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.XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids

Joe S Alagna

On August 23rd, the Internet Governance Project posted a letter Opposing Political Intervention in the Internet's Core Technical Administrative Functions.

I disagree.

ICANN and Governments should get involved when it comes to protecting children online. Every effort should be made to make it SIMPLE for average parents to let their children run free online without the risk of running across pornography and adult material while doing so. Why continue to let pornographers run free and unchecked on the most exciting tool created in the history of mankind just because they got there first?

It IS possible to make the Internet safer for kids by REQUIRING pornographers to reside in an online adult section (or Tld). This is one of the few cases that has ever made sense as a real reason to create a new Tld. But without government's involvement, legal requirements that adult content reside on an adult domain, and consequences for those that don't, we only further complicate the ability for parents to filter out adult content and we create a false sense of security for average parents who would like to allow their children to explore the Internet freely.

No matter how carefully the .XXX message is crafted, parents will receive the message that "Now there is a .XXX domain and it will be easier to filter out porn". That won't be true. Porn will still be all over .com, .net .org and most of the other Tlds. This will create a more dangerous and false sense of security and serve to hurt the reputation of the Internet in general.

Why should we move forward with the creation of a program that we know will not solve a real social problem? Is financial success all that we care about? Why should we give .XXX or ICM and IFFOR special treatment anyway?

We need to hold whoever runs a .XXX or adult domain to much higher standards. Protecting children online and making it easier for families to filter out adult content is one of the few issues that deserves a hard line and much more critical thinking. The adult industry has had since the beginning of the modern web to self regulate and they are failing. The NCMEC just put out figures last month that child porn on the Internet has grown 491% in 4 years.

Why should we admit defeat for families and make special concessions for pornographers on the Internet by allowing the creation of an ill-conceived, voluntary .XXX domain program? Financial success should not be the exclusive parameter for judging the success of a domain.

Does this mean that there is no place for an adult domain? No!!! There is!!! But whoever runs it should be held to higher standards than are being required for ICM and IFFOR.

Who are their board members? The IFFOR site doesn't state any names? Yet we are only a few days away from approving them? They've had four years to organize this.

Why does their board only have one out of seven positions for a child advocate? That being the case, they have no right to claim that one of their charters is to "safeguard children online". That child advocate's voice will be ineffective.

Why do they have a $250k war chest to protect free expression and zero funds to fight child pornography? Isn't there enough money being spent to protect free speech?

Why are we endorsing .XXX as a new domain anyway? Why not create a .ADU (for adult) and allow a whole spectrum of adult material there without the stigma associated with XXX? Surely there is adult material that is not XXX that could reside there as well. Sub-domains could be used to further separate and categorize content and to make room for the existing .com, .net, and .org pornography site migrations (e.g. .com sites go to .COM.ADU - .net sites go to .NET.ADU - and .org sites go to .ORG.ADU ). If it's a medical or art related site not suitable for children, it could be called .MED.ADU or .ART.ADU It doesn't have to be as complicated as we make it.

For the most part, I've been able to keep adult content on television and cable away from my kids as they've grown up. It's been a lot more difficult on the Internet, but it shouldn't have to be that way and we as governing entities have a responsibility to be more creative and proactive on this issue. Why not work with governments of the world that are interested in setting some standards about pornography and violence online and try to come up with models and some consensus about rules and consequences? The solution we are looking at now is just void of a real answer. It will do nothing to solve the problems about families protecting their children online.

What are we thinking? We should be ashamed of ourselves for fighting to protect free speech while ignoring the possibilities of coming up with working solutions for families and children. This is an issue that needs to involve government, rules, and consequences.

Joe Alagna

P.S. 1.) I am a conservative in regards to government but there is a time and place for government involvement. 2.) These are personal opinions and may or may not reflect the views of the company I work for. Sorry, I'm just saddened to see so many great thinkers backing an ill-conceived plan. 3.) I hope you will forgive the ranting nature of this article. I feel strongly about it.

