Playground Nearly Deserted
Date: Wednesday June 08 2005, @08:13PM
Topic: USA Goverment Relations

fnord writes "Two years after the USG mandated childsafe second level domain opened for business, it hosts, one can hardly say boasts, a scant 21 live websites.

Some in the US Congress were critical of ICANN after it failed to okay a .kids TLD in its 2000 new TLD round, Following an unsuccessful attempt in 2001 during which a dangerous precedent would have been set in which the USG would require ICANN to set up a .kids sTLD, Congress then overwhelmingly passed the (now apparently mis-named) DotKids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002 [pdf]. The theory was that sites vetted as appropriate for children under the age of 13 would be registered as third level domains, eg: Parents, schools, etc. could then configure filters or browsers to only accept * name responses. In practice an average of less than one new site per month can hardly be called a qualified success. While operator (and ICANN registry) NeuStar says they're not disappointed, the less charitable might call a complete flop to date. An Internet Explorer browser plugin that also attempts to follow the guidelines of the Act has similarily met with limited success.

The Reuters news article linked to above gives numerous theories to explain the lacklustre response, including the $400/yr to register and the lack of publicity, both of which are largely NeuStar's responsibility. They may be left to carry the can for this. How about that? A failed selective namespace implementation that can't be blamed on ICANN. There may be relevant lessons to be learned from this though, including that government(s) perhaps shouldn't get so directly involved in the namespace, they really don't know what they're doing. It will be interesting to see whether ICANN's controversial newly minted .xxx for adult sites will be more successful through using voluntary inclusion than (and most ICANN sTLDs) have been through using involuntary exclusion. -g"

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Good post fnord
by Anonymous on Thursday June 09 2005, @03:54AM (#15499)
You make a good observation fnord. is a flop for a variety of reasons, including the extreme requirements for setting up a website in the space. Let the market take its course and let's see how a voluntary program will work before trying to mandate how it should be done. Let's not be China.
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