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Senators Renew Call for .XXX Domain 489

Posted by Zonk
from the subject-they're-familiar-with dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It's an election year again, and the usual PR causes are being picked up. Senators are once again pushing for a .XXX top-level domain to 'corral pornography'." From the article: "The bill suggests, but does not require, that .xxx serve as the domain name ending. Any commercial Internet site or online service that "has as its principal or primary business the making available of material that is harmful to minors" would be required to move its site to that domain. Failure to comply with those requirements would result in civil penalties as determined by the Commerce Department. It's unclear whether the measure will go very far. First of all, it could be struck down as unconstitutional, said Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "
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Senators Renew Call for .XXX Domain

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  • by Bob The Cowboy (308954) on Friday March 17, 2006 @11:33PM (#14946524)
    "What is pornography?"

    is photographing a naked person porn? two people making love?
  • Re:unconstitutional? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by etymxris (121288) on Friday March 17, 2006 @11:50PM (#14946588)
    Because peanuts can kill those with allergies. I don't think stumbling across a pornographic website can have quite the same effect.
  • by interiot (50685) on Friday March 17, 2006 @11:58PM (#14946608) Homepage
    So, would it require wikipedia.org split part of its content off into wikipedia.xxx [wikipedia.org]? Note that all of those are (ostensibly) there to be used for encyclopedia articles. Nonetheless, per the law, quite a number of them are "lewd exhibition of the genitals or post-pubescent female breast".

    And if Wikipedia doesn't have to split its content off, does that mean that full-on porn sites can simply copy some wikipedia content onto their site, and therefore claim that the site is not primarily/exclusively meant for serving porn?

  • by Spazmania (174582) on Friday March 17, 2006 @11:59PM (#14946610) Homepage
    They're going about it all wrong. If they want .xxx to fly, they should require the ICANN to create one and pass a law affirming that if a web site is only accessible via its .xxx name then the site operator is deemed to have taken adequate care to prevent access by minors.

    Then let the individual site operators decide whether they want the liability shield. Guess what? They want it. And if that means they elementary schools will have an easy time blocking access I guarantee they won't shed a tear.
  • by eMartin (210973) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @12:07AM (#14946643)
    Just recently, an art teacher was suspended and may be fired for *recommending* to his *high school* students that they *consider* attending life drawing classes outside of school.

    http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2003/Best_of_AR C/best1.asp?msg=716&forumID=56 [artrenewal.org]

    So what would happen to an art-related site that has nudity, either in the form of art or reference for art? Should it be forced to use .xxx? I bet some people woud think so, but many of us would object.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @12:27AM (#14946704)
    The fact that someone thinks 'making love' and pornography are the same thing is evidence of how screwed up society has become from overexposure to images of gratuitous sex.

    The fact that someone thinks that society has been somehow screwed up by exposure to sexual imagery is evidence that that someone would like to force his or her religious morality on others. But I'd expect this from someone [slashdot.org] who clearly has no problem with the assault and battery of those who would teach that creationism has no supporting evidence. So tell me... How did "Thou shalt not kill" and "Be fruitful and multiply" become {violence:good, sex:bad} in your mind? You must have let someone else 'interpret' those two statements for you at an early age, no?

  • Free Porn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yintercept (517362) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @12:41AM (#14946752) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I don't mind the idea of moving porn to a .xxx extension. IMHO, the one thing we need to avoid is tossing up barriers to porn that people have to pay to get around. If porn is free, then the pornographers don't make money. Throwing up artificial barriers to porn creates income opportunities for the pornographers.

    For example, a few years back, there was the stupid suggestiong that giving a credit card numbers for age verification would prove a person was old enough to view porn. Getting the credit card number is the hardest part of making an online sale. This idea taught a generation of teenage boys how to steal credit card numbers. It also put a lot of money in the hands of pornographers.

    The .xxx extension might be good in that it would help people who want to avoid porn to filter it out. It might help those looking for porn to find free porn. It seems to me that if a .xxx extension created a path to free porn, it might undermine the income source for pornographers.
  • .obscene is next (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:04AM (#14946809)
    Someone route a group of bird flu infected flocking geese over washington. Make sure they're wired to shit on command. .osbscene is next kids.

    Get ready for it, its coming.

    What does this mean for newsgroup jackers?

    What does it mean for an individual that wants to post nude pictures of themselves online?

    This is not only impossible to do, its completely fucking illegal. The government should not be involved in censoring speech on the internet just to get votes.

