On February 28, 2014, Neustar was awarded a contract to manage the .usTLD by the Department of Commerce.
Public Law 107-317, the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002 (Dot Kids Act), requires that the administrator of the .us country code top level domain establish a kids.us domain to serve as a haven for material that promotes positive experiences for children and families using the Internet, provides a safe on-line environment for children, and helps to prevent children from being exposed to harmful material on the Internet. The law envisioned a closed-off, walled garden, in which children could surf in a safe environment. The Act included content restrictions to make the space appropriate for children and included a prohibition on linking outside of the kids.us space.
On June 27, 2012, the National Telecommunications and Information Agency suspended the kids.us domain effective July 27, 2012. At the time, there were only six active websites which were visited monthly by very few individual users. Additionally, all of the websites had far more robust websites in other TLDs. The Agency found that the kids.us domain was not meeting the intended needs for which it had been created by the Congress.
As the past Administrator of kids.us, Neustar has the technical expertise and experience to administer the kids.us domain. Technical, legal and policy documents such as the kids.us Administrator-Registrar Agreement v.2.0, the Content Management Service Terms and Conditions Agreement, and the Kids. US content policy: guidelines and restrictions could be easily modified and used in the revival of a kids.us domain.
Neustar believes that it is in the public interest to not only examine the revival of the kids.us domain, but also to explore a variety of other creative approaches utilizing the usTLD space to better serve children and families.
Neustar is an ardent believer in the need to educate children about digital literacy and STEM fields, but we are not education experts ourselves.
Accordingly, we seek to form a special Education Committee and wish to employ a multistakeholder process to examine the best ways not only to look at the Dot Kids Act and the possible revival of the kids.us domain as established by the law, but also to examine the best ways to promote the goals of the Act. The Internet has undergone massive changes over the last decade which could not have been foreseen at the time the Dot Kids Act was written. We seek to explore what, if any, actions could be taken by Neustar to better educate and protect children in today’s online environment in conjunction with our responsibilities as the Administrator of the usTLD.
Neustar seeks a diverse and experienced group of individuals interested in volunteering to serve on the Education committee. Experts will be chosen from those that express interest to this solicitation as well as from other outreach activities. The selection process is expected to begin immediately and the first meeting of the Education Committee is expected to take place in May, 2014.
Expressions of interest from individuals should be sent to Terri.Claffey@neustar.biz, along with the individual’s C.V. and other material explaining the contribution the party hopes to make to the Education Committee.