May 19, 2006 5:42 PM PDT

Backer of .xxx adult domain tries again

A Florida company behind the .xxx domain, intended to be used for online pornography, is trying once again to have it approved.

By a 9-to-5 vote last month, the Internet's governing body shot down the idea of a virtual red-light district after the Bush administration and some other national governments expressed strong objections.

But ICM Registry said Friday that it was going to ask the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, to reconsider.

In addition, ICM Registry released 88 pages of documents (click here for PDF) that it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act--and that show how politicized the debate over .xxx had become inside the Bush administration last summer.

It was publicly known that conservative groups in the United States called on their supporters to ask the U.S. Commerce Department to block the new suffix, but the FOIA documents reveal how aggressive the lobbying campaign last summer actually was.

Mike Hurst, an aide to Rep. Chip Pickering, a Mississippi Republican who's one of the most conservative in the House, pressured the U.S. Commerce Department not to ratify ICANN's decision--and then reported his results back to conservative Christian lobby groups.

Pickering wrote to Jim Wasilewski, the director of Commerce's Office of Congressional Affairs, that Congress is "reviewing our options here on the Hill"--Washington-speak for proposing legislation to block .xxx.

"I met with the Commerce Dept. folks today," Hurst wrote in a subsequent e-mail message on June 16, 2005, to Christian groups including the American Family Association and the Family Research Council. Hurst suggested that ICANN would be a better pressure point: "Maybe we can marshal all our resources toward ICANN?"

Another message shows that Pat Trueman from the Family Research Council and Jan LaRue met with John Kneuer, Commerce's deputy assistant secretary, on June 21.

A few weeks later, in a move unprecedented in ICANN's eight-year history, the Bush administration intervened in the .xxx process by sending a letter in August 2005 saying: "The Department of Commerce has received nearly 6,000 letters and e-mails from individuals expressing concern about the impact of pornography on families and children." ICANN had endorsed the concept of an .xxx domain in June and approval of ICM Registry's contract to run the suffix was expected to take place in a routine vote in late summer.

Commerce Department officials appeared worried about an even more public outcry from conservative groups. The Family Research Council, for instance, warned on its Web site that "pornographers will be given even more opportunities to flood our homes, libraries and society with pornography through the .xxx domain."

An e-mail message dated June 16, 2005, from Fred Schwein, the department's executive secretary, said: "Who really matters in this mess is Jim Dobson. What he says on his radio program in the morning will determine how ugly this really gets--if he jumps on the bandwagon, our mail server may crash."

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33 comments

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I am at a loss..
As to how short sighted the Bush regime has always
been. Can they not see that the porn industry is
making it easier to identify them? Forcing all
sex industry content into the xxx domain would
make it SO much easier to block! It would make
a virtual red-light district that would be relegated
to only the fringe rather than rampant throughtout
the entire internet. What an incredibly wasted
opportunity.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So true
I couldn't agree more. By using a .xxx TLD, one could effectively
filter the "legitimate porn" that's out there and keep it out the
hands of kids at the public libraries.
Posted by JadisOne (13 comments )
Link Flag
you misunderstand
No site would have been forced to go to the .xxx domain. IT was just a domain that the adult sites could voluntarily use.

Thus the major sites would have had 2 domains to use, not just one.
Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
Link Flag
They're looking at it the wrong way
I think the conservatives are looking at this the wrong way, rather than saying that the .xxx domain would allow more domains for porn sites, they should look at how easy it would be to block porn sites from kids by only typing "*.xxx" in the list of blocked sites. I think they should actually pass legislation requiring porn sites to use the .xxx domain rather than the .com, .net, .org, etc. Right now it's almost impossible to know that a site is pornographic without actually looking at the site, whitehouse.com is a good example of this. If all (US) porn sites used the .xxx domain this could make running a library, school, or home network a lot easier, not to mention the ammount of .com domains that it would free up for more legitimate commercial sites.
Posted by dmx512rob (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
what porn .com name do you want?
I really do not see much the .xxx having much of an effect people will find away around it, and good luck trying to get a law requiring the use of the .xxx to stick, because the porn industry will have a field day in court with it. So we will be stuck with more porn sites. I try to do my best to monitor what my nieces and nephews do on my computer and have shown the rest of my family how to monitor and block.

Finally how many porn related .com names are really appropriate for legitimate business? A quick Google search came up with many lets say creative porn site names.
Posted by RickGonja (2 comments )
Link Flag
Extend robots.txt to include "Adult: /" tag instead
The .xxx TLD won't work because there would still be plenty of porn on .com addresses and you can't force sites to all move to a new TLD because it is a free speech violation, many are outside of jurisdiction, it is too big of a task to track them all down, and they own their .com's and we really have no right to demand they abandon their existing locations.