By Joe S Alagna, V.P. Channel Development. More blog posts from Joe S Alagna can also be read here.

Related topics: DNS, ICANN, Internet Governance, Security, Top-Level Domains

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Comments

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Kee Hinckley  –  Sep 12, 2005 7:41 PM PST

I've no objection to a well-written rant, but there are two problems with your argument, one logical, the other political.

First of all, "pornography viewed by children" is not the same as "child pornography".  No government I am aware of, nor any organization supporting .xxx, supports child pornography.  When found online, child pornography can be, and is, prosecuted.  Bringing up child pornography in an argument about the .xxx domain is a pure appeal to emotion, and has absolutely no logical relevance to the discussion.  And combining statements like "The adult industry has had since the beginning of the modern web to self regulate and they are failing." and "The NCMEC just put out figures last month that child porn on the Internet has grown 491% in 4 years." is ridiculous.  The two statements have nothing to do with each other.

Secondly, any appeal to "work with governments of the world that are interested in setting some standards about pornography and violence online" is doomed.  We haven't been able to come up with a single standard on the subject in the United States, but you expect a common agreement between (to pick two random examples) Sweden and Saudia Arabia as to what gets defined as pornography and violence?  (Speaking of which, how did the word "violence" creep into the discussion?)

You have a valid concern when you say that you believe that the existence of a .xxx TLD will not lessen the amount of porn on other TLDs.  However, your other statements obscure your concern.  There's no good way to tell whether the concern is justified.  I suspect it largely depends on ISPs.  If they filter out .xxx by default, then .xxx will probably be useless.  If they allow users to filter it out on request, and people who want access to .xxx domains can easily get it, then the adult industry will probably feel safe in moving to .xxx exlusively without the risk of losing business.  Given the current political climate in the U.S., I suspect that censorship of .xxx may become the norm, and as a result the desired goal (giving parents easy control over what their children can view) will not be met.  Ironic, but hardly surprising. 

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids The Famous Brett Watson  –  Sep 12, 2005 9:05 PM PST

Q: "Why should we move forward with the creation of a program that we know will not solve a real social problem?"

A: Because real social problems can not, in general, be solved by domain name policy. The "porn problem" is an excellent example of a problem that can not be solved via naming policy. After all, it's not the domain name that's the problem: it's not the three letters "xxx" that are objectionable.

Q: "Why should we admit defeat for families and make special concessions for pornographers on the Internet by allowing the creation of an ill-conceived, voluntary .XXX domain program?"

A: The key word in your question is "voluntary". Voluntary participation in any domain is the norm. What you appear to be striving for is a situation where all adult content and only adult content appears under the adults-only domain name on a non-voluntary basis. (I here omit the usual paragraph reiterating that domain names aren't a web-content classification system, since the audience now seems to consist of those who already know this, and those who are convinced otherwise.) The short answer to this is that you might as well get used to the idea of voluntary cooperation from your moral enemies, since you aren't in a position to impose your standards on them globally. Seriously: you're not — period. So get used to the idea that you need to employ more carrots than sticks in shaping the face of the domain name system.

Claim: "This is an issue that needs to involve government, rules, and consequences."

Response: if I were to construct a duplicate universe for you to experiment in, and gave you complete and utter dictatorial control of ICANN in that universe, do you really think you could make the Internet safe for children by your own standards? If I also made you president of the United States of America, would that be sufficient? Heck, if I made you the Benevolent Dictator of the United States, would that be sufficient? I submit that it would not: there would still be too much of the Internet not under your control, and less-enlightened people than yourself complaining that your rules were too restrictive or not restrictive enough.

Claim: "Protecting children online and making it easier for families to filter out adult content is one of the few issues that deserves a hard line and much more critical thinking."

