FairWinds in the Press

October 01, 2012

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Roll Call On the Move: Technology

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Next year may redefine how people visit websites, with the advent of more personalized domain names, such as .facebook or .amazon, alongside today’s common addresses, such as .com and .net. The Washington-based Internet consulting company FairWinds Partners is helping clients such as Verizon Communications Inc. and Bacardi figure out how to get people to come to their new addresses and reducing so-called cybersquatting, when the domain name of a company’s trademarked product is taken by someone else. 

Next year may redefine how people visit websites, with the advent of more personalized domain names, such as .facebook or .amazon, alongside today’s common addresses, such as .com and .net. The Washington-based Internet consulting company FairWinds Partners is helping clients such as Verizon Communications Inc. and Bacardi figure out how to get people to come to their new addresses and reducing so-called cybersquatting, when the domain name of a company’s trademarked product is taken by someone else. To help coordinate that work, the 6-year-old company has hired Nao Matsukata, a former Senate aide and government trade official, as its first CEO. 

Matsukata has advised FairWinds since its start through his own consulting company, which also helped Asian and European companies on global trade and regulatory issues. He’s a skeptic about the new domain system, which will begin in early 2013 with some domain names approved by the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. 

“There’s a lot of discussion about whether or not ICANN is truly an accountable organization to anybody,” says Matsukata, 48. “Now that ICANN has opened up the top-level space, we helped more brands with their applications for top-levels than any other entity.”

In the 1990s, Matsukata was a senior policy adviser to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who later declared himself an independent rather than a Democrat. During the George W. Bush administration, Matsukata was director of policy planning for U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick

He says the new top-level domain system will have a federal policy angle, because industries regulated by federal and state governments will adopt new website addresses.

Read the full article on Congressional Quarterly's Roll Call.