Instead, the sites that would like to, can just place the following 2 lines at the end of their robots.txt file.

User-agent: *
Adult: /

This would be optional for the web sites and relatively trivial to filter as well but without many of the difficulties associated with the .xxx TLD.

I have yet to hear a better solution.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag
.XXX
With the ".XXX" there are programs that can block that domain thus eliminating the porn problem!
Posted by dannyw1943 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
.XXX will NOT work!!!
You CANNOT make the move to .xxx mandatory. Therefore, the
whole "we can filter" argument is a loy of hooey. If you cannot
mandate it, why would you create another TLD for them to
propagate into? That is foolishness.

WHO gets to decide WHAT porn is? Everyone has a different
threshold on what they think porn is. Therefore, it would be
impossible to implement.

Do you all understand those two issues?

It will not work.
Posted by sigzero (62 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Use of .com MUST be criminalized for it to work
The only way that the .xxx TLD can be of any use is to make it a felony to host any porn in any TLD other than .xxx. Most online porn providers are total scumbags and they get off on using names like whitehouse.com to make a quick buck off the sad and lonely souls that frequent porn sites. So many legitimate .com domains point to porn it is ridiculous.

If the .xxx TLD is approved without making it a federal crime to use any other TLD to either host or point to porn (like an automatic redirect from a legit .com address to a .xxx address) this will only give the scumbags a whole new namespace in which to push their crap.

But, therein lies the problem. Who can define porn? Congress can't. The media can't. Everyone has their own definition of pornography. Take the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake incident. Some people think that Janet Jackson's exposed breast is pornography. Others (including myself) think that Janet Jackson's exposed breast was just a boob that popped out and everyone should get over it. So, who is right? The conservative groups think that they are right and I think I am right. So, based on that scenario, what happens if I have a web site with a picture of the incident and my web site is in the .com domain space? Those that feel that it is pornography would try to criminalize me and throw me in jail. Many teenage boys would look at the Sears "Intimate Collection" catalog for women in lingerie for "inspriation." Was that pornography? To the teenage boys, it was used as pornography. To grown men, it was either an inspiration to buy something for their wife or the same thing a teenage boy would use it for. For most women, it was a catalog to see what was available for their bedroom activities and nothing more. So, again, who can define pornography? Could it be defined as anything "patently offensive" as seems to tbe the popular definition? Who is to say what is patently offensive? I don't get offended by seeing people engaging in consentual sex. I say good for them. Others would be so upset by seeing two consenting adults having sex that they would vomit.

Lets say that congress says that ANY site with human nudity must be hosted in the .xxx TLD. Does that mean that National Geographic will only be found at nationalgeographic.xxx? Or a doctor with before and after surgery pictures?

Where does it stop? Who is to say where it stops? I am all for an easy way to filter out the pornography by using the .xxx domain. But in order for it to work you have to either get the online porn providers to voluntarily comply with the spirit of the domain or make it a crime to host pornography in any other TLD namespace. The problem is that, as stated above, most online porn providers are scumbags who would never go along with it. And making it a crime would be incredibly difficult without a clear definition of what pornography is.

Enacting the .xxx domain would be a mistake. It will only serve to give the low life scum sucking set of freaks that are domain squatters and porn providers that use many domain name tricks to lure people (and our children) to their sites to make a quick buck. The failures of ICANN and the Bush administration are many, but this is not one of them. This one was thought out and they came to the only conclusion that made any sort of sense.
Posted by thenet411 (415 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I understand the issue...
Granted that it would be difficult to define what
is or is not objectionable, but, there is a clear
definition of pornography:
"any sexually explicit writing and/or picture
intended to arouse sexual desire."
Seems pretty clear cut to me.
These web sites can police themselves initially
as they already are required to have an 18 or older
check before you enter their sites. The definitions
are subjective and we can deal with one case at a
time. Adding a xxx domain would at the very least
create a clearly defined border on the internet
for these sites. We can argue the definition of
what is or is not sexuazlly explicit later. The
most explicit sites would be required to move or
be fined. Period! It's like moving a **********
away from the residential neighborhood into the
very edge of town where uncle Joe could go and
get his rocks off.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No you don't
"any sexually explicit writing and/or picture
intended to arouse sexual desire."

This definition could be interprated in alot of ways, some ads for instance probably cross this line. Additioanlly, there is a HUGE difference between what is considered "sexually explicit" from culture to culture.

There IS internet access outside of the US too, you know.

>"The most explicit sites would be required to move or be fined. Period!"

Who enforces the fine, you? The US? ICANN? Why do you believe you have a right to target them in the first place on a median that spyware, worms, and viruses run nearly unchecked.