    Just because they want the angry mother that wont fuck her husband, vote... doesnt mean they can take a giant shit on our freedom of speech and expression...

    or does it?

    This is the government we have folks. They chip away at freedom just to win votes. But hey, i guess we're a democracy, and if we all chose to no longer be a democracy... that is just democracy in action.

    Good job America.
  • by LeonGeeste (917243) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:06AM (#14946814) Journal
    believe it or not. There's a concept called a "deadweight loss" in economics. And basically, it's any kind of harm (something someone dislikes for whatever reason) which has no corresponding *benefit* for anyone. If I take a dollar from you, that's not a deadweight loss, because your loss was my gain. But if I burn your dollar, you lost, and no one gained. (That's a simplification, but you get the general idea.) And obviously, deadweight losses are bad.

    Now imagine a town that has a problem with thieves breaking windows so they can get into stores and houses to steal TV's. Here is ranking of the TV owners' preferences:

    1) No TV's be stolen or windows broken.
    2) Windows broken, but no TV's stolen.
    3) TV's stolen, but no windows broken.
    4) TV's stolen, and window's broken.

    Here is the typical thief's order of preference:

    1) Get TV's, but not have to break windows.
    2) Get TV's and have to break windows.
    3) Not get TV's and not have to break windows.
    4) Break windows for no reason.

    Currently, option number 4) on the TV owners' list, and option 2) on the theives' list are prevailing -- TV owners lose TV's and windows. Thieves get TV's but have to break windows.

    Now here's the kicker:

    For some economists, an "efficient" move would be to give the thieves free TV's! Why? Well, the thieves are better off -- they get TV's, but no longer have to break windows. The owners are better off because, while they still lose some TV's, at least their windows aren't broken! Everyone wins! Yay!

    Except, as anyone with a functioning brain knows, all that would accomplish is that the thieves would get TV's, and then some of them (or newcomers to the thievery profession) would still steal more TV's. The problem, like with the "separate plot for weeds" that you bring up, is that you can't corral thieves by giving them free stuff. Give weeds a place, they'll demand more. Give thieves TV's, and thieves will take more.

    It amazes me how the average person sees this, but some economists don't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:41AM (#14946895)
    Living in San Francisco, I know four women who run bondage porno sites. Unlike most "adult webmasters", who buy content and put it on some offshore server under a fake name, these women are visible - their names and pictures are on their web sites. Two use their real names; the others use a stage name.

    It's a tough business. None of them makes enough money from their site to quit her day job. One has been visited by the FBI for an 18 USC 2257 records audit. (That's a scary experience, because record keeping errors are felonies, but it went OK.) Two of them enjoy the business and have fun with it. One is just doing it for extra cash until she can start school again, and one is getting tired of it.

    So that's a sense of what it's like at the working levels.
    (If you want to meet these people, they'll all be at the SF Fetish Ball [sffetishball.com] Saturday night.)

  • Re:pron.awesome (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @02:08AM (#14946975) Homepage Journal
    No...the : is an unary operand on the right-hand argument. Thus the ) is "escaped" from consideration as a closed parenthesis.
  • Re:pron.awesome (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aussie_a (778472) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:27AM (#14947184) Journal
    I hate it when people use the :) as both a smiley and a closing bracket. I feel like the rest of their post is inside the bracket, and feel like they've finished the post incorrectly when they don't put a final ).
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:59AM (#14947336) Homepage Journal
    Pornography was originally the academic study of prostitution.
    The English, during the reign of Queen Victoria then started using the term for erotically arousing material.

    The English had regarded themselves as the civilized decendents of the classical Greeks and Romans, pure of thought and mind. The discovery at Pompey that a high proportion of Roman dwellings had sexually explicit paintings in them was a shock to the sensibilities. A particularly stunning statue of the god Pan making love to a goat which was found at Pompey, is locked away in a special room in the British Museum, along with hundreds of other sexually themed items of historical interest. One is only allowed acess to this room if one can prove some sort of academic interest in sexual themes.

    The decision that the viewing of such material was harmful to those with weak minds i.e. the uneducated and children has been pervasive in the 200 years since, but not in the 1000s of years previous.

  • Re:pron.awesome (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mqduck (232646) <mqduck AT mqduck DOT net> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @11:13AM (#14948049)
    programming != english

    You're right. It's not so much that it makes sense to programmers, but that programming tends to help one go "oh yea... the official rules of English don't make any fucking sense, do they?" Smart people want to express themselves better, dumb people who want to make themseves feel smart want to have correct grammar.

    Not that I'm talking about you, of course. ;-)

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