Response: I agree that more critical thinking is required. I have yet to see a proposal for "protecting children" that requires anything less than God-like omnipotence to implement, and such proposals have little or no practical value. The practical solution — guaranteed to meet your precise needs and your precise standards of child-suitability — is to SUPERVISE your children's Internet use. But this sounds too much like work, no? Better to demand that the rest of the world follow your enlightened standards of child-suitability and save everyone a lot of child-rearing effort.

I hope you will forgive the ranting nature of this response. I am sick to the back teeth of hearing "protect the children" as justification for ineffective legislation intended to compensate for parents who are too busy to raise their kids.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Joe S Alagna  –  Sep 13, 2005 7:23 AM PST

To Kee's points…

Kee, ask any child pornographer if they viewed pornography as a child.  The answer is inevitably "yes".  So "pornography viewed by children" and "child pornography" are highly related social issues.  Are you implying that "pornography viewed by children" is ok?  The issues have plenty to do with each other and should be equally condemned.

Also, I am not the one that brought up "child pornography" as a "pure appeal to emotion". IFFOR did that (see their home page), yet by their public statements, the make up of their board, and their $250k legal war chest, they are publicly committed to protecting the adult trade, not children.

Regarding working with Governments around the world, is this cause not worth the effort?  ICANN works with governments around the world and reaches consensus on less important topics all the time, difficult as it is.  Maybe I should just speak for the US Government here.  My main point is that modern governments (and the technical community) should attempt to tackle this issue and try to create good programs for other governments that wish to follow.  Not just censorship but examples of free expression as well.  I have not insinuated that adult entertainment should not exist or that it should be banned, just that it should have an easily identifiable place online, just like most cities have adult business zones in the physical world.  I'm saying that it should be easier for regular families to filter out adult content and that .XXX as proposed, makes it more complex since there are no requirements for adult content to locate there.  All we're doing is making more room for pornography.  Why?  Because there's lots of it already?  What are we accomplishing with this?

To Brett's points…

You make many great points (as always).  And I agree that parents are ultimately responsible for monitoring their own children's activities online. That's a message that must always remain at the forefront.

All I'm saying is that we are on the cusp of approving a program that I think will make the job those parents have more confusing.  I think that corralling as much of the adult content into one domain as we can is the most easy to understand method for helping the average Internet using household and I believe that governments need to be involved if we are to achieve that effect.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Jothan Frakes  –  Sep 13, 2005 9:56 AM PST

This is well written, and you make some reasonable points.

This particular TLD has charged people's views on adult content, and we see a lot of heated discussion over it.

I have an issue with using the NCMEC numbers in an argument against moving forward with the .XXX TLD.  It ignores common sense.

The NCMEC figures, these are staggering.  Yet quoting these figures as an opposition to the .XXX TLD is completely irrelevant, as these figures got to where they are completely separately from the submission of this TLD. 

The argument that having a .XXX TLD would increase the velocity or quantities of child pornography is purely rediculous.  The expectation that the introduction of the .XXX TLD would increase the amount of adult content on the internet is not taking the facts into consideration.

The .XXX TLD has a high cost of entry, and clear boundaries and policies on what is and is not acceptable, and consequences for non-compliance. 

If a registrant spends the money to obtain a .XXX domain name, they are spending more than they would on many other less expensive TLD options that exist for them to use for their content. 

The registrant of the .XXX domain is bound by acceptable use policies that cover content, and are developed by IFFOR an emerging entity that is separate from the registry itself.  The registrant must comply with those policies or they lose their domain name.

Pragmatically, why would someone jeopardize their investment?

Those that would elect into registering under the .XXX TLD would most likely be those who would not intend to jeopardize their registration through violation of terms.  That fact alone would lend itself to a strong argument that sites operating under the .XXX TLD are not going to be the type of site that would increase the NCMEC figures.

In fact, these NCMEC figures only illustrate the current state of the internet in the absence of any TLD policy regulation, or industry self-regulation, beyond what national law and law enforcement provide.

The state that the internet is in today, with regard to the availability adult content or pornography, is sub utopian by many parental standards.  This is undisputed.  It is what it is, and policing actual content extends beyond the scope or mandate of ICANN.

