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Username: nicholasmoraitis
Date/Time: Sat, October 28, 2000 at 10:50 AM GMT (Sat, October 28, 2000 at 8:50 PM EAST)
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V4.01 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: Yes, more consultation please!


Dear ICANN members,

(1) In my own view, none of these proposals involve enough of a committment to (a) consulting with youth; (b) consulting with youth-focused organisations; (c) recognising the International nature of a top level domain.

(2) In allocating the .kids domain name (like any other domain name) ICANN should take account not just of the economic or technical merit of proposals, but their social, educational, civic and political ramifications. ICANN *must* take these issues into account when allocating the .kids domain name.

(3) ICANN should have established these criteria (or at least outlined them in general) before they invited applications from would-be operators. In the case that these proposals for .kids can not be ammended to meet the demands for a wider public/youth role and social/community awareness/involvement, ICANN should not award any .kids domains. In these circumstances (it invited applications from organisations with inappropriate guidelines), ICANN is morally obligated to refund applicants' $50,000 deposit.

(4) In any circumstances, the ICANN Board, elected or unelected, is not mandated to select from between the .kids proposals. According to ICANN's constitution, at-large ICANN members must be over 16. There are certainly no Directors under that age. .kids is a domain name for young people, just as .com is the domain name for companies. Companies get a say in who runs domain names (Commercial interests are more than adequately represented on the ICANN Board). Kids get no say. I wonder if that's because adults want to help each other make a quick buck out of young people.

Perhaps there is some argument for adults to be involved to some limited extent, as parents, as educators, as respected mentors in our communities around the globe. But I feel .kids would have much more legitimacy in the eyes of young people, if it was selected by an ICANN Kids Advisory board.

~Nick (Age 17).

Nick Moraitis
Co-Coordinator -
Nation1 -
Author, "Cyberscene: a teen traveller's guide to the web"
(Penguin Books 1999)
Link: Nation1: building a global network for youth

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