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Rockefeller Calls For Scaled-Back Domain-Name Plan Rockefeller Calls For Scaled-Back Domain-Name Plan

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Congress

Rockefeller Calls For Scaled-Back Domain-Name Plan

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D_WV) in the Mike Mansfield Room, U.S. Capitol.(Liz Lynch)

December 28, 2011

Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., made a last push on Wednesday to get the international organization that helps oversee the Internet to reevaluate its plans to expand the number of top-level Web domain names.

Rockefeller asked Commerce Secretary John Bryson and Larry Strickling, administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, to pressure the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to scale back its plans.

ICANN plans to roll out unlimited new generic top-level domain (gTLD) names that could include names of companies, such as .facebook, or even dot-baby and other general categories.

"Given that experts, the nation's chief consumer protection agency, and a substantial percentage of both the business and non-profit community agree that gTLD expansion should be implemented in a limited manner, I believe it is prudent for you to ask ICANN to revaluate its current plan," Rockefeller wrote.

The chairman's letter echoes concerns he expressed during a Commerce Committee hearing on Dec. 8. At that hearing, and another hearing in the House a week later, ICANN officials gave no indication that they plan to revise the program.

"This process has not been rushed," Kurt Pritz, ICANN senior vice president, told the House House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee. "It's been seven years in the making. It's well thought out."

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