It’s good to know that Congress has solved all of the nation’s most pressing problems, leaving esteemed members like West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller free to get involved in a handful of custom domain requests. Real hands-on kind of stuff. The specific matters upsetting the great-grandson of America’s first billionaire are three requests to create the gTLD (generic top-level domain) “.sucks”. Since ICANN (the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers) opened up online domains beyond the classic “.com”, “.net”, “.gov”, and “.edu” in January, the non-profit group has been flooded with requests for gLTDs from “.guru” to “.singles”. These particular applications were filed by the tech companies Donuts Inc., Momentous Corp., and Top Level Spectrum, all of which plan to start offering “.sucks” domain names to the public as soon as ICANN approves the request.
But not if Rockefeller has anything to do with it. He wrote a strongly worded letter to ICANN this week urging them to deny the applications. He’s not worried that the names will be used for porn (that’s what “.xxx” is for, duh), but that they will be used by digital gangsters to shake down the rich and famous (for Bitcoin, presumably). In the letter, Rockefeller describes .sucks as “little more than a predatory shakedown scheme” that would force corporations and individuals “to pay ongoing fees to prevent seeing the phrase ‘sucks’ appended to their names on the Internet.”
That is indeed a clever blackmail scheme, but what Rockefeller fails to take into account is that it’s already possible to purchase jayrockefellersucks.com, or, for that matter, to start @jayrockefellersucks for free. Never underestimate the creativity of the Internet, Senator.