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Moves are afoot to keep the governance of the internet domain names on US soil for years to come. Mississippi Republican Chip Pickering, speaking at the second and final day of the House Science Committee’s hearing on domain names, called on the US government to reject any plan that would place the body in control of the domain name registration process outside the shores of the US. Citing the millions of US tax dollars that have gone onto the construction and maintenance of the internet Pickering feels it only fair that the US should have the body residing in the US. What particularly gets his back up is the Internet Ad-Hoc Committee (IAHC) plan to house a Council of Registrars (CORE) in Geneva, Switzerland to oversee domain name registrars worldwide. This is something uniquely American that we have built. And we need to maintain leadership, he said during the hearings. The Internet Society’s (ISOC) president Don Heath was outnumbered three-to-one by opponents of the IAHC plan, which the ISOC endorses. The World Internetworking Alliance, Association for Interactive Media (AIM) and the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) all supported Pickering’s proposal. AIM’s president Andrew Sernovitz called the IAHC’s plan a Swiss cartel. Pickering said he would ask Congress to intervene if his concerns were not addressed in the Clinton administration’s plan for internet governance, which is due within a month. The issue arises mainly because the end of the contract for Network Solutions Inc to provide registration for the most popular domain names is just March 31 1998 and nothing is in place yet to replace NSI’s activities.

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