What folks really need to consider in approving or rejecting the .XXX TLD is this:

Have you honestly read the application and policies from a pragmatic perspective, or have your personal views affected your ability to see the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal at face value?

Given what the current state of affairs is, what actually gets improved should .XXX not move forward?

I carefully reviewed the public information on the .XXX application, and I sincerely believe that the TLD will not exacerbate an existing problem.  Instead, it is a step towards industry self-regulation, and there are documented expectations and parameters that define the scope and consequences.

Boundaries and consequences that apparently are not in place in the rest of the internet, else we would not see these alarming NCMEC numbers.

It appears to me, once I set aside an initial resistance to a .XXX TLD, that it is actually going to be a baby step towards improving the current state of the internet.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Joe S Alagna  –  Sep 13, 2005 11:20 AM PST

Hi Jothan,

Compare my suggestions with the suggestions of IFFOR…

They suggest that part of the mission of .XXX is "Sponsoring child safety and anti-child pornography organizations and programs" and "Safeguarding children"
( http://www.icmregistry.com/ ).

Stuart Lawley suggests that they might help "to provide additional funding and tools to combat online child pornography"
( http://www.icann.org/correspondence/lawley-to-twomey-15aug05.pdf ).

This is all very pretentious.  I see nothing in their proposal that will safeguard children online and no funds to combat online child pornography.  Rather I see a biased Board of Directors (1 out of 7 board positions for a child advocate), and $250,000 dollars to protect the adult trade.  In fact IFFOR is committed to protecting the adult trade. 

Supporting .XXX (as proposed) in the name of "safeguarding children online" is what ignores common sense Jothan. At the very least, let's stop pretending that this has anything to do with safeguarding children.  It is a pure commercial venture that is using the guise of safeguarding children as one method of getting approval (That's my view and I think I'm right on it). 

Regarding an adult enterprise's "investment," are you suggesting that an adult enterprise is going to be concerned about the cost of a domain name?  As far as boundaries and policies, I see none.  That's my whole point.  The proposal, as is, doesn't accomplish any real good.

So to answer your questions specifically…

Q. "Have you honestly read the application and policies from a pragmatic perspective?"

A. Yes I have honestly read it.  I find it interesting to note that on their public web site and in public statements they regularly speak of the "safeguarding children" issue, yet if you read their ICANN application, there is one single mention of child safety as follows…

"Interested stakeholders, including individuals and entities concerned about child safety,… are not part of the sponsored community, but will play an important, formal role in the IFFOR policy development process."

I have problems seeing ICANN knowingly approve of all this.

Q. "Have your personal views affected your ability to see the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal at face value?"

A. Probably, but I see too few strengths.  I see a half solution that will most likely become a permanent half solution and that is being sponsored with the wrong motivations (namely, profit alone).

Q. "Given what the current state of affairs is, what actually gets improved should .XXX not move forward?"

A. I have the same question.  What gets improved if it does go forward?  Just more confusion for innocent families who I think we should be fighting for.  Children should be able to access information online with less risk of exposure to adult content. 

That's my critique here.  Here we are defending a commercial .XXX venture while ignoring real solutions for families and children in our societies. At the very least, we are pretending that .XXX, as proposed, is a real solution when we know it is not.

Q. "it is a step towards industry self-regulation, and there are documented expectations and parameters that define the scope and consequences."

A. Where are the expectations and parameters?  Is losing a domain a real consequence?  They can just go back to .com then.  Please supply me the link(s) that I've not been able to find.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Joe S Alagna  –  Sep 13, 2005 11:27 AM PST

Oh, I forgot to add the link to ICMRegistry's ICANN Proposal…

http://www.icann.org/tlds/agreements/xxx/proposed-xxx-agmt-09aug05.pdf

I cited this above in regards to only one mention of children on their application.

