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Mandatory .XXX is an Unviable Concept and Here's Why

  • To: stld-rfp-xxx@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Mandatory .XXX is an Unviable Concept and Here's Why
  • From: "Daniel R. Tobias" <dan@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 22:37:21 -0400
  • User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7b) Gecko/20040328

Mr./Ms. Evangelista is highly misguided if he/she thinks that a mandatory segregation of Internet sites by "adult content" is in any way feasible, legally, socially, or technically.

First of all, the Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution (all amendments are considered part of the constitution just as much as the original document). The Supreme Court has struck down more than one law attempting to limit "adult" sites on the Internet as a violation of the First Amendment. Why do you think any law forcing sites into a different domain due to their content would be any more constitutional? Such a law might even be struck down on other Constitutional grounds, as an unconstitutional taking of property without compensation (some court decisions are already treating domain names as property, and your proposed law would compel people to relinquish existing domains in favor of .xxx).

Furthermore, the rest of the world is already angry at the arrogance of the United States in forcing its way on everybody else; is it really a good idea to provoke them further by arrogantly proclaiming ourselves the global arbiters of what is "porn" and where it belongs?

At any rate, ICANN has no power whatsoever to regulate the content of Internet sites, and neither would the registry of .xxx if it were approved. And since these new TLDs are global in scope (unlike ccTLDs and a few grandfathered special cases like .gov for the US government), they shouldn't be defined by whatever the US Congress might wish to enact regarding "adult content".

How, exactly, do you propose to define what sort of content needs to be evicted from all other TLDs than .xxx? Sex education sites? Gay/lesbian rights activism sites? Museum sites that include artistic nudes? Sites with transcripts of Supreme Court cases regarding obscenity that include quotes containing the infamous seven words you can't say on TV or radio? Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues? Who is to be the judge, jury, and executioner?

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