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Username: nicholasmoraitis
Date/Time: Wed, November 1, 2000 at 12:36 AM GMT (Wed, November 1, 2000 at 10:36 PM EAST)
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.01 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: Why?



You understand the need for broad consultation, yet you say such consultation can not begin until one of the four .kids registrars is acredited. Why?

(1) Later is not good enough. A bad is worse than none at all. ICANN must be clear what it is signing the Internet community up for when it selects any tld application. The policies (relating to restrictions, pricing structures or cultural awareness for example) that define the .kids technical and administrative architecture will markedly affect the social and business 'space' it contains. Considering the significant section of the Internet community the creation of .kids is likely to impact upon, the ability to consult widely and take into account community views in a coherent and fair manner is likely to be a considerable issue for the potential registrar. An existing track record, or demonstrated committment to such consultation (evident in the proposal) would go a long way to making an application stand out in a crowded field.

(2) Consultation is easy. The applicants for .kids all have significant financial backing, in line with the potential they have to reap significant returns from such a lucrative domain name property. With even a modest amount of money (for example $50,000 matching the ICANN deposit), applicants could easily have already convened a high level meeting of key stakeholders in the youth sector. They could have commissioned key youth organisations to provide submissions/develop policies. It is not hard to find the experts in the field on these issues, and in many cases the hard work has already been done. For example, over the last year, UNESCO has put huge resources into a program called "Innocence in Danger" aimed at tackingly the issues of porn online and youth access to (and depiction in) it.

I encourage ICANN to delay further action on these domain names until .kids applicants have time to further ellaborate on their proposals and outline their community consultation programs in more detail. And, applicants, make it happen --- now!

warm regards to all,

Nick Moraitis

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

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