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Dot-Org Selection Process Criticized

September 13, 2002

The process to determine which group will manage one of the Internet's largest domains is turning into a three-way dispute between a Virginia nonprofit that likely will win the prize, a handful competing groups and the Internet addressing authorities charged with making a final decision. 

The Reston, Va.-based Internet Society (ISOC) has assumed a commanding lead in the competition to control the "dot-org" Internet domain after winning a key endorsement from staff at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). 

Eleven entities are vying to take control of dot-org when Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign Inc. relinquishes the domain at the end of this year. ICANN intends to finalize last month's preliminary report recommending ISOC sometime next week, clearing the way for the ICANN board to make a final decision in October. ICANN, which operates the Internet's addressing system under an agreement with the U.S. government, is responsible for choosing and accrediting the companies that run the world's top-tier Internet suffixes. 

Some of the 10 other organizations whose dot-org bids were passed over criticize ICANN staff for recommending only one candidate, rather than presenting the ICANN board of directors with a short-list of top contenders. 

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