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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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  • It's just as well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BakaHoushi (786009) <Goss.Sean@gmaMENCKENil.com minus author> on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:30AM (#15049830) Homepage
    While I admit, in theory, it sounded like a great idea, helping to keep a lot of unwanted images out of my google searches, there were just too many holes in the idea and too many ways it could be abused for it to seriously work. Defining what constitutes as pr0n, whether it should be manadatory or merely encouraged, and the fact that not all pr0n sites are here in America.

    Nothing else to see here, move along...
  • Huh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by romka1 (891990) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:32AM (#15049843) Homepage
    What do "conservative Christian groups" have to do with internet domain names...
    EU has full right to complain about us control over the domains
  • Re:Huh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768NO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:42AM (#15049925) Journal
    its article flamebait. The groups had almost no say (though they did speak against it) Who was more against it was other countrys like China and Russia. The EU picked up the whole "Christan Fundi" thing so that it could have a better footing in opposing US control, since the whole argument is lost when you find out that it was other countrys who oposed it along with the US.

    The fact remains though that the EU should continue to have no say. They dont fund it, they never created it (at least how it is today, though England Universitys did help in some early tests) and they have shown in the past that there is no way the EU could get its head on straight enough to even run things half as well as the US has (they 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 they want their own network thats fine, but I could garentee that their own people would revolt when they flicked off the switch to the rest of the world who would stay with the EU

  • by Lewisham (239493) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:42AM (#15049926)
    "Responding to the risk that the delays might lead some countries to establish their own addressing systems, effectively in effect creating rival internets, [ICANN chief executive Paul Twomey] added: "Anyone can set up an alternative root system - the difference is, our root is the one that a billion people follow.""

    This is exactly the sort of quote that will bite you on the ass in six years time.

    Patriotism is built-in to the human psyche. Pride might well force the hand of someone like the European Union. Browsers will ask users which root system they want to use by default, and unresolved addresses are then queried against the other system.

    Everyone loses.

    Twomey should be focused on consolidation, not baiting the upset nations with bullish comments like this.

    (and yes, the "It's our Internet, if you don't like it you can git out" are shameful. The Internet was developed for the benefit of all, and the World Wide Web sure as heck isn't American)
  • Re:Once again, why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dr.MiNDKiLLER (928923) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:52AM (#15050019)
    Or, give every existing porn site a free .xxx with the same name as the .com they already have. Then encourage them to put their "You may only preceed if you are over x years old: ENTER, EXIT" at their .com address and everything else on .xxx .
  • by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:54AM (#15050039) Journal
    It was bound to happen again. The net is just too big to enforce something like a .xxx domain, i still think that parents should be more involved with their children. As someone whos wife is a now retired teacher (to stay home with our kids), I have seen just how BADLY a lot of parents engage their childrens minds.

    for example..

    Children coming into school smelling like meth, (ie parents cooking it off in the house)

    Children sexually abused.. A lot

    Parents that expect society to instill values and morals instead of the home.

    \ Nothing but tv and games all day/night.

    I could go on buts its just too damn depressing. BUt we have seen it all.

    If the .xxx domain was supposed to protect children well.. nothing can be better for a child than a good sound creative, loving, and supportive home, where the parents actively are a part of the childs life..

    Maybe we need a .ped domain (parental education domain)... hehe or something like it.

    Ive even seen crack/coke babies with all types of physical defects, while mommie is still out on the streets.

    Ive seen a so much of the crazy stuff with regards to bad parenting that i think its about 75% of the problem. The children + porn thing just comes from turning Johnny loose on the net because it shuts him up so the parents can forget about him for a while..

    Thats my 2$

  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:08AM (#15050166)
    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.

    This reminds me of far-left types who demand world peace and the end to world hunger but vehemently object to the only credible means of achieving either. War isn't going away without the removal of all tinpot dictators; hunger isn't going away without pervasive globalization of all commodity production and the removal of all tinpot dictators; and Internet porn isn't going away without the marshalling of all material into a single TLD and the eradication of all human males.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@bea u . org> on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:02PM (#15050775)
    > I guess the main argument is that it should be fairly trivial to filter out any domain ending in .xxx,

    Which is why it must never be allowed to be brought into existance. Listen up a second before that inflamatory slashdot article turns this thread into today's two minute hate.

    If a .xxx domain is ever created the legal climate in the US will force any content that isn't 'child safe' into it. All it would take is one threat of a lawsuit from a rapacious trial lawyer (and we have a couple million of those monsters lurking here) and any site that wasn't perfectly safe for kiddies would move. Combine that with the law that would shamble out of Congress within a year or two of .xxx going live that would require every ISP to filter .xxx by default for new customers (to protect the 'precious innocent children' of course) and we would see an Internet as locked down as China. Just filtering different stuff, but counted by sites almost certainly more and counted by sites that are useful about as many.
  • Re:Once again, why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Blue Stone (582566) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:37PM (#15051137) Homepage Journal
    Or better still ... create a .christ, a .kids, or a .inoffensive domain where people who don't want to see certain stuff, can surf in (realtively) absolute safety, worry-free, without it affecting everyone else.

    In other words, regulation should be for those who want it or need it (in the case of children), leaving everyone else the hellalone.

