AOH :: PT-1130.HTM

ICANN delays vote on .xxx top-level domain

ICANN delays vote on .xxx top-level domain
ICANN delays vote on .xxx top-level domain



News article on .xxx approval postponed to an uncertain future date:
http://news.com.com/2110-1028_3-5868953.html 

Previous Politech message:
http://www.politechbot.com/2005/08/25/on-letter-tells/ 

An open letter follows.

-Declan

---

Open letter: Why "dot-xxx" is for chumps

This is an open letter addressed to that segment of the Internet
community where the *real* money is made -- the "adult entertainment"
industry.  For that matter, the operators of the ubiquitous
non-commercial sexually-oriented Web sites can join in as well.

I have some free advice that may save you a great deal of grief.

Now, in all honesty, I don't have any particular love for your
operations or your products.  I'm not a prude (well, not much of one,
anyway), but by continuing to push the envelope you folks have
engendered a great deal of negative reaction that's approaching a
fever pitch.

That reaction is what I'm really concerned about, since it's likely
to splatter collateral damage broadly across a wide range of free
speech and civil liberties arenas.

So, in my desire to protect them, I'll try to protect you as well.

My advice?  Don't fall into the "dot-xxx" trap that's being set for
you by ICANN.

As you no doubt are aware, ICANN appears to be preparing for the
deployment -- despite broad protests across the political spectrum and
a couple of delays -- of a "dot-xxx" top-level domain (TLD).

I've explained elsewhere ( http://www.pfir.org/ip-exexex ) 
and ( http://www.pfir.org/ip-exexex-01 ), why dot-xxx is an 
absolutely atrocious idea.

ICANN claims that participation in the domain will be voluntary, and
that will indeed be the case -- at first.

But as I discussed back in a 2001 PFIR position paper on "domain
ghettoization" ( http://www.pfir.org/statements/ghetto-domains ), 
such efforts are a slippery slope likely leading to widespread
filtering and censoring by ISPs, governments, plus a broad range of
other entities, affecting a *lot more* than merely pornographic
materials.  A glance at the current Supreme Court situation is not
particularly encouraging in this regard.

ICANN apparently doesn't view their dot-xxx plan as a trap.  They
seem to consider themselves courageous by pushing on with that TLD
despite the broad public and private consensus that it's a terrible
concept.  Unfortunately, this is the sort of "forge ahead over the
cliff" behavior that we've come to expect from ICANN as an
organization.

So if dot-xxx arrives, my strong recommendation is that
*you ignore it*.  Pretend that it doesn't exist.  Allow it to be
an empty database.  Joining that domain won't provide you with any
cover -- what you'll actually be doing is painting a giant bulls-eye
on yourselves -- and on a vast array of worthy and important groups and
materials that have nothing whatever to do with adult entertainment.

Dot-xxx is for chumps.

By the way, I originally considered titling this entry with a
domain-related variation on the old "Suppose They Gave a War and
Nobody Came" line, but while the situation with dot-xxx is
indeed dangerous -- and an example of so much that's wrong with
Internet Governance in general and ICANN in particular -- this
matter is anything but a dirty joke.

--Lauren--
Lauren Weinstein
lauren@pfir.org or lauren@vortex.com or lauren@eepi.org 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
http://www.pfir.org/lauren 
Co-Founder, PFIR
- People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org 
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