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Plans For .xxx Domain For p0rn Scrapped 361

Posted by Hemos
from the back-to-surfing-google-images dept.
William Robinson writes "ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has once again scrapped the plan for a new internet "domain" .xxx for pornography. Supporters of the .xxx address suffix argued that it would have helped to protect children and others from accidental exposure to internet pornography, particularly if stronger filters were used to screen out explicit material from other internet domains. Pressure from conservative Christian groups in the US, which has a veto over the internet addressing system, led the organisation last year to put off introducing a new ".xxx" domain for pornography on the internet. That drew international complaints that the US exercised too much power over the internet and added to a European-backed movement to shift control of the online medium to an international group."
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Plans For .xxx Domain For p0rn Scrapped

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  • Once again, why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by heinousjay (683506) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:28AM (#15049819) Journal
    I've not yet seen a reason to have the .xxx domain. I'm not opposed, per se, but I have a hard time understanding the point to it. It seems more like a fun hot button to oppose the US. If that's the case, cool, enjoy tilting at that particular windmill.
  • by Hellboy0101 (680494) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:29AM (#15049823)
    I always wondered what made anyone think that this would be a success in the first place. Registering your pr0n site as a .com, etc would always be the preffered method, since you site would have a better chance of getting around filters. Just another instance of non-technical people trying to make technical decisions.
  • Trolling Post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Serapth (643581) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:29AM (#15049826)
    Are you all ready for the barrage of thousands of comments about how much fundamentalist Christians suck. This obviously leads to conversations about how evil the Bush administration is. Naturally this will lead to a number of non-Americans saying how the States has too much power and is too conceited. And finally, this will be followed up by comments from Americans claiming to be the core of the world anyways so the rest of the world can go stuff it.
    BR> Paint by numbers, brought to you by Slashdot.
  • V is for Veto (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:32AM (#15049845)
    Pressure from conservative Christian groups in the US, which has a veto over the internet addressing system, led the organisation last year

    So, please tell me why they have a veto, and the progressive Buddhists do not?
  • by mopslik (688435) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:33AM (#15049854)

    I've not yet seen a reason to have the .xxx domain.

    I guess the main argument is that it should be fairly trivial to filter out any domain ending in .xxx, as opposed to trying to determine is a particular .com domain is pornographic based on domain name, copy, images, etc.

    But then, I guess it depends on whether you buy into the "existence = encouragement" argument put forth by some of the other groups.

  • by nagora (177841) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:36AM (#15049871)
    I don't see the problem here. Who has financed the internet into what it has become today. Who developed the technology and who operates the largest backbone?

    Who gives a fuck? The Internet in my country was funded by my tax, and my country's backbone is the important one for me.

    This "Oh, we did the initial research so we own everything that ever originates from that point" argument is pathetic. Did America invent roads? No!? Well then, I think the rest of the world should be able to tax American cars. What about railroads? Another non-American invention. Tax please!

    The light bulb is another non-American invention. I think for that one the rest of the world should just refuse to licence it and people like you can go and live in the dark age you so surely deserve.

    TWW

  • by Mayhem178 (920970) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:37AM (#15049882)
    I like all the subtle little messages in this article, further reinforcing the fundamentalist Christian conservative stereotype and implying that the Christians are the ones feeding fuel to the ICANN vs. Europe dispute.

    Seriously, this debate already has enough touchy issues to keep both sides warring with each other. Looking at the situation objectively, I don't think ICANN can make any kind of intelligent decision now without sparking accusations from European protesters. So what, then, makes this .xxx domain decision any different than any other domain decision made by ICANN? Easy...it's a touchy issue with Christians. Christians who, by stereotype, are all conservative, and therefore are an easy target for the liberal media (yeah yeah, "liberal media", buzzword, I know).

    Personally, I see this article having little to do with the .xxx domain decision at all.
  • by sgant (178166) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:39AM (#15049894) Homepage Journal
    A psychological phenomenon that refers to the bad feeling one gets when a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation from someone else. Religion usually falls in this framework when two people who are on opposite positions begin discussing and get further and further away from true understanding one another.

    This doesn't fall under religion exclusively either, almost any aspects of life can become deeply held beliefs that we don't want to let go of when something new comes along to upset the apple-cart.
  • Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zerth (26112) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:39AM (#15049896)
    And this will keep coming up until somebody realizes we can't force everything naughty into a ghetto.

    If they want a kid safe internet, they should put their efforts behind the .kids domain registrar'ed by a US company/NGO simultaneous with a law being passed covering what kind of content was allowed in .kids . Whitelisting is the only way to keep the pr0n out.

    Not that they could agree on what falls on the "not pr0n" side of the fence.
  • by G-Licious! (822746) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:43AM (#15049931) Homepage

    Do porn sites actually make any profit out of that, though? Children that are blocked by the filters wouldn't have paid anyways. Other people that are blocked by filters are usually at places you wouldn't normally get off anyways (work, library, etc.)