>"The definitions are subjective and we can deal with one case at a time"

Who is it exactly who has the time to deal with every porn site on the internet on a case by case basis? Who is going to pay for this? A global broadband tax imposed by the US?

Why is porn fair game to attack when hate and violence are not?

Would a global crack down on porn sites send more people looking to sites like myspace to exploit women?

I am only scratching the surface on the problems with this idea.

Maybe there was good intent behind it, but I don't feel it has been given proper thought.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Link Flag
I understand the issue...
Granted that it would be difficult to define what
is or is not objectionable, but, there is a clear
definition of pornography:
"any sexually explicit writing and/or picture
intended to arouse sexual desire."
Seems pretty clear cut to me.
These web sites can police themselves initially
as they already are required to have an 18 or older
check before you enter their sites. The definitions
are subjective and we can deal with one case at a
time. Adding a xxx domain would at the very least
create a clearly defined border on the internet
for these sites. We can argue the definition of
what is or is not sexuazlly explicit later. The
most explicit sites would be required to move or
be fined. Period! It's like moving a strip club
away from the residential neighborhood into the
very edge of town where uncle Joe could go and
get his rocks off.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pornographers and Liberal/ACLU types are against this also
but as typical with CNet "news", Republicans are to blame....
Posted by fafafooey (171 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Liberal/ACLU
I must have missed something somewhere: Where has the ACLU stated opposition to a .xxx domain? The only opposition I have heard came from the religious conservative groups. The only reason I can see they would oppose such a domain is because they want everyone to continuously be inundated with porn, so Congress can try to pass more laws regulating morals! The much simpler way of keeping it out their e-mail is to group the content into a .xxx domain, filter it out if you don't desire to see it, and require any company advertising porn to use the .xxx domain under some type of penalty! Much easier to go after the few who will try to get around it, than take on the whole industry! Congress has much more important work to do than try to regulate morals. They might even be able to actually take the time to read the bills they pass! Beats coming out after the fact and saying: "I didn't know that was in there!"
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
ICM Registry = bunch of hypocrites
Their complaint seems to be that various national governments
(including the USA) were interfering with the Internet. But how
did they think their own little scheme was ever going to work
unless those same national governments (particularly the USA)
really did interfere by passing laws or regulations to force
web site operators to give up all their existing names using
.com/.net/.biz/.info/.to/.tv/.ws/.ca/.de etc and use only .xxx?
This plan was a recipe for failure from the beginning.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Best Domain Available: sex or xxx
Regardless what may be considered the absolute worst possible use of bandwidth for commercial exploitation of the worlds populations and waste of spare time for regular users, a designation of either the DOT: sex, or the DOT: xxx is a substantial overthrow of the open-ness of unwanted, unregulated, un-desired encroachment of porn on the few brain cells any average individual has to work with on any given day, and web-sense can't filter it all, but a VAST increase in the useability of filtering methods can be put to use by average computer users to help stem the overwhelming flow of commercialed products that really should be available ONLY to the over 18 crowd of inhabitants on this planet. Since the inception of the internet, it has been a non-stop flow of windows reaching into the seedier side of life, free of charge, and quite deliterious to the average person, let alone the under 18 crowd. Notwithstanding the titillation factors associated with this availability, it must be understood that there really is a mental factor associated with surfing porn that leads one to throw caution to the wind, and OVER-EXERCISE the connectivity to these web-based and TELEPHONE CONNECTIONS, charging subsequent bejillions of wasted dollars for the enrichment of the wheeler-dealers of porn. We estimate there is a substantial decrease in the profit for porn dealers, even as the institution of a designated xxx (For example) is put in place, which would then GUARANTEE that any one person would have to prove without doubt that they are IN FACT over 18, instead of allowing access to the domain simply by PROMISING they are over 18. Good luck on the issue, it has been long-sought even for the best of times, and the worst.
Posted by rodlangley (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Why not just do it?
First off, anyone with half a brain on his shoulders knows this isn't going to curtail porn sites, since there's no requirement for existing sites to move to the .xxx domain. And, even if there were, as readers here have pointed out, who's going to decide what "porn" is? If I have a picture of the statue 'Venus de Milo' on my site, bare breasts and all, that's going to be considered "porn" in somebody's book, you can bet on it.

Another odd argument people here have made is that adding an .xxx domain will cause more porn sites to pop up. Since there's nothing to prevent a porn site from going online right now, it's hard to see how adding another domain name would cause more to be created.

On the subject, though, there would certainly be an increase in porn LINKS, as existing (and new) porn sites raced to 'mirror' their sites on the .xxx domain. There will undoubtedly be AdultCheck-type sites linking visitors to everybody in the .xxx domain, and good business sense dictates that one jump on the bandwagon. So, if it goes through, and the overall number of porn site LINKS increases, and you see someone running around saying, "I told you so! I told you so!", remember this.

