New Top Level Domain Plan Under Congress Review for Potential Harm to Business
Both U.S. Senate and House committees have conducted hearings examining the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) plan to put up for auction a virtually unlimited number of new top level domains (TLDs). TLDs are the part of a web address to the right of the dot (.com, .org, .edu, etc.). In the future, an advertiser could create its own TLD, such as www.adfed.adfed. The initial auction period is scheduled to begin on January 12, 2012.
Prior to either hearing, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz testified at a hearing on an unrelated matter that the ICANN plan would be a “disaster for businesses and consumers” and would create major additional problems for law enforcement. At a December 8 hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee, ICANN senior vice president Kurt Pritz testified that all stakeholders are represented in ICANN and that the plan had achieved consensus. That claim was undermined by testimony in strong opposition to the plan by representatives of both the business and non-profit communities. Senators Amy Kobuchar, D-Minn., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., both former prosecutors, echoed Chairman Leibowitz’s concern about the law enforcement implications of the plan.
Likewise, members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology expressed skepticism about the ICANN plan in a Dec. 14 hearing. Members from both sides of the aisle declared the plan “not ready for prime-time” and urged ICANN to delay implementation until the business and law enforcement concerns are addressed. Many in the industry believe this recent government interest is too little, too late, because the TLD plan has been in the works for years without such concerns being voiced.
For more information, take a look at the following article: www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/whats-the-rush/2011/12/09/gIQA5Ms9nO_story.html
And the ICANN gTLD micro-site: newgtlds.icann.org
If you are concerned about the new TLDs please feel free to contact John Pickerill at email@example.com; (612) 492-7306, and Ad Fed can help coordinate a response to ICANN.