Tarry for the Nonce

August 16, 2005

Segregating the Smut

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 6:32 pm

Look out for the XXX domains!

Michael Gallagher, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, has asked for a hold to be placed on the contract to run the new top-level domain until the .xxx suffix can receive further scrutiny. The domain was scheduled to receive final approval Tuesday . . .

The sudden high-level interest in what has historically been an obscure process has placed the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in an uncomfortable position. ICANN approved the concept of an .xxx domain in June and approval of ICM Registry’s contract to run the suffix was expected this week . . .

The multinational pressure, unprecedented in ICANN’s seven-year history, places the organization in a delicate position. If it backs down, ICANN could be perceived as bowing to political interference–but if not, it could alienate government officials just as the United Nations is becoming more interested in taking over key Internet functions.

I am a bit confused by the furor. Although I am one of those people who find pornography to be disgusting, degrading and thoroughly ignorable, I should think people of my mind would want such sites to be relegated to a back corner of the web and labeled for what it is.

It would make it easier to shun the stuff.

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8 Comments

  1. This is mind boggling.

    The same people who are now rallying against the .xxx domain, which has been in the pipeline for years, were the people who originally suggested that it would be a good idea (i.e. to segregate porn). However, as it would clearly (in my opinion) violate the First Amendment and be utterly ineffective to try and require all porn to be in an Internet “red light district,” these advocates are changing their tune. It still seems like the perfect political non-issue, though, because this will likely have zero effect on the amount of porn out there either way.

    This is another issue where “libertarians” and the “conservatives” part company, I think…

    As a practical matter, I think TLDs should be essentially unlimited, and that politics of this sort do not belong in decisions of this type.

    Comment by Troy — August 16, 2005 @ 9:00 pm

  2. I think TLDs should be essentially unlimited, and that politics of this sort do not belong in decisions of this type.

    HAHAHAHA….I am sorry, but politics plays a giganticizational (hehe) role in ICANN, IANA, and large multi-national corporations/organizations & standards development(ISO, ITIL, among others). Hard to believe politics will not be part of this discussion.

    As far as .xxx, I do believe that this shouldn’t be meddled with (ie. they should have a .xxx TLD); however, I am also of the mind that pornography creates no social utility, and only ‘objectifies’ women, thus being a detriment to society. I know of many men who have struggled with overcoming an addiction to this social evil.

    Laura, if only you could join the Knights of Columbus [yes, those old guys who wear the feathery hats and swords on special feast days and things during mass]. We fight pornography, among other evils, and we could use you in our cause. Unfortunately, its only open to Catholic men…sorry :o(

    You might like my home town…they outlawed the sale of pornography in the 80s. That’s how local government should work, none of this ‘should playboy be in our library’ BS. People voted to make it illegal to sell in our town, it passed, end of story.

    Of course, there was still pornography for rent in the mom & pop video stores when they first came out, but Blockbuster has pretty much squeezed most of those stores out of business.

    Comment by Andrew P. — August 17, 2005 @ 12:54 am

  3. wait, that whole artical was about porn? looks like old ally needs to get out a bit more. I thought it was some sort of government thing having to do with spies and such. but of course, the .xxx thing should have tipped me off.

    Comment by Alistair A. — August 17, 2005 @ 11:18 am

  4. For an .xxx domain to work, wouldn’t that require that all porno in .com, .net, and .org be forbidden? Is that even legal under the first amendment? Is it even possible given the spectrum of porn out there? And what pornographer would voluntarily move to a domain that is more easily filtered?

    What moral police are going to be responsible for delimiting pornographic material from breast cancer info sites, craigslist, savage love, swimsuit catalogs, maxim, bikini pictures, just topless, playboy, hardcore straight porn, foot fetish sites, weird freaky stuff, etc? I guess the FCC can do it. They’re pretty good at attempting social engineering. Maybe they can take a note from Japan and use an arbitrary rules like “no genitals or public hair” which disallow anatomy sites but permit photos of women covered in sperm.

    Is it just me or is this not only dumb but doomed to failure?

    Comment by Mark — August 17, 2005 @ 11:59 am

  5. And what pornographer would voluntarily move to a domain that is more easily filtered?

    So are you saying that the porn industry is irresponsible and purposely goes out of its way to target/lure kids into its deadly trap of lies and deceit? At least whitehouse . com is gone.

    Got news for you, most porn is easily filtered.

    “…or public hair” … umm, I prefer to keep my hair public, thank you. It would probably be bad if they outlawed pictures of public hair. Of course, then we would all have to go bald for the summer BBQs & housewarmings if we wanted our pictures put up on Anne’s photo site. I think I’ll pass on that type of legislation.

    This is the problem with modern society. Mainly that people are irrational and immature, which makes society have to act irrationally and immaturely. …We should ban Michaelangelo’s David from the Art museum, but we need to get playboy in the library…. for the articles, of course. Such a crazy age we live in.

    People somehow think that art and pornography are one and the same; however, the problem is that we can’t define taste, and therefore think that we must allow all of it or none of it.

    Comment by Andrew P. — August 17, 2005 @ 2:01 pm

  6. Case in point:

    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

    Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: whitehouse . com

    Please correct the error in the form below, then press POST to post your comment.

    Comment by Andrew P. — August 17, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

  7. Is it just me or is this not only dumb but doomed to failure?

    I think ICANN is instituting the .xxx domains because they will be attractive to certain clientele. I think the effort will probably succeed inasmuch as I think the domains will be used.

    I haven’t heard anyone suggest forcing all porn sites to use .xxx. That effort would most certainly fail. All I intended to say was that by ICANN offering the .xxx and (presumably) porn sites scooping them up, a simplified mechanism would exist for finding or avoiding such sites, depending on one’s preference.

    Comment by laura — August 17, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

  8. I didn’t mean to imply that you were advocating the censorship of pornography. Anyone who would might as well be a proponent of changing the schedule of the Earth’s rotation. It just seems that if .xxx is going to make sense, it would have to also entail restricting pornographic content to it exclusively.

    I was under the impression that a xxx domain was thought up by people who wanted to segregate pornography to its own TLD, not the pornography industry itself. I suppose it remains to me seen what the market will bear but I’m betting that there will not be a huge rush to this. Simply because they will be exposing themselves to simple filtering rather than being one of the hydra heads that makes website blocking a Sisyphean task.

    Comment by Mark — August 18, 2005 @ 9:01 am


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