NASS Resolution of Recommendation to the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers-ICANN-for Issuance of Corporate Internet Extensions

WHEREAS, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is an organization whose members include Secretaries of State and Lieutenant Governors of the 50 U.S. states and territories; and

WHEREAS, the majority of members are responsible for the administrative oversight of business entity registration processes in their respective states; and

WHEREAS, the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has awarded new Internet extensions that include business entity endings, including .INC, .LLC., and .LLP; and

WHEREAS, NASS and its members have followed this process closely and have expressed concerns regarding the potentially negative impacts of issuing generic gTLDs as corporate extensions, which we believe may not have enforceable safeguards to protect against misuse and could ultimately have a harmful effect on entities that are legally registered in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, NASS and many of its members have previously expressed in numerous letters to ICANN that these extensions may be unnecessary and irresponsible, but if allowed, should only be awarded to entities that are appropriately registered and in good-standing with Secretary of State or other state filing offices of jurisdiction; and

WHEREAS, there is a growing national concern relating to fraudulent business registration, business identity theft, online consumer protection and consumer confusion; and

WHEREAS, if these extensions were to be awarded without enforceable safeguards, it could allow anyone to operate a .INC, .LLC, or .LLP website, regardless of their actual business registration status/entity type; and

WHEREAS, the Government Advisory Committee to ICANN issued advice in regards to the necessity of safeguards and restrictions on these particular Internet extensions. NASS members believed that safeguards and restrictions were best enforced through the community application process;

WHEREAS, ICANN rejected the community application process for these extensions and instead awarded them through the general application process;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) believes it is imperative that ICANN conduct rigorous pre-testing and adopt proper safeguards, restrictions, and enforcement measures to ensure that registries awarded the .INC, .LLC, and .LLP extensions work closely with Secretaries of State and other appropriate state agencies to protect the U.S. business community and consumers.

Adopted the 16th day of July, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA
Originally Adopted July 2013; Amended and Reaffirmed July 2018

EXPIRES: Summer 2023