  • Re:Once again, why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by typical (886006) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:41PM (#15051164) Journal
    Yes, some conservative Christian groups oppose it, for the reason that they feel that it will "legitimize porn". I also oppose a .xxx TLD, for completely different reasons:

    (1) .xxx sucks from a technical standpoint. Using DNS to categorize sites allows anyone else to set up a non-.xxx address that points at the same address. .xxx is useless for blocking, for this reason. .xxx allows only a single bit of information to be encoded about a an entire domain (is it "adult", whatever that means, or not?) There are better, existing systems to embed metatags in web pages. These approaches are far more powerful ("contains REALISTIC_VIOLENCE and NUDITY" and lets the user or ISP choose how to filter based on these content flags), provide better granularity (you don't have to stick an entire domain in .xxx if it contains one adult page), and can't be bypassed as blocking systems just because someone uses a proxy or something similar.

    (2) .xxx sucks from a policy standpoint. We sorta-kinda can get away with saying "This is adult content, and this isn't" in the United States, because we've got a *somewhat* universal standard of acceptable content. Even then, there's friction (in San Francisco, it's been ruled legal to do nude yoga on a city street -- try doing that in the Deep South). But it's not nearly as much as the differences between countries and continents. Remember that this is not xxx.us -- this is a .xxx *TLD*. It applies to *everyone*. In the UK, it's considered perfectly harmless to show topless women on television. In the US, we consider that unacceptable and obscene. In some conservative Islamic countries, a woman in regular business wear (or worse, a bikini) would be considered completely unacceptable. How do you do a good job of reconciling all these various wildly-differing social values into that single bit of information? No matter what happens, an awful lot of people are going to find your classification completely unacceptable. A .xxx TLD promises *years* of culture wars and infighting.

    There are two main groups pushing for a .xxx TLD. First, there are a lot of people who simply don't have the technical background to understand the drawbacks of a .xxx TLD, but know that they want to be able to filter porn. They aren't familiar with the alternatives, and a .xxx TLD is easy to explain to them. The other group is the domain name registrars, which are absolutely salivating at the possibility of having people have to pay for a new domain based on the kind of content they are providing. Heck, get past the initial big step of getting people used to paying a domain name registrar tax to serve a particular type of content, and you can do it with all *kinds* of content. There's nothing that a domain name registrar would like better than something along these lines.

    And that's why I really don't think that most people actually want a .xxx TLD. They may want to be able to filter porn, but they don't want a .xxx TLD.

    Reposted from an earlier post of mine here [slashdot.org]
  • by AeroIllini (726211) <aeroillini@NOspam.gmail.com> on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:46PM (#15051223)
    The creation of a .xxx TLD is a good idea, but not because of censorship.

    If we tried to force all pornographic sites to move to .xxx names, then we would by necessity need to define "porn" to decide who has to move. Is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition porn? What about the Victoria's Secret or Abercrombie catalogs? What about National Geographic's images of tribes in the Amazon who don't wear much clothing because it's frikkin' hot there, and don't worry about modesty? Is that porn? Defining porn is a difficult task at best, and defining it and moving it to .xxx wouldn't guarantee that suddenly, magically, .com is free of it.

    However, internet porn is a very popular vector for the delivery of spyware, malware, and phishing attacks, because of its popularity and taboo nature in our society. If the company that registers .xxx domain names can guarantee that the sites who buy .xxx domain names are reputable and free of [spy|ad|mal|phish]ware, then people would probably be willing to pay a premium for access to that site. (If I recall correctly, .edu does this type of thing already.) It would not take the malware out of porn sites, but it will take reputable porn sites away from the disreputable ones, and generate some trust between merchants and customers. After all, a reputable porn site is just a business, and they don't want to hurt their customer base. Ask yourself, would you be more willing to give your credit card to a .com site, a .biz site, or a .edu site? If that same high level of trust was created for the .xxx domain, everyone would benefit: the reputable porn sites get a good name and distance themselves from the malware-ridden experience that is online porn, the customers get a better porn-browsing experience and don't compromise their computer's security just by looking at naked people, and the registrars get to make money. The .xxx TLD could become a sort of Better Business Bureau for online pornography sites.

    If we really wanted to make censorship easy, let's create a .kid TLD, which is porn-free. Block everything but .kid, and maybe a few select whitelisted .com or .edu sites, and let your kids run wild and free on the internet without encountering a single filthy, traumatizing boobie.
  • by abb3w (696381) on Monday April 03, 2006 @01:07PM (#15051435) Journal
    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.

    Actually, I expect the preferred method would be much similar to the online casinos that use a .net [goldenpalace.net] for the legal-in-the-US no-money online poker, and a .com [goldenpalace.com] for the not-legal-in-the-US real-money online poker [cornell.edu].

    Porn sites would probably register (or maintain) their .com address, and keep the "clean" content there — probably a "WARNING: ADULT CONTENT" page, and maybe a copy of the TOS page. The main site with the adult content would then be on a .xxx address.

    As others have noted, most porn sites want those who choose to do so to be able to filter them. They also want those who DON'T chose to filter them to be able to see them unfiltered. Of course, there are some bad apples out there — the sort of "gallery" metasites that only point to other metasites, or which attempt to install various trojans. The scammers and crooks probably won't care (nor move), but the bad apples are the minority.

    No, the real bane in this effort is the Religious Conservatives who don't want ANYONE to be able to see smut, regardless of the individual's age or personal preference. Which, in the present US (or globabl) political climate, isn't a complete obstacle, but is a non-trivial problem.

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

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