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)
Fri, 19 Aug 2005 23:56:34 -0700

Pat writes:

> here: sub-titled '.sex
> considered dangerous', it is an interesting sermon-length document
> which explains why the author has such hatred and bias against a TLD
> known as '.sex'

Pat apparently does not know the author of RFC 3675.

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

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: No, I do not know the author of that
work. All I could find on my copy was a copyright notice from Internet
Society. But one thing I noticed early on in my reading of that
missive was that most of what he said about '.sex' or '.xxx' regards
the way people could abuse those domain names could and has been done
in equal measure with '.com', '.org', '.edu', and '.net'. That little
factor -- that the author failed to include the rather well known TLDs
in his discussion of how the system can be abused did nothing to
impress me about the quality of his workmanship. It was almost as if
the author had some other secret agenda he failed to mention. Nor was
there any mention of those new arrivals '.biz', 'info', '.museum' and
'.aero' and how _they_ could be (and have been, in their short lives)
greatly abused. Apparently he feels it is okay to segregate dubious
'business' ventures, museums and airplane enthusiasts along with
dubious 'information' providers into their own domains, rather than
have them mainstreamed with others in .com, but he resents the idea
that .sex or .xxx should thus be segregated. It really makes one
wonder what his agenda is really all about. I don't really care _what_
the person's name is; I prefer to deal with ideas (which, in case you
did not know it, have _consequences_) rather than possibly know who
the person is and maybe have some prejudicial and unfair thoughts. So
anyway, Mark, I have now read RFC-3675. Where does our conversation
go from here? PAT]

Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 02:09:22 -0600
From: DevilsPGD <>
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Re: Not so Fast! 'xxx' Startup Put on Hold
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Disorganized
X-Telecom-Digest: Volume 24, Issue 378, Message 10 of 11
Lines: 108

In message <> TELECOM Digest
Editor noted in response to DevilsPGD <>:

> In message <> TELECOM Digest
> Editor noted in response to John Levine <>:

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But they do that now, with filtering
>> programs. Filtering, never a perfect solution, now can filter out
>> the sexual topic of women's breasts, but the problem is it cannot
>> seem to understand why 'breast cancer' is not the same thing as 'I
>> love to look at and fantasize on those breasts'. But to the filter
>> writers, what is there that you cannot understand about '.xxx'? If
>> I write a filter and I say that a dot followed by three x's goes no
>> further into my computer, then other things like the context in which
>> 'breasts' or 'sex' or whatever is to be taken becomes a moot point
>> doesn't it? If the real problem that '.xxx' makes writing and main-
>> taining filtering programs too easy? If local communities or govern-
>> ments decide what is to go into '.xxx' it would seem to me that all
>> the fuss over effective and ineffective filtering would go away. PAT]

> Sure *IF* the whole world decided what goes into .xxx, everybody
> agreed AND everybody played nice.

> BUT ... Even ignoring the fact that defining what belongs in .xxx is
> impossible (what's obscene? What's pornographic? In the middle east, a
> women without a head covering is probably pornographic. In the US,
> Janet Jackson's nipple was obviously a problem. In Europe, a photo of a
> topless 17 year old isn't obscene) there is another issue:

> You can't even get Russian web hosts to terminate child porn which is
> illegal virtually everywhere, so what do you think the odds are they'll
> give a damn about a nipple?

> At the end of the day the only workable solution is to create an
> restrictive/exclusive .kids or .family (or whatever gTLD would be
>appropriate) and set restrictions on that TLD which are enforced by
> the registry/registrars responsible and don't require cooperation of
> *everybody*

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: So tell me what makes .kids or .family
> any different than .sex except for the direction it goes? And what
> do you propose to do with the people who say 'what right have you got
> to tell me what is appropriate for my family/kids? You would not want
> to settle for enforcement standards on that (family/kids) any more
> than you would want to try and enforce it for .sex so what is the
> difference? We also presently have 'K12' or 'K-12' do we not? I
> wonder how they ever got _that one_ through, given the guys on the net
> always dragging their red-herrings out? PAT]

The difference with a .kids-type gTLD is that it's rules can be enforced
without trying to retroactively apply new rules to existing domains.

It's substantially more difficult to attempt to enforce new rules
retroactively. Imagine the lawsuits from each and every pornographic
site which has invested significant time and money branding existing
domain names -- It will be tied up in court for the rest of our natural

Again, if you or the US gov't or even a US court tells me to remove
sexually explicit material my site, I'll likely not bother responding at
all, and if I do, my response will be roughly the size of "no" -- I'm
not in the US and I care very little for US law other then when I'm in
the US.

Even if ICANN somehow agreed to pull gTLD domains with porn and was able
to deal with the legal side of things, it wouldn't help since I can get
a ccTLD domain which ICANN has no influence over and would again require
global cooperation.

The difference with a .kids domain is that one of the terms of sale for
a .kids domain would be a no-porn rule, and since that would be in the
form of a contract rather then relying on criminal law, the registrar
could revoke the domain if there were violations. The registrar only
needs to answer to the legal system where it's located, and so
jurisdictional restrictions don't apply.

All that being said, we do still have some content issues. There are a
few potential solutions, one is to require RSACi ratings which would
assist parents in setting appropriate limits. Another option is to set
a moderately conservative bar of entry and parents who don't agree still
don't need to give their children access to the internet at all (in
other words, it's no different then today) -- The goal would be to give
children access to only .kids and nothing else.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Where did you get this idea that there
is going to be an en-masse removal of sites from one domain to another?
I do not recall ever saying that ... those web sites who are willing
to and gracious enough to take up residence in .xxx will be permitted
to do so, just as sites took up residence in .info, .biz, .aero, and
.museum ... and those of us Moderators and others who do not give a
shit about dubious information, biz-iness ventures, museums or
aeroplanes would be free to filter it out. But we won't be permitted
to filter out .xxx which I suspect will be the rudest, crudest and
lewdest of all because (name the red herring of your choice) is likely
to happen as a result. Oh, we will able to filter .xxx -like material
in a sort of half-assed way using the tools we are given, but that is
all, not .xxx domains in their entirety.

And someone should explain to the conservative fundamentalist
Christians who feel somehow that starting '.xxx' would give an unwarrented
air of respectability to porn peddlers that it is the nature of the
internet among other things: One cannot find cockroaches or other
vermin in a dark area without a good working flashlight, which a
domain identifying tag would give them. If we shine a somewhat more
perfect light on them, you will be able to see and better block
them. That is the intent, right? PAT]

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