The Internet is celebrated as a machine that runs by itself, but this is not quite accurate. The Web does have oversight, just not by any multinational organization, national government or regulator. It’s run by a small, private, non-profit institution that’s rarely in the news.
This week will be an exception. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) is accepting applications for an infinite number of new Web addresses, known as top-level domain names. In addition to the existing two dozen suffixes, such as .com, .org and .net, Icann will let people apply, for a fee of $185,000, to create whatever suffixes they like, which will be reviewed and go live next year. Expect .hitachi and .paris, for example.
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©2012/The Wall Street Journal
L. Gordon Crovitz is a columnist at The Wall Street Journal
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