March 17, 2006 2:37 PM PST

Senators renew call for .xxx domains

Controversial plans to create an Internet red-light district would be revived under a new U.S. Senate proposal.

On Thursday, two Senate Democrats, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Max Baucus of Montana, introduced a bill called the "Cyber Safety for Kids Act of 2006." The 11-page measure would require the U.S. Department of Commerce to work with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that oversees domain names, to develop plans for a domain name system that would house material deemed "harmful to minors."

That material, according to the bill, includes any "communication," image, article, recording or other "obscene" matter, including actual or simulated sexual acts and "lewd exhibition of the genitals or post-pubescent female breast."

"By corralling pornography in its own domain, our bill provides parents with the ability to create a 'do not enter zone' for their kids," Pryor said in a statement. He is also a sponsor of a legislative proposal to levy a 25 percent tax on Internet pornographers.

The bill suggests, but does not require, that .xxx serve as the domain name ending. Any commercial Internet site or online service that "has as its principal or primary business the making available of material that is harmful to minors" would be required to move its site to that domain. Failure to comply with those requirements would result in civil penalties as determined by the Commerce Department.

It's unclear whether the measure will go very far. First of all, it could be struck down as unconstitutional, said Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Courts have determined that regulations restricting speech "must serve a compelling governmental interest, and be narrowly tailored and the least intrusive method of meeting the compelling need," Johnson wrote in an e-mail to CNET News.com. The Supreme Court has decided that protecting children is a compelling interest, but because there are a host of "less intrusive" means of accomplishing the same goal, such as filtering and blocking software, the law probably wouldn't stand, he said.

More to the point, creating a virtual red-light district could actually undermine the politicians' goals, he argued: "Establishing a domain like this in essence sets out a flashing neon sign to minors and others that they can find porn here."

Dogged by similar complaints from an unlikely coalition of conservative family groups and the pornography industry, recent proposals for the .xxx domain have not fared well.

The new legislative proposal has met with opposition from the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian advocacy group that has charged that .xxx domains would grant yet another opportunity to flood society with pornography. The Free Speech Coalition, which represents the adult entertainment industry, also voiced disapproval, saying the relocation project was unnecessary and would lead to the "ghettoization of protected speech."

Last summer, ICANN approved the concept, marking a complete turnaround from its objections in 2000. But a firestorm of protests followed, including pleas by the Bush administration to put any action on hold. ICANN twice delayed its decision and ultimately decided last December to postpone a vote indefinitely, saying it needed more time to review the details.

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31 comments

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cnn.xxx?
"has as its principal or primary business the making available of material that is harmful to minors"

CNN makes stories available about teenage sex and drug use, those stories may lead to that type of behavior so CNN must be moved to the adults only section.
Posted by kaufmanmoore (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
www.louvre.xxx
They've got statues of half naked women at the Louvre
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
Porn is eraser to take away from kids.

I have a prototype that can take porn away from kids and it's not a parental control program.

Contact Jewels Mayflower on facebook
Posted by Jewels-Mayflower (3 comments )
Link Flag
Bad idea
This is just a bad idea all around. I'm not into the adult business, but you can't just take away something worth millions from legal businesses (e.g. their domain names)

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://domainnamewire.com/2006/03/17/domain-bill-finally-gets-press-coverage/" target="_newWindow">http://domainnamewire.com/2006/03/17/domain-bill-finally-gets-press-coverage/</a>
Posted by andrew999999999 (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes you can...
Actually, you certainly can do this. And it's pretty disingenous of the government to sue Google for records proving that smut filters don't work, then turn around and block a proposal that would allow smut filters to work.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
Mixed opinion.
Legitimate companies should want their content displayed to the right people, they should be able to keep their domains, but there should be an open, free, legal and secure way of allowing free child filtering to the masses that works.

keep the .coms and create something that works for everyone.
Posted by Peej2K (40 comments )
Link Flag
It's a Great Idea
I don't have children, and I still think this is a great idea. Every single client of mine wants one simple wat to filter or block content. This is one step in many to that solution. If you can ask your ISP to block all content coming from any .XXX domain, esp. if you force the ad pushers to register in the same maner based on content than things get a little better.
Posted by robbinsj (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ignorance is truly bliss...
Here's another great idea... we make the KKK only post hateful words in domains that end in .KKK....

Don't you think that will do lots of good for the world? Make it a better place?

Liberals are so lame... they only care that their ideas FEEL GOOD, they don't actually care about the RESULTS and the UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

How many web pages are there, you liberal genius? How are you going to manage this massive migration of billions of pages of content? You think it will be at all effective?

Why do you want to honor pornography with an honorary TLD? Would you honor the KKK by giving them a TLD, just to manage their hate? Would you honor PEE by creating a .PEE TLD so we can all avoid seeing pee? No, No, No, it would have the exact opposite effect. If you create a .XXX tld, we will see MORE XXX. You create a .KKK TLD, we will only know MORE about the Ku Klux Klan... You create a .PEE TLD and we will always be reminded about all the people with PEE fetishes.


