US government wants veto power on new domain suffixes

ICANNIn the midst the forthcoming rampant expansion of the Internet, the US government will look to gain veto power over future domain name suffixes. Numerous additions, like .car, .movie, and .web, could be officially introduced next month. But before any new top level generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) are allowed into our address bars, ICANN’s international representatives have to sign off on them.

Until now, ICANN’s policy for gTLD applications were only rejected based on its Limited Public Interest Objection rule, which simply mean that unless a proposed gTLD offended the “generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law,” it passed.

ICANN retains authority from any government, but some international entities have lobbied concern over US control since the independent web organization is housed stateside. But this most recent suggestion seems like a move for the US government to find favor with its global ICANN colleagues by giving the advisory panel increased powers over domain name registration. According to the proposal, any government “may raise an objection to a proposed (suffix) for any reason.”

The debate over somewhat controversial web addresses is already rising. The previously Bush administration-vetoed .xxx already made it back to the drawing board, and human rights groups are advocating for .gay. The proposal to include a mandatory review by the ICANN advisory panel means that the red tape to introduce a new gTLD will only get thicker. The US Commerce Department has addressed these particular concerns only with a vague statement, saying only “it is premature for us to comment on those domain names.”

Aside to argument over specific domain names, the government is feeling the need to defend its right to veto power over the web addresses. In a statement to CNET, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said that taking such action “has merit as it diminishes the potential for blocking of top level domain strings considered objectionable by governments. This type of blocking harms the architecture of the DNS and undermines the goal of universal resolvability (i.e., a single global Internet that facilitates the free flow of goods and services and free of expression).” Which, as CNET points out, is a very p.c. way to say that global conservative regimes might block certain domains (like .gay) that we wouldn’t, and this could lead to a fragmented web.

In addition to veto power, there will be an $185,000 application fee attached to new gTLDs, as well as an annual ICANN fee of $25,000 to retain control of the web suffix. The hefty price tag has outraged Internet rights groups that believe the panel simply wants to take advantage of the situation. According to the Washington Post, ICANN’s chair of the board of directors Peter Dengate Thrush insists the steep costs are to ward off cybersquatters and protect the organization in case of lawsuits. “Our job is to protect competition and give extra choices for consumers and entrepreneurs,” Thrush said. ICANN will meet in March to discuss the proposal.

The Internet is being opened up in a way it hasn’t before, and there’s speculation that the race for domain names will only confuse and clutter web navigation. Over the next week, industry analysts and experts will meet in San Francisco for the first .nxt conference to discuss the US’ proposal as well as current ICANN regulations.

Computing

Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in February, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 
Computing

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.
Computing

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 
Computing

Limited-time sale knocks $500 off the price of the Razer Blade Pro 17

Looking for an ultra-powerful laptop for yourself or someone else? You're in for some luck. Razer is running a sale on some of its best gaming laptops, cutting down pricing on the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17. 
Emerging Tech

Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword

How do you give new life to a 30-year-old computer? Software engineer Mike Kohn found a way by transforming his old Apple IIe into a wheeled robot. Check it out in all its 1980s glory.