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US Congress Wants .kids TLD 108

mooneyguy writes: "Senators Edward Markey and John Shimkus have sponsored a bill that would seek creation of the .kids domain as an area that would be supposedly safe for children, as reported by CNN. Not only would this tread on ICANNs autonomy, but it also raises questions about enforcement and just how international standards of "decency" could possibly be determined. ICANN opposes the idea as being unworkable." Well, ICANN opposes the idea because they want to own the internet. But there are plenty of other reasons to oppose a "kid-friendly" domain. Kids in many nations of the world run around naked until well after puberty. Will they be able to post self-photos on .kids? While we're mentioning new TLDs, everyone associated with .biz apparently had a class-action suit filed against them, alleging the sweepstakes for initial registrations is an illegal lottery.
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US Congress Wants .kids TLD

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It would make it easier to filter based on a simple domain (block all except .kid, for example, or your choice of .kid and another domain or two you feel is safe). Much more workable than trying to list all offensive web sites in existance and block them on the fly.

    But that's also the problem. If schools/libraries etc. filter everything but .kids, and I think it could happen, the internet will be reduced to crap. I think kids need to be able to discover some of the bad things that exist out there. Obviously it helps to have a parent that can offer some guidance

  • It's a sad day when you have to explain the humour to avoid negative moderation.

    I would hope the quality of moderators on slashdot wouldn't be so ignorant.

  • But they've already got .gov.

    The issues of the other 180+ governemts notwithstanding, this made me think funny. I read the headline, and myself said the following to myself:

    "More domain name squabbles, nothing new here."

    "Hey, somebody wants something, and they aren't ICANN."

    "I'll just bet that ICANN is thrilled with that idea."

    "What a big surprise, they think it's a stupid idea."

    "Oh well, I'll continue reading until I find a reference to child-porn."

    "Oh hey, look, the slashdot editors simultaneously gave be a beautiful mental image, and impliying that the third world are a bunch of child-neglecting filth mongers.

    Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into this.

  • This would be the best thing to quell all of the "make the internet safe for children" BS. It would confine all of the censorship battles (about that issue, at least) to that TLD. We wouldn't have to worry about it elsewhere.
  • the above IS a good idea, much easier to push the porn into .xxx than regulate everything else. Not that it will ever float but it makes more sense that .kids

    Perhaops we could reorg and give .morons to the US senate, and .meatheads to the house :)
  • You are sick, as are the idiots that mod you up.

    It's more constructive (and more convincing) to attack the post's ideas and message than the person who posted it.

    If I had mod points your post would be "flamebait"

  • Anne Geddes shite *is* porn. It's degrading to its subjects, it's appallingly tasteless, and any self-respecting adult wouldn't dare be caught admiring it.

  • Acutally if you replace Fascism with Communism and Communism with Socialism then you get a correct statement. Socialism is the economic system upon which Communism is based, Fascism doesn't enter into the argument.

    BTW, of course Communism has *something* to do with brainwashing but so does every other form of government. Regard the King as intellectually superior, regard the King as God, praise the market and competition as the leveling field of society, praise human integrety and goodwill as the leveling field of society: it's all gotta be indoctrinated as an ideal somehow which can be equated with "brainwashing".
  • On the flip-side, how long do you think it will be before people wanting to target-market to children will be registering .kid domain suffixed domains, thinly guised as a fun site for kids to enjoy and learn from?

    I dunno, is that anything like the half-hour commercials for the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and He-Man that I watched as a kid? Not that I didn't love them all, though. Too bad they didn't have any Robotech toys at the time (well, except that one Transformer) or I totally would have bought all of them.

    In retrospect I'm surprised that the Star Wars toys didn't spawn their own animated series. Heck, I had Boba Fett Underoos, surely a TV show would be less exploitative than that :)

  • To play the Devil's advocate for a moment - any registrar could just boot offenders once they receive and investigate complaints. As long as that oversight was made a requirement for the domain registration, it wouldn't be that tough to enforce on an as-needed basis.

    My main reaction to this article: I can't wait until congress finds out exactly how intractable ICANN is, and charters its own root servers. Who would have thought that the biggest boost to the alternate DNS system would be the U.S. Government :) Of course, if they get NSI/Verisign to run it then we're not much better off...

  • And don't come and tell me porn is free speech, pleeeeze

    Umm, shouldn't that be cum?

  • by Pope ( 17780 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @02:08PM (#61377)
    for personal sites: what age do you get kicked out of .kids? 12? Then do we get .teens?
  • The whole western body-shame thing is a bit silly, really. The world would be a better place with more nudity.

    A lot of the time, the point of prohibiting something is to make it _more_ desirable - personally, I believe this applies to nudity as well - if you spend some time in a naturist area, you quickly become desensitized.

