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Re: [ PRIVACY Forum ] Call for ICANN to Kill "Dot-Ex-Ex-Ex" Top-Level Domain at Tomorrow's Vote

  • To: Jeff Williams <jwkckid1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [ PRIVACY Forum ] Call for ICANN to Kill "Dot-Ex-Ex-Ex" Top-Level Domain at Tomorrow's Vote
  • From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 21:11:09 -0700

Jeff, et al.,

Here's the bottom line as I see it.  If .XXX is created, we know
that it will immediately be added to virtually every corporate and
"family friendly" block list in the world -- in fact I wouldn't be
surprised to find it becoming a *default* blocked TLD by some (most?)
ISPs -- that you'd have to specifically request be unblocked (like
adult movie channels on cable).

Given this, we know that the adult industry players obviously have
no intention of giving up their dot-com or whatever other domains
and will continue business as usual via them as well.

But just because it's technically possible to create this new
revenue stream for ICM, doesn't mean that ICANN should allow it --
given that this would be the first TLD created where controversial
and highly emotional value judgments regardingly inclusion -- with
major political implications -- are involved.  There's just no valid
way to separate the non-technical and technical issues in this case.

If we knew for a fact that .XXX would *always* be voluntary, that
there wouldn't be efforts in various locales around the world to
force all Web sites locally viewed as "objectionable" into that
"ghetto domain," then perhaps it wouldn't be such a big deal --
other than issues related to the "appropriateness" of handing all
that money to ICM.

But if we agree that the existence of .XXX is likely to trigger
or otherwise inspire moves toward such censorship, then this just
isn't an acceptable direction to be going in.  What's more, many
elements of the anti-porn side of the equation also hate the idea of
.XXX, believing that it will spread more of the material.

It's virtually impossible to see how .XXX can ultimately become
anything but an anti-privacy, pro-censorship, litigation trap,
despite any and all "protections" built into the TLD application.

If ICANN approves .XXX we can be sure it won't be the end of the
controversy, but only the beginning.  And with this kind of
"third-rail" issue, the results aren't going to be pretty in 
that case.

Lauren Weinstein
lauren@xxxxxxxxxx or lauren@xxxxxxxx
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR
   - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, IOIC
   - International Open Internet Coalition - http://www.ioic.net
Founder, CIFIP
   - California Initiative For Internet Privacy - http://www.cifip.org
Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
DayThink: http://daythink.vortex.com

  - - -

> Lauren and all,
>   I agree as do many of our members for many of the same reasons
> you state.  However there is no good technical reason for not
> allowing .XXX, even though I and many others see it as a
> trap on privacy, ergo a slippery slope in and of itself.
>   The real problem ICANN is having is that .com and .org
> already have so many porn related registrations [ Domain
> names ] they are seemingly not willing to police their own
> registries accordingly.  Of course ICANN will adamantly
> deny this or ignore same, ergo defacto denial.
> privacy@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> >    Call for ICANN to Kill "Dot-Ex-Ex-Ex" Top-Level Domain at Tomorrow's Vote
> >
> >                http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000220.html
> >
> > Greetings.  As is already widely known, I remain very strongly
> > opposed to the creation of a dot-ex-ex-ex TLD (top-level domain),
> > and would find it necessary to continue such opposition through
> > whatever venues are available if the domain is approved at a likely
> > ICANN vote tomorrow.  I feel that dot-ex-ex-ex would create a
> > disastrous slippery slope for censorship and free speech, despite
> > its ostensibly "voluntary" nature.  I don't think this is an area
> > where ICANN should wish to tread even peripherally.  Like many
> > observers, I fail to see what constituency would be positively
> > served by dot-ex-ex-ex, other than ICM -- the company that would run
> > the TLD and profit from its use.
> >
> > The relatively heavy speculative "pre-registrations" on the domain are
> > obviously mainly driven by protective actions from existing dot-com
> > domain holders, who cannot afford to have the dot-ex-ex-ex versions
> > of their domain names obtained by someone else.  This hardly
> > qualifies as "support" for the dot-ex-ex-ex concept.
> >
> > I hope that ICANN will choose to kill this idea once and for all.  I
> > fear that if it is approved, it will only represent the start of a
> > long legal path as various governmental and private parties attempt
> > to block it, and that would be an unfortunate waste of time and
> > resources for everyone.
> >
> > --Lauren--
> > _______________________________________________
> > privacy mailing list
> > http://lists.vortex.com/mailman/listinfo/privacy
> Regards,
> --
> Jeffrey A. Williams
> Spokesman for INEGroup LLA. - (Over 134k members/stakeholders strong!)
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