P.S.  I hope I'm not offending anyone here.  It doesn't appear that I have much support on my view within the industry. I've kind of held back on how I feel about this for a long time but seeing the proposed outcome is a little troubling to me.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Jothan Frakes  –  Sep 13, 2005 12:20 PM PST

Joe, if you were not such a good personal friend, I would still not be offended that we disagree on some points.

What is good about this all is that we can all express our positions here.

.XXX as a TLD is somewhat of a lightning rod for a variety of opinion, and thus we get better dialog flow than you might enjoy on reality tv these days from watching point and counterpoint.

There are some points that you and I entirely agree on here, and I think that your article and your position are valid.

As the ICANN process advances, there will be more TLDs that are proposed which will no doubt inspire passionate pro and con arguments.

There are some precedents that are set in what occurs with .XXX that are more the heart of the issue.  If the ICANN process gets circumvented by an external party, in whatever form, the argument could be made that process has failed.

Have people to the used their opportunity of expression regarding their position, for or against, the .XXX TLD during the comment period?

The letters and expressions that are now being voiced by those for and against the TLD are using forums such as the media and governments. 

While these expressions are valid, they fall outside of the venues that have been established by the ICANN process, and are disrupting the momentum of the ICANN process.

The transparent ICANN process is important as we move forward to more namespace additions.  There are other TLDs, such as .CAT and .ASIA that are delayed due to the time requirements of addressing these various avenues of expression outside of the scope of the expression periods.

I do hope that .XXX and ICM Registry get their fair chance to succeed or fail on merit and performance of what it has outlined to ICANN in their application.

As a parent, it would certanly be easier to block a whole TLD from resolving on a PC that my kids would use.  That is a big benefit that we don't currently see.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Joe S Alagna  –  Sep 13, 2005 1:03 PM PST

Hi Jothan,

Dittos on much of what you are saying (especially being a good friend).

There are problems created by outside forces (the USDOC in this case) attempting to control ICANN's decision and I truly care about ICANN's developing success.  But I care more about problems facing families and children and I don't like seeing children's issues being used as a front for the approval and benefit of an adult venture. 

I think ICANN has let a bad choice go too far.  I hope they see the error, learn from it, and move forward on real workable solutions.  I also believe that they can accomplish this since there are relationships with world governments in place already.  Easy access to pornography for children online will ultimately damage the usefulness and reputation of the Internet and unfortunately, ICM's solutions won't help.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Daniel R. Tobias  –  Sep 13, 2005 4:45 PM PST

If you seriously think that governments around the world should enforce a requirement that all "non-child-safe" sites go into one particular TLD, then I'd like to see you come up with a standard for determining which sites should be "adults only" that simultaneously suits the community standards of Iran, China, France, the Netherlands, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and everywhere else in the world as well, and is judged constitutional by the supreme courts of all countries.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Kee Hinckley  –  Sep 13, 2005 6:27 PM PST

"ask any child pornographer if they viewed pornography as a child. The answer is inevitably "yes". So "pornography viewed by children" and "child pornography" are highly related social issues. "

This conversation would be much easier if basic statistics were a required course in elementary school.

You are incorrect.  The fact that child pornographers viewed pornography as a child does NOT indicate any relationship at all.  Now if you can show me that a significant percentage of people who viewed pornography as a child became child pornographers, THAT would be interesting.

Your statement shows no significant (social or otherwise) relationship between child porn and viewing porn as children.  You could replace the statement with "ask any child pornographer if they viewed television as a child" or "got in a fight" or "ate lettuce" and it would be just as meaningless.  I'm certain that you believe there is a relationship; and you are welcome to to say so.  But please don't hold up irrelevant statistics and claim they support your statements.  Each time you do it, you are hurting your cause by making your arguments look less and less rational.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Joe S Alagna  –  Sep 13, 2005 9:26 PM PST

Kee

The idea of children viewing pornography doesn't seem to bother you at all.  We've made our points. Lets leave it at that and let others decide what to believe.  We disagree. That's fine.