You sir, are wrong. And people who cannot be bothered to apply basic common sense to a problem proposition cannot be trusted to hold elected office.
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Link Flag
This is easy
So the idea is that any online business that "has as its principal or primary business the making available of material that is harmful to minors" has to be on the .xxx domain? If this is the case its not going to work. It just like in New York where video stores are not considered adult entertainment stores so long as 75% of their inventory is not porn. All the owners did was fill the bulk of their stores with regular video and the rest with porn. The same things is going to happen with these online services, they just going to offer a balance that just skirts the rule.

Who is going to detrmine what is harmful to minors? There are some work of "art" that I feel should not been seen by kids, but it doesn't mean it is harmful to kids. Once again people are allowing the government to parent our kids, then wonder why kids do not respect their parents
Posted by VI Joker (231 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sex and the caveman
We (meaning man) have had a preoccupation with images for a very long time. That will not go away. Confining sex material to .xxx domains seems like a great idea, but in fact will only act like putting the cap on a toothpaste tube and squeezing ...the material will pop out somewhere else.

While I am not sure that the flow can ever be stopped, there are practical solutions from having kids exposed to it. There is software that will allow screen shots to be taken and stored or emailed to the parent. You can use VNC, I have set this up often, so that the parent can unobtrusively see, in real time, what the kids are looking at.

There are key loggers that will record all that they do including giving the parent the passwords to certain sites. Imagine the frustration a parent can cause by going in and changing the password without saying anything, hours will be spend trying to figure that out. What a great story to tell them years later... like when you are on your death bed.

There are solutions, the problem is that the general public want an answer with no technical know-how required of them personally. Not sure that will ever be available. So go find a good computer guy, like me, and he will fix you right up.
Posted by eSchmeltzer (18 comments )
Link Flag
No chance against a free speech challenge
More empty posturing on the part of politicians on an election year. The bill as it's written is plainly unconstitutional. The name used by a business is part of the core message it wishes to convey to consumers. Forcing adult oriented web sites into the .xxx domain is basically compelled speech.
Posted by Chung Leong (111 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yah, this will...
protect the kids. No way would the every go to a .xxx domain. Do this people ever think before you poo and fall back in it? Dumb as@es!

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
.KKK TLD for hate, .GUN TLD for violence, etc
Jesus Christ, how many times is C|Net going to resurrect this dead horse for another beating?

This is the most retarded idea to come out of 2005. Just because a couple of ***** senators still cling to it, does not make it newsworthy.

.XXX is a stupid idea because :

You can no more force pornographers to use .XXX as you can force the Klan to use .KKK to talk about all their "bad" things. If this fantasy were possible, we could end all hate speech on the internet by simply mandating a .KKK tld. Jeez, why didnt they think of that?!?!? Doi!

Ummm... also, what pornographer in their right mind would use a TLD that would allow their site to be instantly filtered and removed? What pornographer would willingly give up their .com domain? Is google a pornographer? Are you sure? I can get naughty images at images.google.com, does that mean you are taking away their right to use google.com then? Why not? Why do you have double-standards?

Its retarded... shame on C|Net for continuing the mental torture of the idiots who actually believe they can make this happen.

Whats next, c|net, ? How about .PEE for any websites that have urine references. You know, so people can easily filter it out, but if they want to know about PEE, they know right where to go... RRRRRRUH! YERRRRR! DUERRR
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree with you
Also XXX implies hard core porn, and it is not fair (and even insulting) to call some work XXX.

That is almost like saying all conflicting opinions are hard core hate and should be under .kkk

You would be impossible to _require_ all nude content move to .xxx because like it or not, they have as much right to place their content on a .com as liberals and their rhetoric. Besides, we are talking about an international median, and not something under strict US control.

So demanding .xxx is out of the question. This filtering .xxx will not filter adult content.

All it does is create _easier_ access adult sites for the people the liberals are claiming to be protecting.

Rest assured, typing anything.xxx in your browser is going to lead to "inapropriate content".
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Link Flag
I agree to a certain level.
Working in a school, I know its important for children to access the internet, yet not be corrupted by it. To have XXX addresses would not only ensure safety for children, stop people being sacked at work etc... but it means google images could easily not contain half of the XXX material it does because it would be simply filtered. With regular filters on top, this would greatly reduce the traffic.

There should be a solution thats effective for everyone, but as Mr Schroeder says, where would it end??
Posted by Peej2K (40 comments )
Link Flag
Vote libertarian
I'm tired of hearing this bull come up every year. These people must don't get enough sex as much as they continue to think about it. Every year its the same ole' bullsh*t. What's going to regulated next to "protect the kids". Thanks to protecting the kids we have watered down television, watered down news. Is "Professional Wrestling" going to be regulated next? What about those extreme sports we see on television? These people are turning the country into one big sissyfied society. "Land of the free and home of the brave" is looking more like a slogan than reality. Hell if I'm going to be regulated by the government I might as well go to the UK, at least you get free healthcare.
Posted by Darryl Snortberry (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re: Senators renew call for .xxx domains
When will US politicians get it through their big, fat, thick skulls, that the internet is WORLDWIDE?
All these lame-brain half-baked ideas seem to originate that the US has the say so for the whole damn thing.