    On top of that, even if there is no filter in place, I don't think they'd get many ad clicks either in any of those situations. But maybe they don't get paid per click at all?

  • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:43AM (#15049933)
    Because you're exactly right, it makes for a good rallying point for the non-technical or at least the non-clueful. It SOUNDS good right? "All porn in .xxx!", and then saying some conservative christian group stood against it makes it sound like some reactionary American group is holding up progress. Americans are the only Christians of course, we all know Christ was born in Cleveland and the Pope lives in Albequerque.

    In fact it's a dumb idea and that's why it's not going anywhere.
  • by Serapth (643581) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:43AM (#15049936)
    CERN?



    ...atleast initially.
  • Re:V is for Veto (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hal9000(jr) (316943) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:45AM (#15049952)
    Pressure from conservative Christian groups in the US, which has a veto over the internet addressing system, led the organisation last year

    I think this is poor use of Englitsch. I think what the author was trying to say was, "The US, which has veto over the internet addressing system, was pressured by conservative Christian groups ...."
  • by Kamel Jockey (409856) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:45AM (#15049958) Homepage

    Registering your pr0n site as a .com, etc would always be the preffered method, since you site would have a better chance of getting around filters.

    Most adult websites though do not want to bypass Internet content filters that parents set up for their children. Many voluntarily list themselves with filtering companies expressly for the purpose of trying to keep porn away from those who should not be seeing it. Of course, they don't do this out of moral reasons but rather to save themselves. Anyone who complains about "too much porn" on the Internet can be directed to use the latest available filtering technology to their heart's content with no government involvement needed.

  • by MindStalker (22827) <[mindstalker] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:45AM (#15049959) Journal
    What would work best is pressure to use a .xx domain and .com domain where the .com redirects to the .xxx. The porn companies have worked hard on their brandname and image. They arn't going to give up a .com without a fight, but a simple redirect would allow the .xxx filters to still work while retaining the .com
  • by sud_crow (697708) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:49AM (#15049987) Homepage
    Actually i disagree. If this is implemented correctly, then they should force all *legal* porn sites to use an .xxx domain, and thus, allowing filters to work where is the need for such things, but if you want to avoid filters, then you are either one of this options:
    1) a minor,
    2) an adult on a protected (as in not yours) pc or public place,
    3) someone not willing to pay.

    Neither of this options fall into the target of legal, credit card or cash based (as in not-publicity-based) porn sites.
    So, in my opinion, the actual porn sites would be in the .xxx domain, and wouldnt want to be in .com (always assuming they actually force porn sites to go to .xxx domains trough fines or something like that, as we all know .com is the most popular domain for everything).
    I just think that if i had a porn site, i wouldnt care for people with filters, if they have a filter, im quite sure they cant pay the content.
  • by foniksonik (573572) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:49AM (#15049993) Homepage Journal
    Getting around filters... suddenly that porn outlet is the target of an investigation into selling porn to underage... which is the whole point. It's like the red light district... it makes it easier for patrons to find and harder for underage would be patrons to access without drawing attention to themselves, either from their parents or the authorities (which would only get involved if the business were actually soliciting to minors).

    Morality nazis just don't want to appear to be giving their support to something that legitimizes pornography. SO instead we have porn abolition, which is much the same as alcohol abolition in that the suppliers still sell their product and people still buy, but there is no regulation of quality and no means of officially monitoring or regulating product access to minors.

    I'd like to be able to block ads from .xxx and emails from .xxx and if i wanted to see some fat titties I'd like to go to google and do a search on .xxx and not see this: fat titties [drinksmixer.com].

  • by BakaHoushi (786009) <Goss,Sean&gmail,com> on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:50AM (#15049997) Homepage
    Well, the problem with that is, does this count for ONLY porn? If so, who decides "this is porn, and this is not?" In New York City or Las Vegas or another major city, what constitutes as pornography will likely be higher than, say, a rural community in the Bible Belt. Whose definition do we use? And if it's not just porn, and it's just "offensive" sites, well, that's even worse.

    Of course, this is just if the switch from .com to .xxx is mandatory. If it's not, and it's only encouraged, that leads to another problem. Say, for instance, I have an art site with nude models. It's not porn. It's nothing worse than looking at, say, Michaelangelo's David. But now some little boy gets on the big, scary Internet and finds my site. His mom walks in and sees it and blows her top. I'm at fancypantsart.COM! How dare I peddle my smut on a .com when I should know full well I need to be on .xxx like the other filth-fests. A few angry calls later, and I might be pressured to move my domain.

