July 21, 2012
If you haven't heard of the extension .kids.us; you certainly wouldn't be alone - and it seems that's part of the reason why the domain name registry is headed for the recycle bin.
Originally created nearly a decade ago as part of the U.S. Govenment's Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002; .kids.us was meant to evolve into a series of safe online destinations for children.
The Act states its purpose was in part to:
"To facilitate the creation of a new, second-level Internet domain within the United States country code domain that will be a haven for material that promotes positive experiences for children and families using the Internet, provides a safe online environment for children, and helps to prevent children from being exposed to harmful material on the Internet, and for other purposes."
It seems very few names were registered and the U.S. government has acknowledged that many child-friendly sites have sprouted up outside of the .kids.us space since. In the last 10 years, parents have also been empowered with a number of tools and controls to help keep their children safe online.
In a contract amendment notice sent to the company tasked with overseeing the registry, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) stated "NTIA has determined that the kids.us domain is not serving its intended purpose as per the Dot Kids Act...The kids.us domain is hereby suspended...the date of suspension will be 30 days from the date of this amendment." The amendment was dated 27 June, 2012.
Currently active kids.us domain names will not be renewed after their expiration date says the NTIA and registrants will be asked to voluntarily suspend use of their kids.us domain. If a registrant chooses not to do so, they'll be charged a previously waived $250 annual content management fee.
No current figures appear to be publicly available regarding the number of active .kids.us domain names.
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