    I'm all for repealing archaic "decency" laws based on obsolete judeo-christian weirdness - if anyone was allowed get naked as and when they feel like it, the novelty would soon wear off.... and body shame is learnt by children, it's not natural, or upon any sensible analysis, healthy - I mean, your body is you, and being permanently ashamed of yourself is psychologically damaging, I'd say...

    After all, clothes have their uses - warmth, decoration, etc... no need to mandate them, though.

  • Whilst creating a .kids TLD *is* a good idea (we definitely need a few extra more TLDs), I believe creating a .xxx suffix would be quite complementary.

    Filtering all the .xxx domains ought to be a lot easier than trying to filter out porn on random pages... Although I don't believe in censorship, I do believe not everybody wants to grant their kids access to porn to without going as extreme as to install filtering software that will block 'normal' pages as well.

    And don't come and tell me porn is free speech, pleeeeze.

  • I agree the .xxx would be excellent, but we don't need the .kids.

    if the .xxx is enforced to be porn only, itallows a simple filter to adequately block all access to .xxx. Also it allows indexing of porn pages to be specifically targeted without relying on content. This means that it will be even easier for those who want to see porn to get it, and easier to advoid it for those who don't.

    I do think porn is a type of free action and free speech, and as such (pedofiles, and beastiality excluded) should not be restricted as such. But having the .xxx would quickly become easier to find than .com's.

    Plus it would save unsuspecting people at work (from likes of
  • Thank you :)

    I like the .disney point to..
  • At minimum the .xxx would enable the begining of some segregation. .xxx would only indicate that the content may be considered of a sexual nature. be that nude art, erotica, or hardcore pr0n.

    What about * for erotica, *, * for hardcore, and even for porn business information? as volentary measures for the porn industry of course...

    the way .ca works: * - you only have presance in that province, *.ca - you are national. Applied to .xxx: * only hardcore, * only nude art, *.xxx must have some of everything *lol*

  • They have internet access?
    And their own personal websites?

    Methinks Michael [] my just be trying to make up stupid reasonings. Yes, there are many things to think about in this idea that other people brought up (who and how would this be regulated by being one), but Michael's complaint is just stupid.

  • by Unknown Poltroon ( 31628 ) <> on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @02:05PM (#61384)
    How long do you think itll take?
  • I seriously doubt any pornographic organization would open a site under .kids. Those who like porn won't look for it there except for possibly pedophiles, and most kids don't have credit cards (and also won't look there).

    However, you bring up an intersting question. What is and is not appropriate for children? I can imagine a website that discusses the changes that occur during puberty. This would definately be relavent to kids, but some parents wouldn't want their children to see this. What about the "gay" Teletubbie or religion?

    I think it would be fairly easy to make a .kid tld pornography free, because of lack of interest on the side of pornographers. However, making a kid-friendly zone is not bloody likely.
  • Mac Columnist Andy Ihnatko once wrote a column about a game like that; he dubbed it "Web That Porn". Unfortunately I can't seem to find the column online :(

  • far for an argument against something that it makes you sound this ignorant:

    Kids in many nations of the world run around naked until well after puberty.

    then you need to evaluate why you really oppose something. Even if it's true, it's such a minor concern. Could you really go before a congressional committee and say "What about all of the naked children of the world who will be excluded from this domain?"

    There are numerous other arguments against this that do not reference naked children and are a bit more obvious/important. What about varying levels of maturity among children? Should thirteen year olds be restricted to content that is appropriate for six year olds because their school's content software only allows .kids domains? Will it privilege religious content (often seen as inherently good) over content that is more controversial or socially critical simply to shield children from complex issues?

  • Who decides what constitutes content suitable for kids? With schools across the country banning books such as Huckleberry Finn simply due to having language true to their era, I worry about parents delegating their responsibility in this area.


  • Ok, I think I have a stumper for you all:
  • "I do not take the path of least resistance, but if my son want to find out why a curve balls curves I don't won't pop-ups depicted adult themes. what do you think the results will be for the search criteria "curves ball" will be?"

    I just tried sticking "curve balls" and "curve ball" in google and there was zero porn at least on the first page. Some search engines do have a family filter anyway. I think you typically really have to go looking for porn to find it.
  • And don't come and tell me porn is free speech, pleeeeze

    I'm sorry, Max, but it is..
  • * We need "Education Camps" where children go to be brain washed by feel-good communist propaganda... (Oh wait we have that - they're called schools)

    The same way you've been brainwashed by anti-communist propaganda?
  • Chances are, any kid that's poverty-stricken enough to be running around naked is NOT going to have their own homepage.
  • It would make it easier to filter based on a simple domain (block all except .kid, for example, or your choice of .kid and another domain or two you feel is safe). Much more workable than trying to list all offensive web sites in existance and block them on the fly.

