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Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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Connecting the dots: Mormons, others buying up new Web addresses

In its ongoing push to tap technology, the LDS Church has applied for the right to own the website suffixes .mormon and .lds.

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The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was among hundreds of applicants seeking nearly 2,000 possible new "after-the-dot" endings from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is considering a move to expand the number of such web addresses.

That possibility has set off a scramble to snatch up intriguing and memorable URL names.

Google, for example, applied for .cpa, .esq, .phd and .prof. Curiously, it also sought .lol, .are, .boo, .foo and .rsvp," according to a combined wire service story in The Salt Lake Tribune.

"Companies would be able to create separate websites and separate addresses for each of their products and brands, even as they keep their existing .com name," the article said. "Businesses that joined the Internet late, and found desirable .com names taken, would have alternatives."

But it won't come cheaply, the piece said. "Companies and groups had to pay $185,000 per proposal."

Among the sought-after endings were several faith-based words, including .bible, .catholic, .church, .cbn, .christmas, .faith, .halal, .islam, .yoga and .kosher," Christianity Today reported. "Of those, only .church and .yoga had more than one applicant."

Both applicants for .church — LifeChurch.tv, an Oklahoma-based church, and Donuts Inc., a for-profit domain name registry that coordinates domain name use — promised to "make the domain broadly available to faith-based organizations," the Christian magazine said.

However, it reported, Catholic and Mormon representatives said they intended "to closely monitor .catholic, .mormon and .lds to protect their reputations. ... The LDS Church also plans to restrict its domains to official Mormon entities."

LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter had no comment this week on the possibility of monitoring any future .mormon or .lds sites.

"The church has filed for rights to .mormon and .lds," Trotter said, "but there are no current plans to use them."

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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