’s staff said only 17 of the 44 proposals met the technical, financial and other minimum standards necessary to create a viable new domain. None of the four applications proposing to create a dot-kids domain, which would have restricted content on sites using that domain to material appropriate for children, or a dot-xxx domain, which would have limited content to pornographic material, made the cut. “Because of the inadequacies in the proposed technical and business measures to actually promote kid-friendly content, the evaluation team does not recommend selecting a dot-kids domain in the current phase of the TLD program,” the staff report said. “In addition, because of the controversy surrounding, and poor definition of the hoped-for benefits of dot-xxx, we also recommend against its selection at this time.” ICANN’s board is expected to vote at this week’s meeting in Los Angeles on proposals to add a half-dozen or so new domains. The board is not bound by staff recommendations, but it has frequently approved staff proposals. Of 14 applicants seeking to offer generic new domains much like the current dot-com, the staff suggested that seven were worthy of further consideration. Those seven included a plan for dot-web offered by Afilias, a consortium of the leading dot-com registrars, including Network Solutions and Register.com. The staff also said ICANN should consider approving an application from Stanford research spinoff SRI International that proposes creating a dot-geo domain that would use addresses including longitudinal and latitudinal positions. That novel plan would tie addresses in cyberspace to addresses in the physical world. Of five applications trying to establish domains devoted to individuals, ICANN staff said four merited further review. Approving a domain such dot-nom or dot-per, which would be devoted to individuals and noncommercial use, might help ICANN blunt criticism that it has favored the needs of big companies over the desires of ordinary Internet users. Of seven applications proposing special-purpose domains, such as dot-union for unions and dot-museum for museums, the staff suggested considering all but two. Still in the running in addition to those two are dot-coop for cooperative businesses, such as credit unions, dot-air for air transportation sites and dot-health, which was proposed by the World Health Organization for health-care sites. The staff said none of the five applications offering domains restricted to commercial entities, such as dot-law for lawyers and dot-travel for airlines, was up to snuff. The staff also recommended against the four proposals related to telephone services or either of two related to message-routing services. Proposals to create a dot-yp “yellow pages” domain and a dot-dir directory of directories also received a thumbs-down. Related Articles from The Industry Standard: The Changing of ICANN’s Guard ICANN Asked to Connect the Dots The New Masters of Domains Copyright � 2000 The Industry Standard

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