    On the flip-side, how long do you think it will be before people wanting to target-market to children will be registering .kid domain suffixed domains, thinly guised as a fun site for kids to enjoy and learn from?
    (I love Joey!!!)
  • sexual content that I find offensive.. while "erotica" is sexual content that I find agreeable. Because it's so subjective, it's impossible to legislate on the basis of such a broad term.

    However, it seems that you could in fact codify what sorts of images would be allowed only on .xxx sites, just as almost every country in the world has rules for what types of sexual content can be purchased from magazine stands as opposed to adult-only venues.

    It seems that this sort of segregation would make everyone happy. Finally, the online porn industry could come out of the closet, so to speak. Imagine an entire domain devoted to porn. Those who want some control over what their children see (thanks, let's not have Junior checking out pix of goatsex just yet), could much more easily apply filtering that would eliminate the most aggressively obscene material.

    It's not censorship, it's not elimination of free speech. It's striking a balance between my desire to get porn on demand, and your desire to keep your kids from being relentlessly exposed to porn.


    nuf sed
  • For crying out loud, why do US politicians always have the idea that whatever they think up somehow needs to affect the whole world. Who are they to decide what top-level domains should be and moreover, who are they to decide what should be in such a domain. If ever such a domain comes into existence, surely I will make sure I get my hands on the domain:,, etc. Espescially to make sure those are not child friendly sites. Not because I hate kids or oppose the fact that there should be places where they can walk around freely, but just because of the fact that the US Congress in its incompetence wants to decide what is going on on an international network and wants to control what is on that network.

  • Ok, I just have to reply to this troll/flamebait...

    US scientists built the internet.
    They may have built the arpanet, but there have been non-US nodes on the 'net since at least the early '80s.

    US companies and individuals provided 99% of the content, shopping, and entertainment on the internet just until this year.

    US companies manufacture most of the hardware involved, wrote all of the software involved...
    A lot of hardware is manufactured in asia, and software is written pretty much everywhere, since you are on /. I could just mention every slashdotters favorite OS, Linux, originally from Finland.

    ...and host 98+% of the domains involved.
    Please show me some real stats to back this claim up and I'll believe you.

    /Mikael Jacobson

    "But surely we won't be still stuck with Linux in 25 years!?"
  • from the home office....

    • .porkbelly
    • .blackops
    • .idonotrecall
    • .gridlock
    • .deficitspending
    • .taxandspend
    • .scandal
    • .300toiletseat
    • .w
    • .intern (A favorite of Clinton and Condit)
  • This reminds me of a definition of "surfing the internet too much" that I heard once. Or maybe I made it up, I'm not even sure. If you're clicking on links so much and so quickly that you wind up at a page selling toenail clippers, then you're surfing too much. Wonder how many clicks it takes to get there from the PM of New Zealand's page...
  • Also, "pictures of naked children" and "child pornography" are two separate entities. Pictures of naked children are sold in your local Barnes-and-Noble -- check out the "Photography" section. Please don't label any nudity as obscene and offensive right away -- most non-Americans treat nudity very differently and have a by far healthier attitude towards it.

    If some parent in, say, Italy posts pictures of his young kids taking a bath, that would not be even remotely considered pornographic. In fact, the idea itself would be considered preposterous if not downward offensive to the parent. Please don't judge everything by the US standards. The world is a big place and hang-ups of one country are out of place in many others.

  • Ameri-centric. Then again the whole internet is, but that's hardly the point. A .kids tld would be tough to enforce, but possible (after all, .gov, .edu, etc. are all enforced quite well I'd say). Only give it out to "trusted" companies and organizations. That means of course US companies., etc. I very much doubt kids who run around nude in third-world countries would have the internet acccess in the first place, much less the clout they would need to get a .kids domain. Even if it isn't viewed as smut where they come from, the internet is americentric, .kids sounds like it will be quite americentric, and pen pals who send photos of themselves that are illegitimate to us will be stopped just like kiddie porn would obviously be.

    Of course, just my 1/50$.
  • They'll enforce it like they enforce the "education-friendly" material of .edu sites. Now I haven't spent a lot of time looking, but I'm pretty sure there aren't any sites. Basically they'll only give out .kids domains to organizations that prove themselves worthy of it. Now of course this worthy is subjective, and will be basically the stereotypical US view of "what is good for kids", but I can guarantee that they will likely stop smut quite quickly. Even if a group manages to get a facade to register the domain and then turns it into a sex site, they'll likely be cracked down on quickly.
  • I can see NAMBLA registering

    But this assumes that the .kids domain would use the same kind of "no questions asked" registration policy that's in place for .com etc. That's not necessarily the case, though. They could as easily require each registrant to submit a brief description of what was on their site, have a person check the description to make sure that it was "kid safe", and revoke registrations for sites that either violated their description (so that you couldn't register as a Barney site) or the general requirements for all .kids sites (i.e. no nudity, no discussion of sex, etc.) Anyone could lodge a complaint with if they felt that a site was inappropriate. It wouldn't necessarily keep from existing temporarily, but as long as the policy was well spelled out in advance it would give them justification for shutting the site down as soon as it published anything "kid unfriendly".

