Originally published: May 5, 2011
Last updated: May 5, 2011 - 9:07pm
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held a hearing to investigate the possible effects of expanding Internet domain names beyond the traditional suffixes like .com and .net to potentially anything a registrant could type.
The subcommittee probed plans by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to expand the generic top level domains (gTLDs) beyond the set menu of familiar suffixes like .org and .gov. The proposed new regime could comprise either an expanded menu of choices or an open door for registrants to create a suffix of their choosing, such as .google or .microsoft. ICANN, which formed in 1998, is a non-profit corporation that manages the domain name system for Internet website addresses. Each website “lives” at an address designated by a string of numbers – called an IP address – which operates like a telephone number. ICANN indexes those numbers and pairs them up with domain names, which allows users to find a website by typing in an easy-to-remember name rather than a difficult-to-remember string of seemingly random numbers.
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