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Opinion on Cyber-Safety Peition

  • To: cyber-safety-petition@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Opinion on Cyber-Safety Peition
  • From: Dennis Richards <drichards1953@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:08:32 -0400


I am deeply troubled by the continued attempts to force their views of life on the internet by a small minority of people. The issues related to internet porn are complex and often conflicting. This is not time for a minority with religious backing to attempt to seize control of internet by persons with public religious convictions. Coming down to a basic point they are attempting to promote censorship, based on their religions belief system, in this case thee are strong ties to the Morman church, in Utah.

Further a major supporter of this petition is Mr. Ralph Yarro, who, at best, has some questionable business ethics relating to his conduct, ownership and position with SCO Group (formerly Caldera) in its, what it appears to be baseless litigation attempts at numerous entities including IBM and Novell, among others. Further, SCO Group is in bankruptcy, in large measure because of these litigation attempts by Yarro controlled SCO Group. In direct relation to the litigation attempt against Novell, the Federal trial court judge clearly ruled against Caldera\SCO Group, and is on appeal. Mr. Yarrow is heading up the non-profit organization known as CP80 which advocates blocking Port 80 as a method to control pornography. It should be noted that Professor Cheryl Preston, who has presented the Cyber Safety petition to ICANN, failed to disclose that she is, in fact, legal counsel to CP80. Her failure to fully disclose such an affiliation is clearly improper in this instant. The petition as presented to ICANN is on its face an attempt to censor the internet, at numerous levels. The function of ICANN is to serve the world of the internet, not the individual beliefs of individual groups or organizations that would promote censorship based on those beliefs. While I endorse the idea that children should not view pornography, it is the parents and other responsible adults that should be acting as the guiding force for the children, not ICANN. Finally, what maybe considered pornography in one community, may not be in another. This is an issue that even the US Supreme Court has been unable to clearly define, for the United States, to say nothing of the entire world. This "Cyber-Safety" petition should be denied, in total.


Dennis M. Richards

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