I'm just speaking up because I see inconsistencies in what is being sold and what is actually being proposed.  That's my main point.  It's my view that .XXX as proposed, will not help families to keep pornography from children and that it is already perpetrating a false pretense that it will.

To Dan T.,

I know that argument and it is a tough one.

I think finding world-wide standards is a tough job regardless of the standards being sought, but speaking for the U.S., I think we should try it here first.  I can just see all the adult companies going off shore and complaining that we are sending jobs out of the country.  What could I say? 

The U.S. is already known for exporting plenty of smut.  Why not try to create an example or model of allowing free expression while also making it easier for parents to keep porn away from their kids.  A requirement to keep adult material on one tld is the simplest way to do that and it is worth the effort IMHO.

In my beginning post I offer suggestions on how it can be done.  Call me an idealist.  I'm guilty. I think it is possible if people in this industry and within ICANN put their minds to it. I just don't think that the .XXX proposal is the right first step and I'd like to see ICANN take a stance to do some good on this issue.  I also think that solving this problem will make the Internet a better and more useful place.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Kee Hinckley  –  Sep 14, 2005 7:44 AM PST

I never said that the idea of children viewing pornography doesn't bother me. You're ignoring my point by trying to cast this as a disagreement over our views on pornography.  It's not.  It's a disagreement over provable facts.  The statistics you present concerning child pornography do not support the statements you are making, or the relationships you are implying.  If you'd made your argument without (mis)using those statistics, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

However, I agree. We've pushed the issue into the ground.  Although you have inspired me to write up something in more detail about .xxx, PICS and other attempts to define content on the internet.  More on that later (and elsewhere).

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids The Famous Brett Watson  –  Sep 14, 2005 8:09 AM PST

Joe,

I composed another reply to you, but when I pressed "preview", I was informed that I'd gone twelve characters over the length limit. Furthermore, CircleID assumed my browser would cache the text-box when I clicked "back", so it discarded the message. CircleID was wrong.

So here's the short, frustrated version.

If .XXX is approved, the net impact will be that it makes itself the easiest of all possible targets in nannyware applications everywhere. I don't see how this can be a bad thing in terms of keeping kids away from porn.

If you really want a system that's more elaborate than this, leave the DNS alone, and put your efforts into PICS. Your major challenge is going to be getting all the major governments of the world to agree on (a) the definition of "child" vs "adult", (b) the definition of "suitable for adults only", and (c) regulations capable of mandating and enforcing those distinctions online. Trying to have an ".adult" TLD for this purpose is both (a) an ugly hack, and (b) making a hard job harder, since you have to get everyone to agree on a one-size-fits-all solution. PICS at least allows you to create a vocabulary of terms with which to classify content, so you aren't forced into black-and-white distinctions in a sea of subtle shades. Seriously, leave the DNS alone: just because it's highly visible doesn't make it an appropriate point of control — unless your goal is public grandstanding, I suppose. Yes, PICS has languished in obscurity: raising it out of obscurity is the least of your problems under the circumstances. Get the governments to demand content-labeling, and that problem will solve itself.

But do you really want this? Please consider carefully, because I think it's a terrible idea, no matter how many children are protected from nasty pictures. It's a mandate for government-classified speech, which is basically the opposite of free speech. The first thing to go won't be porn, but seditious material — material which is deemed bad for the whole of society, not just the kids. If you could get the governments of the world to cooperate on mandating the accurate labeling of content, do you think they'd stop at "adult" material? Don't kid yourself — no pun intended. Not to mention that any such regulation would necessarily be (in order to be effective) backed up by penalties for those who mis-label their content. Chilling effects, anyone?

And for the record, "smut" isn't the first thing I think of when I think of US exports. I think you'll find that most nations prefer home-grown smut over the US export variety — rather like your beer. "Violence" — both imaginary and real — is much higher on your list of exports. That, and the copyright laws you "export" via treaties while pandering to your film and recording industries.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Joe S Alagna  –  Sep 14, 2005 9:38 AM PST

Kee & Brett,

You have both made good points. I don't pretend to have the perfect solution(s).  I just wanted to inject more thought into the whole thing before a decision is made by ICANN (I think tomorrow). 

