[LINK] Fwd: ICANN delays vote on .xxx top-level domain
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Sep 21 11:06:33 EST 2005
News article on .xxx approval postponed to an uncertain future date:
[I had a quick chat with ICANN CEO Paul Twomey at the Slattery's
event last Thursday (at which, Stil and I finally met). Paul had
remarked during his presentation that he understood the issues about
spam, because he'd had 140,000 emails so far that week. I suggested
it might be a campaign by, say, Dutch activists. He said 'right
idea, wrong instance': the Deep South was running a campaign re the
Previous Politech message:
An open letter follows.
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
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
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 at pfir.org or lauren at vortex.com or lauren at eepi.org
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
- People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Politech mailing list
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Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
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