July 18, 2001
The Hon. Donald Evans
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
Dear Secretary Evans:
As you know, the National Telecommunications Information Administration ("NTIA") plays a critical role in managing Internet domain names. NTIA has recently initiated a proceeding concerning how it should exercise its authority over the ".us" domain. We believe that the administration of this domain is extremely important to Internet users throughout the country.
The ".us" domain has been used to support educational organizations, nonprofits, and state and local entities since its creation. We understand that NTIA has begun a process to relinquish the administration of this domain to a private company. This action seems premature and may not be in the public interest.
Several organizations have proposed that this domain be administered by a nonprofit entity that would use any profits from registering domain names for activities which would promote the public interest. This seems consistent with the Administration's interest in promoting competition for domain names while at the same time allowing this resource to continue to benefit the public.
We therefore request that you delay further action on this matter until a new NTIA Director is confirmed by the United States Senate. This will enable a more thorough review of this issue by the Administration and Congress prior to a final decision.
Thank you very much for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your response.
ERNEST HOLLINGS, Chairman
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, United States Senator
JOHN KERRY, United States Senator