    This, IMO, should be one of the goals of all new TLDs. They should have a clearly stated policy regarding who should be allowed to register, and should block and/or revoke the registrations of sites that violate that policy. Thus they could have policies like one domain per person or organization, must not have the same second name under a different TLD, must not be the trademark holder (for .sucks), etc. If .kids had such a clear policy on what was and wasn't allowed, they could do a pretty good job of ensuring that their domains were consistently appropriate for kids.

  • Whether you like ICANN or not, they have been assigned as the authority on domain names and suchlike. They're an international, privatized corporation.

    Let's face it, the internet is an international network, not something made by US americans for US americans (Yes, you are guessing right, I am not american).

    So I really don't think that the US congress should have any saying or legislative powers whatsoever as to which TLDs exist and which do not. Because if they should, every other government on planet earth should be allowed to do the same. Let the ICANN be the global consensus authority it should be, for that's what is necessary, a consensus.

  • not to be pedantic, but the internet was born of the arpanet and released to the public in the 80's...

    I know, but as you say, it was made public, later. And the web was actually developed in Switzerland, and released to the public. I don't think it matters where things were developed as long as they are officially made publicly available later.

    I'm sure if you read through the charter, you'll see it all in black and white

    Can't seem find their charter on the site right now, but their fact sheet states that: ICANN has been recognized by the U.S. and other governments as the global consensus entity to coordinate the technical management of the Internet's domain name system, the allocation of IP address space, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system..

    Recognizing them as the consensus entity != interfering with their decisions in my mind ... but legally, you might be right ...

  • well the goal is understandable.
    Maybe we shuld use this domain to uphold the same level of caution as a PBS show. I.E. If it wouldn't make it to PBS, then It can't be on the .kids domain
    where not talking about censorship so much as a place children can surf and there parent can be aware of what to expect.
    by making a domain a parent can get a piece of software that blocks all non .kids domain.
    by setting standards for this ONE domain will allow a place for children be surf where there are 'rules' governing content.
    If some one doesn't like it, they can post there content on another TLD, and still be heard.
    since 'adult entertainment' is so prevailent on the web, It is time for something like this. I used a very popular search engine, added -sex to my search criteria, and while it filtered most of the adult site, the search engine displayed very explicit ads for sex sites/merchindise. I really don't want my 10 year old to stumble onto some guy getting blown when he does a search on blow guns. I feel having ONE TLD designed with conservitive standard isn't such a bad thing.
    I have for years been an advocate of a .xxx TLD, just for 'adult entertainment' so I can chose when I want to see porn, but having a .kids would work as well.
  • Of course a parent need to monitor what there kids watch, but the big problem with the web is it can push you in to place you have no intention of going
    ONE specific domain, with a strict set of rules would allow parents to filter other TLDs. we're not talking about a set of child laws to govern all sites, we're talking about a specific TLD.
    The other way is to not let them use a computer, which is a shame, because there is good information, and good kid site they couldn't access.
  • Then a par4ent reports you, and you pay a huge fine, which would be part of the agreemment you sign when you get the domain.
  • Spoken like someone who has no clue about being a parent.
    standards - use US standards for PBS. they will be the most conservitive, which is what many parents(yes, even european ones) are looking for. If you have something that doesn't fit there are other TLDs you can use.
    I don't want my 10 year old going to what seems like a legitimaent site, only to be redirected to an adult themed site, or see some pop-up with depict adult entertainment. having a specific TLD will allow me to filter all non .kids origination
    I do not take the path of least resistance, but if my son want to find out why a curve balls curves I don't won't pop-ups depicted adult themes. what do you think the results will be for the search criteria "curves ball" will be?
    I don't let the tv 'babysit' my kids, but its nice to know I can go to the bathroom without the fear that there going to see a commercial that depictes a 'teen' with sperm running down her face.
  • yes they have, and yes you can't please everybody. However you can provide a certian degree reasonable expectation based on a set of rules.
    I don't let the tv 'babysit' my kids, but its nice to know I can go to the bathroom without the fear that there going to see a commercial that depictes a 'teen' with sperm running down her face.
  • Lets keep in mind we're talking about one TLD with a specific set of rules, I would impose any such rules on the whole(or even most)internet/web. If you have a subject that doesn't qualify as "kid safe" then use another TLD.
    1)I would think that we could start by using the same guidline that PBS uses. they seem to have been able to deal with this fairly well.
    2)perhaps there should be a panel for just this. I wouldn't mind a panel that monitored this activity on this ONE domain.
    3) web site owners would be responsible to remove content that other may post that do not fall within the kids safe parameters. They have to do it say within 24 hours of it being reported or pay a fine.
    I wan't my son to be able to type in "Curve Ball" for search criteria and have a reasonable expectation that the returns will be about baseball and not adult themed material.
    as far as what age is appropriete, that would be up to the parents. If a parent can have the choice to filter out, or have there isp filter out, all non .kids content until there children reach the age the parents deem its ok.
    just to make it clear, I would scream andd shout and protest if these where standards applied to the whole net, but i'm talking aboiut only ONE TLS
    I don't let the tv 'babysit' my kids, but its nice to know I can go to the bathroom without the fear that there going to see a commercial that depictes a 'teen' with sperm running down her face.
    id you don't like what .kids filters, then you don't have to do anything to get the other content.
  • All the child pornographers and child-molestors will know exactly where they can pick up new victims! This is just silly. .com will STILL be the ultimate TLD, while all the other ones will just be "also-rans"

