Hands Off: The Internet Council of Registrars, a nonprofit group of businesses hoping to make money by registering new domain names, has registered its distaste for the Clinton administration's plan for privatizing the Internet.

In fact, the group--known as CORE--objected to the federal government's mere presence in the debate over the future of Internet governance.

The U.S. government should "step aside quietly and allow the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to become a private, nonprofit U.S. corporation managing the [domain name system] as it has for more than 15 years," said Alan Hanson, chairman of CORE's executive committee.

CORE evolved out of a multiyear effort on the part of the Marina del Rey-based Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the Internet Society and other online groups to change the network's focus from an academic to a commercial institution. The White House joined the debate two months ago with a report called the Green Paper.

The National Telecommunications and Infrastructure Administration in the Commerce Department is now reviewing comments about the Green Paper and is expected to issue a final report this year.

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