Neustar, which has the contract with the US government to run the .us ccTLD, has opened a public comment on the kids.us namespace.
The usTLD Stakeholder Council, of which I am a member, has recommended that the current suspension of the kids.us namespace be maintained indefinitely.
The rationale behind this is pretty simple. While the underlying concept behind kids.us is positive, the restrictions that ended up being put in place were such that it was impractical for most entities to even try and acquire a domain under .kids.us
The more official way of wording it is:
due to historical context and the inability to drive usage of the namespace within the existing policy framework.
Here’s a breakdown of the restrictions imposed by the policy:
- Content restrictions prohibiting mature content, pornography, inappropriate language, violence, criminal activity, hate speech, drugs, weapons, gambling, alcohol, and tobacco;
- A prohibition on hyperlinking outside of the kids.us zone;
- Tight restrictions on the use of two-way messaging services;
- A requirement to offer educational and informational content; and
- A content review of all domains in kids.us.
When all of these things were decided on back in 2002 they probably seemed like a good idea. It was a time before the rise of mobile apps, social media and much much more. Personally I’ve no idea how you could create a “safe” online namespace without putting a huge burden on the registry operator and imposing heavy burdens on anyone trying to create content. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but whether it’s practical or not is the real question.
You can find more information about the comment period as well as background documents here.