  • >>>Helmuts must be worn at all times.

    I don't know about you, but I don't really think that wearing German chancellors on my head would add to my safety.
  • And you know about these countries where kids run around naked how? :)

    News to me...
  • by starseeker ( 141897 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @01:50PM (#61420) Homepage
    Frankly, I think this is a waste of time. It doesn't address any fundamental problems. As has been pointed out time and again, standards are different everywhere. What's OK in Europe probably wouldn't make it in America. Who would enforce this?

    More to the point, the whole idea of a "safe internet" basically sounds to me like parents who don't want to take the trouble to educate their kid what stuff to avoid and how to handle what they may inadvertantly run into. Too young? Then what are they doing on a computer? I have issues with young kids on computers at all (same with TV) but that's another post. If you are going to let your kid on the internet, make it a family activity. Get involved. Don't use the computer as a substitute for meaningful time with your kids. That's just begging for trouble, and .kids sounds like it would encourage it. I'd vote against it. And parents, PLEASE - don't take the path of least resistance raising a child. It will be the worst decision you will ever make.
  • To whichever moderator marked this post as insightful: this post was not insightful. It missed the point of the original poster, who never said that porn wasn't free speech. The correct moderation choices include "troll" and "offtopic", or, probably the best choice of all, skipping this post in favor of moderating up something that really was insightful.
  • I've been following this a little bit, and one point that was brought up (by ICANN I believe) and not mentioned is that this is essentially creating a domain only for web use. The law talks about surfing, but it never addresses other services. Would there be limitations on mailing lists set up from that domain, who would police that.

    Though I don't like them all that much (don't hate them either) I kinda feel sorry for ICANN. The world thinks they're too allied with the US and US government, and our government thinks they're not like a rubber stamp enough.

  • (close enough)

  • That depends if you consiter the page to be porn.

    I mean, most of the articles on /. have a link to it somewhere.

    -The Voice of Reason
  • feel-good communist propaganda

    Ok - you had me until that. You do understand that it is Government Propaganda (McCartyism) that has led you to *not* understand what Communism is about. Communism has nothing to do with brainwashing - I would argue Capitalism actually *brainwashes* via advertising and marketing... the proof is in the Unbridled Consumption that occurs in the American Masses..... and their arent Evil, Godless, Commies(TM) are they?

    Americans confuse Fascism with Communism - one is an economic system, the other a method of government...
  • will be basically the stereotypical US view of "what is good for kids"

    The following will be immediately approved:




    The following, if administered in the US, will not:

    consumerism. kids

    I would not want any of *my* children to be exposed to the first list, the second list is what my children should spend their time learning about...*

    *outside of republican/ - balanced arguments are necessary, what *.kids will become is a wasteland of Consumerism and Advertising...

    Maybe if they declared *.kids a 'Trademark' or 'Copyright' free place, only for altruists and people intending on educating or entertaining, without any nefarious marketing ploys; "How many KoKa-Kola(TM)brand Soda Cans does Johnny have?"

  • Yeah -- the Dept. of Commerce what's to give away the .us TLD, but -- not to worry -- Congress will get "us" a .kids domain, so no problem. What the hell?

    I like national TLDs. They give nation-level control over these sorts of ideas. The US should keep .us, and if the US decides it wants to put a .kids under that, then great.

    Of course, I believe all the gTLDs should probably be subsumed under nation-level TLDs: , , , , etc. We need fewer TLDs, not more. More TLDs are just a way for registrars to cash in by forcing companies to buy their trademarked name dot-whatever to protect their trademarks.

    Fewer TLDs and a firm sense of what jurisdiction applies to each sure would make dispute resolution easier.

  • .kids would be to "kidfriendly" as . . .

