Internet names board rejects ‘.kids,’ ‘.xxx’ suffixes

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Advisers to an Internet naming organization narrowed recommendations for new domain names Friday by dismissing ".kids," ".xxx" and other proposals as unworkable.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers could make its picks as early as Thursday, at its annual meeting in Marina del Rey, Calif. Although nonbinding, the recommendations should carry a lot of weight with board members.

Still, ICANN chief executive Mike Roberts warned that the board could ignore staff advice and even order more research on proposals recommended for rejection.

Adding suffixes to the Internet is akin to adding area codes to the national phone system to accommodate the growing number of customers.

Without a workable naming structure, Internet users could have trouble finding Web sites. There are currently three suffixes for general use: .com, .net and .org, and .com in particular is getting crowded, with more than 24 million registrations.

The advisers left 16 proposals on the table, out of 44 they reviewed. Internet users can comment on the report at ICANN’s Web site, www.icann.org. In the end, ICANN will likely pick a half-dozen or so.

New suffixes could be in use by mid-2001 and would be the first major additions since the 1980s.

Likely new names include .web and .biz. However, they are the subject of legal challenges by parties that claim trademarks on those suffixes.

The advisers also recommended that the board consider personal names, such as .nom or .i, for individuals to register JohnDoe.nom or other identifiers.

They also recommended choosing among five proposals restricted to specific groups: .union for labor unions, .air for the aviation industry and .health for health organizations.

The advisers — eight people selected for their technical, business and legal expertise — recommended against setting up a channel for kids because of potential difficulties determining who counts as kids and what content should be OK for them.

"Given the international reach of the Internet, the complexity of these definitional issues is compounded by many diverse cultures and a variety of community and individual views on the answers," the advisers concluded.

They also rejected a .xxx for adult content, saying such a suffix does not appear to satisfy any unmet needs.

"Adult content is readily available on the Internet," they said, adding that adult sites would not have been required to only use such a suffix.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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