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Violet Blue on .XXX

Phillip Hallam-Baker

We seem to hear quite a bit from ICM about their .xxx TLD proposal.

People who might be interested in the view from the porn community might be interested in Violet Blue's article on the proposal. As you might expect, she is against and sees no real support from the porn world. She does not consider 153K defensive domain registrations as proof of demand.

I think she is probably right in predicting that the launch of .xxx will spur a new attempt on the part of Congress to require adult sites to register in .xxx. Which proposal will of course be struck down by the Supreme Court (what part of Congress shall make no law to license the press...), but only after an interminable legal fight. The CDA fight only just finished a little over a year ago.

What will always remain unclear is exactly what the purpose of .xxx is supposed to be. Is it to make it easier for pornographers to advertise their work or for various authorities to block it? I find the claims unconvincing in either case.

Over the past decade the US government has quietly invested a significant amount of money in developing and deploying technologies to work around censorship systems. Last year we saw some of the effects of that investment during the protests against the stolen election in Iran. While the outside world was following Twitter, the information chain inside Iran and connecting Iran to the outside world employed a rather broader set of tools.

As Dogbert said of this particular problem, an snowball can survive a surprisingly long time in hell if you give it a paper pointy hat.

By Phillip Hallam-Baker, Consultant, Author, Speaker. More blog posts from Phillip Hallam-Baker can also be read here.

Related topics: Censorship, ICANN, Internet Governance, Top-Level Domains

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