    .org is to "ONLY" non-profits (see: Andover)

    .net is only for web services, ISPs or the like

    There is NO way that a registrar could constantly monitor the content on a whole TLD. Of course URLs like wont be allowed to go through, but I could register and then turn it into a porn site as soon as ICANN (or NS or whoever runs this garbled mess of a hierarchy) turns their head.

    On top of that, who are we kidding? ICANN wont enact new TLDs as long as they're in control. How many years have we seen "NEW TLD!" headlines. Anyone see any new ones besides country codes yet?

    I didn't think so

  • I totally would have bought all of them.
    You mean, you would have bitched and moaned until your parents bought all of them (unless you wore your Underoos to work each day).
  • Yeah, but I'm not sure how many of those kids have web sites on which to post pictures of themselves with the first lizard they've killed or whatever.

    Maybe they could work up something with that hand-cranked Web server from the other day...

  • I assume that you're referring to PBS daytime shows, like Sesame Street. They've caught hell more than a few times for their evening stuff.

    And of course, some people [] have found controversy even in the kids' programming.

  • In addition to the (very real) concerns about how to set some sort of universal standard, I see another problem. Wouldn't this also be a magnet for somebody wanting to prey on kids? With the number of people that would want to get an address in this domain, nobody could possibly monitor all the sites too closely. A predator could set up an initially innocuous-seeming site, and then use it as bait.

  • .edu sites are not there to be "education-friendly". They may only be purchased by accredited post-secondary institutions. There's no simply because there's no Sex University.

    In the case of .edu, there's already this accreditation infrastructure in place. Who would accredit "kid-friendly" sites, and how would they accomplish that?

  • by Preposterous Coward ( 211739 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @02:18PM (#61434)
    Let's set aside the whole business about the U.S. government trying to impose its standards a worldwide network -- for the sake of argument, pretend the suggested domain were instead I don't think it makes it much better: This still leaves big questions in my mind about how anyone can define "kid-safe".

    First of all, safe for what age? Material that's perfectly reasonable for a 13-year-old might be inappropriate for a 7-year-old.

    Secondly, "safe" is a gray area to begin with. If the goal of this legislation is to shield kids from porn, what qualifies as porn? Is a National Geographic picture of Australian aboriginals who aren't wearing any clothes off limits simply because it depicts nudity? What about a discussion of the reproductive behavior of pandas at the National Zoo?

    Third, what standards does this law intend to place on areas outside of sex? Is foul language off limits? (If so, how foul is foul? There's a big difference between, say, "c--t" or "f--k" and "damn".) What about material on drugs/alcohol, violence, firearms, racial issues, religion, evolution, or anything else that might be considered controversial? Will there be a "kid-safe panel" who gets to decide if a site devoted to discussion of, say, the Holocaust falls outside the realm of "kid-safe"? How about a site that discusses "The Catcher in the Rye" or "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" -- both the kind of things that some school systems believe kids should get exposed to, and others believe are cause for censorship.

    Some might argue this is just doing for the Web what the MPAA does for movies, but Web sites aren't like movies -- they change all the time, they have input from other users, etc. Who would be responsible for enforcing these standards on an ongoing basis?

  • Why do we need a damned law specifying domain names and what they will be used for???

    Standard use, fine. Law? WTF??

  • I never though the day would come when I'd agree with ICANN. How could you possibly police a Kid safe zone on the net?

    All it does it create a false sense of security and the moment an enterprising company wants to do something that walks that thin line of decency the question becomes, who's job would it be to manage it?

    You could always give some company like the Childrens Television Workshop [] control over that TLD and let them manage the content restrictions. Don't get me wrong. I don't think this would be a good idea, just the only way a safe .kids TLD might be possible.


  • yeah i'm nitpicking, but these two guys are not senators, just house members.

    edward markey is a democrat from massachusetts.

    john shimkus is a republican from illinois.

    three cheers for bipartianship--or more properly--getting screwed by both sides.
  • i develop educational materials, and would really like to see a .kids domain specifically geared to children. the .biz crap is really insane. have we run out of business names, and wouldn't geographic tld's suffice for many local businesses? with respect to the safety of children, i would rather that the legislated web be contained than the web be legislated. a well monitored .kids domain could limit potential problems for the rest of us. of course, i hung in gangs and did drugs as a kid, so my perspective might not match that of say "w"'s children.
  • OK, starting at Slashdot....let's see....

    Rob's Page (left side menu),
    then AnimeFu (on right column),
    then AnimeNation (left side menu),
    then Links (top menu),
    then Hentai (top right paragraph under Misc),
    then click the top advertisement (Freethought).

    6 clicks to pr0n! Ok, anime pr0n, but pr0n nonetheless. Can anyone do better?

