Department of Commerce Renews ICANN's Mandate But Misses Key Components; .kids.us Markup Put On Hold
On September 20 the Department of Commerce published its new Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The new MOU imposes some new tasks on ICANN regarding improved accountability, transparency, and overall security of the Internet's Domain Name System, but fails to provide guidance on what the appropriate limits on ICANN's power should be. Also, a proposed markup of legislation to mandate creation of a ".kids.us" Internet domain was put on hold amid concerns that the legislation would inappropriately involve the federal government in decisions about Internet content. While CDT believes in the importance of protecting children online, the proposed legislation was likely to raise questions about the appropriateness of government involvement, as well as the effectiveness of such a domain in protecting children.