    It sounds good on paper, but it's ugly no matter how you look at it.
  • by Stanislav_J (947290) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:50AM (#15050000)
    This I don't understand. Can somebody help me out? Why wouldn't they want to keep all of the porn sites in one domain, where a very simple filter could eliminate all of it from view? It's very simple -- Christian groups don't want porn "segregated" -- they want it to disappear entirely. Providing a special domain is an admission that porn has a legitimate place on the Net, and that concept is anathema to the folks who don't just want to avoid it themselves, but deny anyone else the choice to view it.
  • Re:Huh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by turnipsatemybaby (648996) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:04AM (#15050125)
    Ok, for me this brings up a question and a couple points:

    Where did the submitter get this "Christian Veto" thing if they don't (And I certainly hope they don't!) have one.

    I find your arguments against the EU are completely unfair. The US doesn't WANT other countries to fund it, because that would take away from the absolute control the US currently has.

    You also complaining about the EU "already admitted that they would allow countrys to limit control by their own people, exactly what they accuse the US of being capable of". If I am readin that statement properly, there is a HUGE difference between what the EU wants and what the US is doing. The EU wants individual countries to have the right to exercise some levels of control. The US wants to IMPOSE their brand of morality on the rest of the world.

    I have to say that the way the US treats other countries, I can hardly blame the EU for wanting the US to give up some of its power.
  • by Renegade88 (874837) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:14AM (#15050248)
    Ignoring the fact the grandparent didn't mention anything about a "tax", the parent still is a non-sequiter. America has it's own railway and highway system, it didn't augment an existing system built by another party. If you wanted to compare apples to apples, your country would have invested it's money in a separate internet system that it could control as it sees fit. If your country didn't accept the control authority of the existing internet, it should not have invested in it.
  • by joedoc (441972) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:17AM (#15050274) Homepage
    Er...maybe I'm appearing to be an uninformed dumbass here, but I'd really like to know who these "conservative Christian groups" who opposed this might be. The moment I read that, some red flags went up:

    1. The original story is published in the Financial Times (London). A nice publication, but this stiry is lacking on the details. It's not likely the NY Times or WaPo would get away with that too frequently. Name names.

    2. In today's political and media environment, it frequently appears that tossing up "conservative" and "Christian" (especially in the same sentence) is an easy way to create some kind of nameless, Luddite, Dark Ages bogey man. I'm conservative and Catholic, and I don't have a problem with this. Nor do a number of fellow conservatives and Christians that I know. I realize that my circle of acquaintences is pretty limited, but just who are these nameless "groups"?

    3. What is this "pressue"? A letter writing campaign from some pro-family church-based group? I would call that the right to express one's opinion. Does this mean there was no "pressure" from non-conservative Christian groups to crate the domain? Alternatively, was there any pressure against the domain from adult content providers? I see a number of reasons why they wouldn't want this (some expressed in the replies here), so doesn't their opinion also have some sway with ICANN?

    4. Just because a bunch of people write some letters, send some e-mails or make some phone calls doesn't mean there's "pressure" to do something. Once again, people express their opinions, which is a right. How many times have similar campaigns failed against some TV show that some groups found offensive?

    5. How certain are the reporters that these groups are completely "conservative" or "Christian"? I'll bet I could find someone in my circle of liberal, Jewish, agnostic, athiest or libertarian friends that take the same position.

    I'd prefer some reporting with factual substance. Not some drive-by shots at some straw man.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:22AM (#15050327)
    And how exactly do you propose that adult-oriented websites be forced into this new TLD? *MANY* of these busiensses exist entirely by the domain name they registered when they started out. For some, forcing them to the .xxx TLD would be akin to forcing Intel to change its name.

    Is there some guarantee that those webmasters would be able to get ilovetohumpgoats.com converted over to ilovetohumpgoats.xxx? Who would manage that transition and ensure that the rightful owners of the .com version were the ones able to get the .xxx version?

    Don't get me wrong, I would love nothing more than to see adult content organized under the .xxx TLD, but until each and every site out there with such content abandons its .com/.net/.org/.moocow TLD in favor of .xxx, it's gonna be a bit challenging.
  • by bcattwoo (737354) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:29AM (#15050405)
    That poorly constructed sentence is saying that the US has veto power not the conservative Christian groups.
  • by spacebird (859789) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:04PM (#15050799)
    Actually, the Internet was developed to combat the USSR by the decidedly American DOD. It was created by Americans, for Americans. Obviously it has since expanded into something else entirely, but America invented, developed, and spent 30+ years laying the groundwork for it starting back with ARPA in the 60's - it wasn't until CERN in 1991 that the idea of a global network was even brought up.
  • by Xyonz (545803) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:39PM (#15051149)
    No one seems to understand this topic so I'm going to do my best to bring you all up to speed.

    As a point of interest, I have attended ICANN conferences, and I know personally members of various ICANN subcomitees, as well as know personally the two gentlemen behind .xxx.