  • About a year ago, when they were last adding new TLDs, somebody tried to get .kids []. Obviously, they did not like it then, so I see no reason it would be better now.
  • Depending of the day, you could probably get to a certain goatish pr0n site within 3 clicks...
  • by sideshow-voxx ( 242126 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @01:47PM (#61442)
    At the University I attended, we had a game called "Degrees of separation".

    What we did was we went to a "Safe" page, and the aim was to get to a pr0n page within 7 clicks. These clicks had to be repeatable, all within the HTML document window, and no typing was allowed.

    The only page that has beaten us so far was the home page of the Prime Minister of New Zealand - this page has disappeared now cause we have a new PM.
  • Does it seem to anyone else, that the legislators involved with submitting this, really have no idea how the Internet really works?

    Sure, it is a terrific idea for there to be a known safe place for all kids to go, where they would not be exposed to adult themed material. And, this would work, if there was one overarching managing body for the entire Internet... BUT THERE ISN'T! ICANN, despite their name, can't. The US Government CERTAINLY can't do it (even as much as they'd like too).

    There is never going to be any group/committee/whatever who approves everything on the Internet. And nobody in their right mind would want that anyway.

    "Yeah, I'd love to get that web site posted... just let me submit it to the *insert governing body here* and hopefully they'll approve it and it will be up by the end of the month..."

    The Internet is the final frontier. It's the high-tech wild west. Its up for grabs and you simply can't rely on the goodness and community warm fuzzies of all its users. There will always be pervs soliciting kids on line. There will always be companies marketing directly to those oh-so-young-and-impressional future buyers. That is, unless, some sort of better technology (Internet2 for example?) comes along.

    My $0.02


  • More likely than not he reads National Geographic [] or watches TLC/ []Discovery Channel []. Perhaps he's read of the Amazonian tribal societies that aren't as preoccupied with boobies and peepees as Americans and Northern European people tend to be.

    Really, this isn't special knowledge. If you've taken an anthropology course you've seen nekkid dark-skinned pre-teens.

  • I fear that it would provide a false sense of security. It's more likely than not that parents would do just as you suggest, block everything 'cept .kids without bothering to audit sites first. It's deferring responsibilty, V-Chip style.

  • I'm more afraid of the goat sites that would turn up.

    Before you mod this OT: A kid [] is a young goat. Thus the humor.

  • by daniel_isaacs ( 249732 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @01:46PM (#61447) Homepage
    This will result in still more marketing towards "children". As if their lives aren't commercial enough already. There is no need for this. It is, really, a silly and predictable response to imagined fears. If people want safe places for their kids to surf, look before you let them leap.

  • Comment unnecessary ...
  • I guess congress is getting tired of those useless age confirmation pages before getting their porn.
  • You are sick, as are the idiots that mod you up.

  • by snake_dad ( 311844 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @01:50PM (#61451) Homepage Journal ! :-)
  • Exactly right. In fact, I'd love to see it based solely on naming authority (with internationally-registered marks using the country of origin). And get rid of .org, .com, etc. (I wonder if we can get rid of .edu too) Some samples:
    • (no need for .edu, I hope)
    • (if you prefer)
    • (gov't agency namespace, if you like)
    • (a small company incorporated only in New York)
    • (different company, in Maryland)

    Oh, yeah, one more thing: if you have the rights to "", then you have the rights to "" and all other reasonable variants.

  • How long until we see ""?

    Seriously, though, how are they going to enforce the "kid-friendly" content of the sites that register for a domain? If it gets popular enough, they will probably have to install some kind of censorware like NetNanny or CyberSitter, and we all know how well that works out...

  • by infinite9 ( 319274 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @01:48PM (#61454)

    While I don't really have a problem with a .kids domain, and while I like the idea of kids having a "safe" place to surf, I think that this can't possibly be safe from "pollution" of one form or another. I can see NAMBLA registering The average parent would still be smart to run internet filters even on those domains.

    But the best idea I've heard so far is simply to place the family computer in the living room.

    Oh wait I forgot, that would require supervision.

  • They did recently get in trouble for underage drinking. Who knows what might have been covered up? ;)
  • US scientists built the internet. US companies and individuals provided 99% of the content, shopping, and entertainment on the internet just until this year. US companies manufacture most of the hardware involved, wrote all of the software involved, and host 98+% of the domains involved. Pardon us if we think that maybe we have made a huge investment, and therefore think we are somewhat entitled to some control over what goes on. The 'net is not a gift from us to the world, it is the result of years of work, and billions of dollars in software and infrastructure. It may not seem fair, I think we'll keep it for a little while, thanks.

  • Censorship is only a problem if the information is made unavailible to adults. Precident has already been set for age-restricting certain materials (pr0n, R-rated movies). In fact, creating a .kids domain doesn't keep information out of the hands of kids, it only restricts it to a certain namespace. In order to answer concerns of those that say information might be kept away from children because it is too contriversial, you might make any .kids content adhere to the LCD of content-offensiveness. In other words, on materials that no-one finds offensive. There might not be much there, but as a parent, it's a lot easier to talk to your kids about homosexuality than it is to un-talk to your kids about NAMBLA.

