Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bush administration objects to .xxx domains | CNET News.com

Bush administration objects to .xxx domains | CNET News.com:

The Bush administration is objecting to the creation of a .xxx domain, saying it has concerns about a virtual red-light district reserved exclusively for Internet pornography.

Michael Gallagher, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, has asked for a hold to be placed on the contract to run the new top-level domain until the .xxx suffix can receive further scrutiny. The domain was scheduled to receive final approval Tuesday.

'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,' Gallagher said in a letter that was made public on Monday.

The sudden high-level interest in what has historically been an obscure process has placed the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in an uncomfortable position. ICANN approved the concept of an .xxx domain in June and approval of ICM Registry's contract to run the suffix was expected this week.

Other governments also have been applying pressure to ICANN in a last-minute bid to head off .xxx. A letter from ICANN's government advisory group sent Friday asks for a halt to 'allow time for additional governmental and public policy concerns to be expressed before reaching a final decision.'

ICM Registry--the for-profit company in Florida that plans to operate the .xxx registry--has told ICANN it would agree to a month's delay in the approval process to permit it to 'address the concerns' raised by the Bush administration and other governments.

'We're focusing our attention on the Department of Commerce and ensuring that we're building this as a voluntary (top-level domain) for responsible companies,' Jason Hendeles, founder of ICM Registry, said in a telephone interview on Monday.

Hendeles said that although the .xxx application is 'already approved,' his company is willing to try to allay fears about legitimizing pornography. 'The industry has existed for a long time and is growing internationally and is doing what it can to fight child porn and to be a responsible industry,' he said. 'This is an opportunity for all the different voices to come together.'

ICANN's delicate position
The multinational pressure, unprecedented in ICANN's seven-year history, places the organization in a delicate position. If it backs down, ICANN could be perceived as bowing to political interference--but if not, it could alienate government officials just as the United Nations is becoming more interested in taking over key Internet functions."

This is SO STUPID! First, the internet is filled with porn already, with or without the .xxx domain. Why not make it, so that the porn gets separated from the other stuff. They make it seem like if they approve the .xxx domain, more porn will be online. Why? It's just a name, like .net, .com and .biz. Lots of people have .com and don't have a business. It doesn't mean anything. Second, the internet is not for kids, period. Don't even talk to me about making the internet safe for kids, it's not going to happen. Buy filtering software, and monitor your kids when they're on the internet, or just don't let them on the internet at all. I'll be damned if I'll see the entire internet censored so kids can go online and look at pictures of sponge bob, square pants. Why do kids have to be everywhere and do everything adults do? Take them to the libary and give them books to read and shut up. Thirdly, put the UNITED NATIONS in charge of the internet! Are you kidding me? How about this, when they stop all wars and world hunger, and clean up all their corruption, and kick out all the countries that don't have a democratically elected government, THEN they can run the domain name servers for the internet! What a joke! Let them worry about selling oil to tyrants and making excuses for dictators and leave important things alone.

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