Saturday, March 09, 2002

who decides?
Legislation was approved this last Thursday by the Energy and Commerce Committee's telecommunications panel to create an internet domain safe for children. A company named "NeuStar Inc." will be responsible for setting standards, and making decisions about content for sites in the domain.

So who is "NeuStar Inc?"

For one thing, they keep track of telephone numbers in the United States:
Based in Washington DC, NeuStar operates the authoritative registry of all North American telephone numbers and administers the database, which all North American carriers rely upon to route billions of telephone calls daily. NeuStar also operates the dot-US registry, ``America's Internet Address''. NeuLevel, NeuStar's subsidiary, operates the .BIZ registry, the world's first top-level domain dedicated exclusively to business. Over 4000 telecommunications and service providers currently rely upon NeuStar's services.
But I'm wondering how this qualifies them to set standards for safe surfing for children under 13 years old.

And why a "" suffix instead of a ".kids" suffix?

Maybe the House has recognized some of the problems behind their good intentions:
While there was widespread support for the bill among lawmakers, Rep. Anna Eshoo said issues to be addressed include how to enforce it and the international implications of regulating certain Internet content.

"We may be creating an impossible task," said Eshoo, Democrat-California.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international body that governs domain names, has refused to create a ".kids" suffix, questioning who would determine what material was appropriate for children.

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