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Vote NO on .XXX

  • To: <icm-options-report@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Vote NO on .XXX
  • From: "Patrick A. Trueman" <p.trueman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2010 08:56:11 -0400

Dear Members of the Board of ICANN:


I formerly served as the chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child
Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, Washington, D.C.  For
25 years I have worked to stop the widespread devastation that pornography
is causing to children and adults. The establishment of a .XXX domain would
increase, not decrease the spread of pornography on the Internet and thus
cause even more harm and make ICANN complicit in that harm.  That would be a
tragic development and thus I urge you to kill the .XXX proposal once and
for all.  There is no evidence that the public wants or needs this domain.
In fact, each time this idea has been proposed it has been overwhelmingly
opposed by the public and governments throughout the world.  There is also
absolutely no evidence that any good would come of it.  Instead it appears
that the company proposing it is merely seeking enrichment at the expense of
the public.  Pornography addiction is skyrocketing among adult males and is
even affecting many women and children in the same way.  Countless marriages
are breaking up because of pornography use and sexual promiscuity is more
widespread than ever before because of pornography.  Pornography is
destroying lives and relationships and ICANN should not be using its
authority to promote more of it.  Here are some specific arguments against
the .XXX proposal:


1.)   Neither ICANN nor the company urging the establishment of this new
domain are arguing that the .XXX domain would clean up the .COM domain and
require all pornographers to move to .XXX.  The .COM domain is a cash cow
for pornographers and they are not leaving it.  ICANN has no enforcement
powers to make them leave and thus clean up .COM.  Pornographers would
simply expand to .XXX and maintain their current .COM sites, perhaps
doubling the number of porn sites and doubling their menace to society.  

2.)   The .XXX domain will NOT make it easier to filter porn, even if all
pornographers would voluntarily move there (and that will NOT happen).  The
problem with filtering is not that it is difficult but rather that too few
parents care enough to employ filters for the home or laptop computers used
by their children.  Even if most parents did use filters on home computers,
kids have access to the Internet outside the home.  And it isn't just the
kids that need filtering.  Addiction to pornography by adults is rampant so
everyone needs filtering but, sadly, few bother.  The new website
Pornography Harms, http://pornharms.com <http://pornharms.com/> , provides
overwhelming evidence of harm from pornography and thus the need for
protection from it.

3.)   Since most families do not use effective filtering services, the .XXX
domain would merely make hardcore pornography even easier to find for
children seeking such material.  Thus the argument that .XXX would benefit
children by "cleaning up the Internet" is without any basis in fact. 

4.)   U.S. citizens should not believe claims by some that the U.S. Congress
could merely pass a law requiring all porn companies to leave the .Com for
the .XXX.  Any law attempting to force pornographers to relocate to .XXX
would likely be declared unconstitutional because under the First Amendment,
all pornography is "presumptively protected" by the U.S. Constitution until
it has been determined to be "obscene" or "child pornography."  Just as the
Department of Justice cannot force porn stores to move or go out of business
because it believes that such stores are operating illegally, the Department
cannot force pornographers on the .COM domain to move or go out of business
without first charging them with a crime and having a court make a
determination of illegality.  

5.)   Hardcore pornography (or "obscene material" as it is called in U.S.
law) on the Internet is ALREADY a violation of U.S law.  It is just not
being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice because those in charge
are letting the public down.  So for those who argue that by establishing a
new .XXX domain AND then passing by a new law requiring porn companies to
move (IF such a law was upheld after years of litigation) we can solve our
Internet porn problem, we must ask why these two events will suddenly compel
the Department to begin prosecuting porn companies.  If the Department of
Justice is not prosecuting Internet porn companies now for violating U.S.
obscenity laws, it is not going to prosecute such companies for merely
locating in the wrong address.

6.)   If somehow all porn sites providing obscene material would actually
leave the .COM Domain for the .XXX Domain, they would STILL be violating
U.S. obscenity law which prohibits such material on the Internet regardless
of location. We don't want the Department of Justice to say to illegal porn
companies, in effect, that it is okay to violate U.S. law as long as you do
it on .XXX.  Men, women, and children are becoming addicted to pornography
and I believe the rates of addiction are skyrocketing - this is a virtually
untreated pandemic.  Many who begin by viewing adult pornography deviate
down to harder and harder material as they continue a steady consumption of
material and many of these will deviate down to the point that they only
become excited by child pornography.  This is a significant factor in the
growth of child pornography on the Internet.  Countless marriages are
breaking up because of pornography use.  Violence against women, which is
depicted in most porn films, is changing male attitudes toward girls and
women in a very negative way.  A more appropriate goal should be to STOP the
distribution of this destructive material by prosecuting those responsible
for it, NOT protect pornography on the .XXX domain.  




Patrick A. Trueman

Attorney At Law



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