If you want to keep your kid from ever seeing porn (thats not going to happen in the first place if the kid WANTS to see porn), set the computer up in the living room, and only allow it to be on while the parent is in the room.

methinks that all these people want to do is let the computer babysit the kids, just like our generation's parents used the TV to babysit us.
Posted by Lee in California (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
a method to the madness
Im unsure if labeling all pornography sites as xxx will make any difference. Also who will cover the costs of the new domain name conversion. The individual websites? That is going to take away from there profit that could inturn be put back into there buisness. Why doesnt the government instead require all new pornography websites to update and send there information into a national database like the CDDB thus allowing for more innovation and ease of design of Adult website blocking software to keep children safe? Violaters could pay an extra fee to there isps or who ever hosts the site and that money can be funneled into further government projects to help keep children safe. To me its a simple solution with the least amount of intrusion. It doesnt decrease profit in fact it might very well increase profit to have a coherent listing of all adult websites and what they cater too allowing more searchable options for adults to find what ails them.


Phillipe Bojorquez
Posted by phillipeb (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here is a better idea. (robots.txt)
It is overly complex. There could actually be a _very_ simple solution that most are overlooking.

Just like sites have a robots.txt for search engines, sites could create a content.txt or adult.txt to state that they have adult content.

This would be simple for filters and search engines to locate and would not require a gazilion dollar national database of all porn sites what would be impossible to keep updated.

If a website is not filtered through your software because they don't have an adult.txt file email them and ask them to get with the program for the sake of protecting minors or something.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.porn.com/robots.txt" target="_newWindow">http://www.porn.com/robots.txt</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.google.com/robots.txt" target="_newWindow">http://www.google.com/robots.txt</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft.com/robots.txt" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft.com/robots.txt</a>

"Adult: /" would work, it could even be placed in the existing robots.txt file.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Link Flag
Weenies
I don't know if a triple x TLD will solve the worlds problems or make it any easier to keep smut out of the hands of children (after all I could easily get smut before the internet). What I do know is that I've never met a polititian that knows what's good for America. I've heard them site a lot of one sided studies and I've seen them jump sides on an issue. I've seen them call each other names. I've seen them lie and get caught.

What I have trouble believing is that so many people stand by cheering as one freedom is taken away after another and then you scream foul because they want a triple X TLD. What is it about sex and nudity that bothers people so much in this country? A President gets caught lying about having sex in the white house and he is impeached. A President gets caught lying about the reason we are at war and he get's praised. A video game filled with violence raises a few eyebrows. Unlock a fake looking sex scene and the whole country goes nuts.

I guess I don't see or can't understand why sex seems to be the root of all that's evil, but violence is just a part of life.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good point
This country is full of hypocrisy.

I for one would like to see a .xxx TLD for it would be far easier to filter these sites out. I don't want to see pornographers required to move to .xxx but it would be nice if they did so.

I hate to say it but I think its good for children to not have access to these types of sites. I don't want to sound like one of those people who scream "protect our children". I think that a secretive unhealthy introduction to sex can get a kid in trouble. Kid find sex site and wants to explore more. Kid finds chat room and meets a friend with similar interests named "Joey". Kid meets "Joey" and is never seen again.

If done in the right way .xxx TLD's can be a blessing. On the other hand, our government always finds a way to screw something over so maybe its pointless.
Posted by mcbutterbuns (25 comments )
Link Flag
One more way...
For parents to shun off responsibility for their children and limit the rights of everyone else because they can't handle having a kid.

I hate things like this, because the idea behind it is letting the government raise your child for you. It's laziness, and foolishness that anyone should have to forcible put xxx in their URL.

This won't end with just porn sites, any site that has questionable or "harmful to minors" material will have this xxx logo printed boldy on their site. I don't think that's right. Children shouldn't be on the internet without a parent there. It's the responsibility of the parent to watch their child in a dangerous city, not letting them roam free to get hurt or worse. And, It should be the responsibility of the parent to watch their child on the internet, to protect their own child instead of letting the government step in to tell everyone that because Sue can't raise her kid everyone else has to do this or that.

If Ben Franklin say this he's crap himself in disgrace.
Posted by RurikLoderr (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Correction
saw not say
Posted by RurikLoderr (3 comments )
Link Flag
Porn can be taken away from kids. I have a prototype the is an internet for kids. Prenatal controls programs will be in the past.

Contact Jewels Mayflower on facebook for info>
Posted by Jewels-Mayflower (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Porn can be taken away from kids. I have a prototype the is an internet for kids. Prenatal controls programs will be in the past.

Contact Jewels Mayflower on facebook for info>
Posted by Jewels-Mayflower (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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