  • Since when have the 'powers that be' been able to control any content on the Internet. I can see it now... You have a safe 'kid' browser that will allow kids to visit sites such as and Just what the world needs, another TLD to further confuse the masses that refuse to believe that there is anything besides .com.
  • I know, I know... I was being a demagogue. Not a troll, just a demagogue. Unfortunately Slashdot doesn't allow you to edit mistakes.

  • Ban all substances that aren't safe to consume in huge amounts

    Ban all products small enough to fit in your mouth (kids could choke!)

    Helmuts must be worn at all times. Don't you read studies? Helmust save lives - statistics prove that!

    No mature ideas should be expressed that might reach a child (through a deviant 3rd party)

    Child-proof every appliance and tool in your home, including kitchen knives and office supplies that could be used as weapons. Weapons are bad, remember, not the person who misuses them.

    We need "Education Camps" where children go to be brain washed by feel-good communist propaganda... (Oh wait we have that - they're called schools)

    The future holds even more promise. Someday you'll be able to read your childs' thoughts. Any contempt or wrongful thinking can then be smack out of them! That'll be great for keeping them moral and clean until you let them go. Hell, who says you have to let them go at all? Keep them in perpetual fear of sin their whole lives, hating their own feelings, demeaning any bad thoughts or ideas they might get from somewhere other than you. Guilt is the best tool of all - make them feel guilty for existing.

    Be patronizing. Be condescending. Be feared, not loved.

    Only then will you be a good parent.

  • I assume these web site will be run for white, middle class, american, christian kids. After all, what is decent in America could very well be indecent and even illegal in other countries. These websites would need to be monitored closely for obvious reasons (child abusers, etc.). As far as i see, stick to and websites like that. No need to get .kids, ya know?
  • I've been saying this for years. But of course, there is also a problem/feature (depends what side you're on): since they can be easily blocked, as soon as we cathegorize web pages by content into TLDs, we may run into large ISPs who block the whole TLD. I understand companies may want to block their employees from pr0n at work, but what when AOL decides to censor 1/2 the web because it contains stuff that's "bad" (like stuff that makes you *think*)?

    And as long as we're there, why not reserve a subnet for pr0n when IPv6 comes? And also subnets for each country. That ought to make it easy enough to block French people from buying nazi stuff. Thoughts on that, anybody?
  • The problem with a "safe for children" area is that this invariably leads to censorship of factual information on unpopular viewpoints. After all, there is no consensus whatsoever (either in America or in the rest of the world) on what materials children should be exposed to - and there is precious little consensus on what children shouldn't be exposed to. Consider:

    • Should children be exposed to sites that say that maybe it's okay to be gay?
    • Should children be exposed to sites that disagree with the government's "one hit of pot will kill you" philosophy on drugs? How about sites that say "ritalin is bad" to kids who are diagnosed with ADD?
    • Should kids be exposed to non-mainstream political viewpoints? Should politically incorrect sites that, while not taking an anti-minority "violent white supremicist" stance, oppose racial preferences or hate crime laws, be allowed?
    • Should kids be exposed to sites that promote atheism and/or secular humanism? How about sites that promote Satanism (a religion that is most decidedly allowed under the First Amendment)?

    Unfortunately, these same questions just keep coming up because they are a natural part of any attempt to restrict information "to protect the children." It's a twofold question: who watches the watchdogs, and who trains them? And it defies any easy solution, because every parent and every citizen has their own thoughts on how other people should be raising their kids.

    Gee, maybe censorship isn't the right solution. It sure seems out of place in such a diverse nation. Maybe all we need is some good parenting instead. But that's never going to happen...

    My 2c.

    -all dead homiez

  • >>>Look, a lot of the posts I see out here are saying well, what about but wouldn't it be just as easy for a child pornographer to register if he really wanted to. Don't tell be those 3 extra keystrokes make a difference.

    you miss the point.

    If parents just hear "oh, the .kids domain is safe for your kids, now its even EASIER to take care of your children" and simply turn their backs, this facet of social engineering will rapidly become an easy way to prey on children as vehicles of, for example, virus proliferation, sexual advances, you name it. Even if the .kids domain were TIGHTLY controlled and regulated, it's a laughably easy manner to fool someone into clicking a link that -appears- to direct you to one domain, but in reality directs you to another.

    The point you're missing is that since children will be more likely to have unsupervised access to .kids domain sites, the extra keystrokes make a whole world of difference. of course, giving children unsupervised access to anything is a risk, but it -will- happen anyway, and the only logical answer to the problem is to simply educate our children

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"