PICS sounds interesting.  I'm not thoroughly familiar with it.

Thanks for your input.  Sadly, it does seem that I am somewhat alone on this issue, at least within the trade.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Jothan Frakes  –  Sep 15, 2005 8:27 AM PST
Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Ian Peter  –  Sep 15, 2005 2:08 PM PST

and now the adult entertainment industry has a letter writing campaign against .xxx (yes, you read that correctly)

http://www.freespeechcoalition.com/xinfo.htm

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Sep 15, 2005 6:27 PM PST

> and now the adult entertainment industry has a letter
> writing campaign against .xxx (yes, you read that correctly)
>
> http://www.freespeechcoalition.com/xinfo.htm

And some of the countries that recently conveyed their opposition to .xxx cannot even claim neocon lobbyist groups or strait laced local culture as a reason, moreover the people, media etc there have a much more open and healthy attitude to sex.

Again, this is always an issue when something that has been discussed in a relatively restricted set of constituencies, and achieves consensus there after about 5 years, gets released to the general public and subject to the distorting effects of a media circus. The number of stakeholders who suddenly perceive a stake and a need to comment on the process grows, and all that 5 years of work has suddenly crystallized for them into "legalize porn", or "ghettoize free adult speech" ..

The "letting kids have access to sexual content enables child porn" is a sad, sad strawman.  Do you mean that every pimply faced teenager who hides copies of Hustler in his bedroom is going to become a pervert who stalks children in playgrounds, or makes and distributes child porn?

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Joe S Alagna  –  Sep 16, 2005 11:09 AM PST

Kee,

Note to Kee and Suresh,

On reflection, I see the error of my logic on the relationship between "children viewing porn" and "child pornographers".  I have no proof that children who view porn necessarily become child pornographers. At the same time, I still see no benefit in "children viewing porn" at all.

Although it is important to note the increase in child porn online in general, I respect that there are adult business proprietors that do not condone child pornography.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids jon  –  Sep 20, 2005 2:24 AM PST

I belong to a group of students engaging in the research of the initiative of classfying adult contents on the internet.
We are conducting a survey with a purpose of obtaining feedback regarding public reaction to the ease of accessing adult materials and perception towards implementing a unique classification, .XXX domain, in the Internet.

survey weblink:
http://www.surveyz.com/TakeSurvey?id=33053

would appreciate if anyone could spent some of their precious time to complete this survey. Survey results is purely for research purpose.
Thank you,
Jon

PS. hope that i'm not regarded as abusing this forum. thanks=)

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Sep 20, 2005 2:37 AM PST

Neither do I, neither do I - but at what age do you stop this? And what's to stop the kid from getting several dozen different ways to access regular porn?  Lots of cases where kids can just get their parents aol password that's taped onto a postit note and stuck onto the PC so he can login, reset the permissions on his screen name that has restricted privileges etc

When you have a teenager with hormones, or a fresh out of college kid at a new job, behind a corporate anti porn firewall, its up to his parents or his employer to help him channel his energies elsewhere ..

Trying to filter this stuff out hasnt worked too well yet (take a bow, websense, netnanny etc) and it wont with XXX either .. on the other hand, the threat of being disciplined (insert scolded/grounded/spanked/fired etc here) has helped deter the kid far better.

Nah - .xxx isnt going to be of too much help there.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Chris Hills  –  Sep 21, 2005 9:17 AM PST

If you really want to let governments decide what is best for their country, then surely the best thing to do is abolish gTLDs altogether. The USA could decide it does not want "xxx.us" wheras perhaps Switzerland DOES want "xxx.cz". Getting all countries to agree is impossible, but it should not be in the hands of the government of one country to decide what is best for all countries.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Sep 21, 2005 9:23 AM PST

>> Switzerland DOES want "xxx.cz".