    A .xxx domain would cost in the neighborhood of $60 to register. Some of this money goes to ICANN obviously, but the rest will be used to make sure the site complies with the rules and regulations associated with the aggrement that goes along with a registration. For example, the sites may not use any models under the age of 18, they must follow some best practices such as not having annnoying popup ads that can not be closed, etc. .xxx is not attempting to remove porn from .com or any other TLD, it will simply be another domain a site can register. However, as part of the agreement, all other doians owned by the company that registers the domain must also comply with the standards and practices required of the .xxx domain. A .xxx domain will also only be able to be purchased by a company with a legitimate adult business. For example, suicidegirls.xxx would be a valid registration, but disney.xxx could never be registered because there can not be a porn business named disney.

    Also as part of the agreement, the business myst have an actual person as a contact, with a valid phone number.

    They must also rate their site with ICRA, a web standard meta tag that most filtering software uses to determine the content of a site and whether ot not it is sutible for the filter to show.

    I'm not personally affiliated with .xxx, despite the fact I know those involved, but I see no reason why it, or any other TLD for that matter shouldn't be approved. The catholic league or what ever specific christian orginization is against .xxx doesn't have any idea the benefits it will have as far as cleaning up the internet and ultimately protecting children from adult content.
  • by TheLogster (617383) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:54PM (#15051308) Homepage Journal
    As a Christian (aka "Religous wacko") I can see a _very_ good reason to have a .xxx domain. Porn is degrading to women, and it does destroys relationships

    No more - "sorry honey - I didn't know what I was doing" crap.

    By having a ".xxx" domain, I can set my firewall to instantly block all of the porn in the world. Thus stoping temptation and at the same time protecting my children from seeing things that they are too young to understand..

    Admittly - having a .xxx domain would make a lot of software filtering package redundant ... I wonder if those businesses voted "no to .xxx"
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@beauEINSTEIN.org minus physicist> on Monday April 03, 2006 @01:53PM (#15051877)
    > My, that slope sure is slippery.

    No, just a realistic appraisal of the legal and political climate in the US, as observed by a native who has followed politics for longer than the average slashdotter has been potty trained. I'm not even a crazed leftwing moonbat who sees a police state hiding under every rock, I'm a libertarian leaning small government Republican. But I know what Congress is capable of though, and have to speak out even when it would be Republicans leading the charge.

    The only thing that keeps the trial lawyers at bay now is the reality that there IS no effective way to keep objectional content in a dank corner of the Internet so you can't sue every time your little hellion sees something naughty and our 1st Amendment won't allow the whole Internet (as viewed in the US) to become a big freaking Barney masturbertorium. But you give em a .xxx TLD and everything outside it that isn't Disney's version of reality will get their butts sued. And if you don't believe Congress won't force the default position of the ISP filters the second they would A) be affordable and B) effective hasn't been following the continual efforts of Congress to 'protect the children' from the 'evil, wicked and outright depraved Internet.'

    If we just have to have a segregated Internet create .kids and force disney.com into it.
  • by dlZ (798734) on Monday April 03, 2006 @02:53PM (#15052394) Journal
    I like the sound of goatse.kids!
  • by cashman73 (855518) on Monday April 03, 2006 @03:01PM (#15052470) Journal
    I personally can see the benefits of a .xxx domain. It's actually a good idea in principle, but IMHO needed to have been put in place as one of the original TLDs in order to be effective. Plus, I like the idea of .xxx a helluva lot better than some of the other completely useless TLDs that ICANN has actually approved, like .biz, .museum, and .aero! WTF?!?!

    The main reason that we'll never see a .xxx TLD is for these reasons:

    1. The box is already open. P0rn site operators have operated for years with .coms, and there's no way you're going to get every single one of them to voluntarily transfer their registrations to .xxx (and pay a higher fee for additional maintenance and additional rules). If you want this to happen, someone has to actually force them to go there and automatically transfer their .coms over to .xxxs.

    2. The problem with #1 is that if you actually force these people to go to .xxx, who gets to decide? The U.S. government has no right or jurisdiction to force Russian or Albanian p0rn site operators to move to .xxx. And if the Christian "Right" (I have a hard time calling them the "Christian Right," when 99.9% of the time, they are wrong) is in charge of this, they're going to force all sorts of people to move over there. Sites like Victoria's Secret [victoriassecret.com], Sports Illustrated [cnn.com], and even Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] are going to be forced to register as .xxx sites! Heck, somebody's probably going to force McDonald's to register as a .xxx site because their hamburgers are "damaging" to the children (remember, it's all about the children, folks).

    So today, we've basically got a huge can of worms with this situation, that no one wants to touch. Sure, if .xxx existed originally, I think most p0rn site operators would have registered in that domain (it makes sense). But nobody's going to go back.

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