So why not just do it? So what if it doesn't work? ".biz" was supposed to be an additional domain for businesses ... you see a lot of ".biz" sites out there? ".org" was supposed to be for colleges and the like. ".net" was supposed to be for networks. Nowadays, both are used simply when ".com" has already been taken.

For that matter, even ".com" doesn't mean "commercial" anymore. I have a personal web site made of my first initial, last name, and ".com" on the end. I'm not selling anything, but if some friend is trying to remember my site name, and gets the first part right, ".com" will be the first thing he tries after that. It doesn't mean "COMmercial" any more; it means "COMmon".

So why would it ultimately matter if ".xxx" didn't work? ICANN could say, "Hey, we did what we could" and the whole silly matter could be put to rest. Then all the moralists could go back to complaining about porn in general. "Show my kids pictures of war, death, blood, gore, people ravaged by disease, maimed by accidents, deformed by mutation, or with their guts hanging out on some reality medical TV show...just don't let them see any pictures of NAKED WOMEN!!"

The moralist's mind shudders at the very thought.
Posted by Joe Bolt (62 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are wise.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Also, the new ".xxx" links would be easy for the libraries, schools, etc. to filter out. So they add the filters to their routers, and nothing changes from today. No one loses.
Posted by just_some_guy (231 comments )
Link Flag
i dont see the deal with this
Anyone who thinks it would be easier for pornographers to get porn out to people and possible giving it to kids is not that intelligent. All you have to do is update parental controls to block specific domains and click to block .xxx and all pornography is blocked. You cant say youre preventing them from figure of speech because they will still be able to do their thing. I just can't believe there are politicians against this. I have no problem with porn, but obviously it needs to be kept away from kids.
Posted by joemaniaci (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Try reading some of the posts...
By reading your comment is is obvious you didn't read the posts where many reasons why this is a bad idea were given.

Trust me, the politicians want nothing more than to be able to impose more restrictions especially when they can claim they are helping the children.

Issues like that are freebies for them, so you have to think for the democrats and the republicans to actually _agree_ that this is a bad idea must have involved at least a few good reasons to not do it.

If you can't figure out what any of these reasons might be, then please don't blindly support something that would do more harm than good.

On the surface this is a no brainier for conservatives and they opposed it anyway, so you have to ask yourself, why?
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Link Flag
You say
"I have no problem with porn, but obviously it needs to be kept away from kids."

Why is this obvious? Where is the evidence to back up this claim?
Posted by PzkwVIb (462 comments )
Link Flag
.KKK TLD also
Yes, and we can easily filter hate speech by simply creating a .KKK TLD. Won't that be wonderful? All the children will be safe from hearing HATE. And of course, it won't glorify the KKK in any way. Only fundies think that!
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Kids and parents
You know, no matter what kind of controls are invented, in the end it comes down to what we teach our kids is right and wrong and how much responsibility we take as parents; to over see what they are doing on the net, watching TV, reading books, partying, and on and on. We try to instill in them the values to guide them the rest of their lives and to make the right decisions as they go along through life. Sometimes they make the right ones, sometimes they don't, but we can't keep trying to make life decisions for everyone else, if we take the time to raise our kids right!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is crazy
You would think the church would be for this. I'm Agnostic and I think freedom of speech is very important, but I also think that its wrong for children to be around porn. I think the .xxx would help this because if every porn site had to be on the .xxx domain, then it would be easier to block them from children. Right now its harder because you have most porn sites on .com and a ton of other things are also on .com (kid and adult sites), but by giving porn sites their own domain software like netnanny and others can easily block the sites because you can block all sites that are on the .xxx domain.

These stupid people that are against it, they only see in one dimention (porn is bad, kids will easily be able to get to it). Without the .xxx it makes it easier for them to get to it. Plus the .xxx would help people adults that want to look at porn, plus it would maybe make it easier to have a 1 price view all buffet for porn if its on the .xxx domain alone. I can see the big picture, I don't know why our government and the church doesn't see it.
Posted by Robert G K (84 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another one!
Your quote "Plus the .xxx would help people adults that want to look at porn"

I think you fail to understand that kids tend to be more internet savvy than their parents.

As for net nanny, that problem could be solved by my robots.txt idea here: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/5208-1028-0.html?forumID=1&#38;threadID=17162&#38;messageID=148275" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/5208-1028-0.html?forumID=1&#38;threadID=17162&#38;messageID=148275</a>

What I find crazy is the number of people willing to jump in and back an idea without bothering to understand it first.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Link Flag
 

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