The Czech Republic on line 1 for you.

And Switzerland / Confederation Helvetique / .ch on line 2 to say they dont want .cz, and the Czechs are welcome to it.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Daniel R. Tobias  –  Sep 22, 2005 4:07 PM PST

Some of the people who were burning comic books in the 1950s as "evil" made claims about how most juvenile delinquents read comic books, a similar (lack of) logic to the claims being made here about porn.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Howard C. Berkowitz  –  Sep 25, 2005 6:58 PM PST

If the Internet is the "information superhighway," does that mean that all high-speed roads must be safe for child pedestrians?
I am perfectly willing to provide technical measures to assist average parents in enforcing their family standards for their children. V-chip identification, and possibly the .XXX domain, are means to this end. I'd have no problem, for example, if browsers came disabled for .XXX, with a positive, adult-checked mechanism for enabling it.
You suggest holding .XXX domain operators to a "higher standard". I suggest that if there is reason to apply higher standards, given the existence of an XXX domain, the higher standards should be applied to the non-XXX domains.
I am not, however, willing to support efforts to make the Internet safe for families and children, because there are no universal definitions of such safety.  In working with medical networks, I constantly run into situations where well-meant attempts to make the environment "safe" interferes with legitimate educational, research and clinical functions.
Alleged "child safe" content monitors, for example, frequently block access to medical references on such things as breast cancer and birth rates.
You suggest working with "governments of the world that are interested in setting some standards about pornography and violence online".  Exactly how do they come up with a common definition? It was rather shocking when Saudi Arabia permitted images of competitive bodybuilding, or even have the sport exist. Swimsuits that might not raise an eyebrow on many US beaches would offend many cultures, yet the US sentiment frowns on the topless or nude beaches common in Western Europe.  Some of the cartoon books being openly read on Japanese trains gave me doubletakes.
For a good deal of my childhood, I had nightmares about a "wanted" poster, seen in a post office, of an artist's reconstruction of an unidentified child who had been beaten to death.  Unfortunately, there can be legitimate reason to show the effects of violence, from law enforcement to medicine to press coverage of warfare.
Sorry. The Internet can't be safe for everyone. For your concern, let the market respond with tools and operational techniques usable by average parents. I'm not a parent, and, frankly, I am far less concerned with children seeing even hard-core pornography than with many of the violent video games freely marketed.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Daniel R. Tobias  –  Sep 26, 2005 11:34 AM PST

Along the lines of what has already been said, where would you draw the line (in deciding what sorts of content need to be forced into a .xxx domain) on museum sites containing pictures of nude paintings and sculptures, health and medical sites with anatomical detail, political sites discussing issues related to sexuality, abortion, etc.?  Some of the content in any of these might be considered by some to be offensive or unsuitable for children, but none of the site operators is likely to wish to be classified alongside purveyors of "adult entertainment".

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids David T  –  Apr 10, 2006 4:34 AM PST

Rather than trying to regulate a type of content whose definition no one seems to be able to agree on (.xxx), why aren't those of you so concerned about sanatizing the Internet for your children (at the expense of the rights of adults without them), why aren't you campaigning for the creation of something that will actually help cut down on children seeing adult content, the creation of a .kids sTLD?

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Daniel R. Tobias  –  Apr 10, 2006 4:52 AM PST

The idea of a "kids" domain has been tried, at the country code level, with kids.us.  That doesn't seem to have caught on at all.

Re: .XXX as Proposed is Wrong for Families & Kids Ram Mohan  –  Apr 10, 2006 6:58 AM PST

The creation of a separate area for certain type of content using the Domain Name System _and_ that is enforceable is relatively new — although the original COM/NET/ORG domains were created with "type of content" in mind, it never was enforced.

The sTLDs attempt to require content (or at least, registrants) to conform to codes of conduct, and types of content, is an interesting experiment that should be allowed to run its course.

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