TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Not so Fast! 'xxx' Startup Put on Hold

Re: Not so Fast! 'xxx' Startup Put on Hold

Mark Crispin (mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Thu, 18 Aug 2005 12:34:47 -0700

Pat writes:

> Mark said "It would be difficult if not impossible to force the porn
> industry to be part of 'xxx'."

> Why would that be difficult, Mark? In many communities now, those
> places are required (just like taverns) to post notices that persons
> of minority age cannot be on the premises.

First, you must understand that what is being discussed is access
restriction; that is, a definition of "pornography" such that material
declared to be "pornographic" must be accessed only via an .xxx TLD.

Second, you must understand that a community is a local jurisdiction.
Within that jurisdiction, the definition of "booze" and "pornography",
for the purposes of access restrictions, can be well-defined.

The Internet is not a local jurisdiction. The only way that you can
avoid having "pornography" being available outside of the .xxx TLD on
the Internet is to declare that *all* material that *any* authority
declares to be "pornographic" must be placed within the .xxx TLD.

In other words, the effect of what you are advocating is that the
standards of Tehran are to apply to an Internet cafe in San Francisco.

This problem with variation in standards stymied an attempt to achieve
a national concensus in the USA on what constitutes pornography that
needs to be access-restricted. Remember the ill-fated Meese

Internationally, material that is considered vile pornography in the
USA is considered to be "art" in certain other countries. Material
that is considered to be ordinary in the USA (such as a photo of you
with your wife with her head uncovered) are considered to be vile
pornography in Tehran and Mecca.

What about the romance novels that adult women (and teenaged girls)
consume in vast quantities? Many of these contain material that would
make a Playboy reader blush.

More to the point: I'll wager that I have a very different definition of
what constitutes "pornography that should be locked inside the .xxx TLD"
than your definion.

How dare you expose my kids to this vile pornography that you choose to
exclude from the .xxx TLD?

How dare you deny my kids access to art, literature, and medical
information that you misguidedly placed within the .xxx TLD?

Simplistic answers to complex problems turn out to be not as simple as
they seem.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Also see article on how substantially
child porn is growing on the net elsewhere in this issue of the
Digest. PAT]

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