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Support for .xxx from founder of TRUSTe, author of 100th Window

  • To: <stld-rfp-xxx@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Support for .xxx from founder of TRUSTe, author of 100th Window
  • From: "Sherry Lamoreaux" <sherry.lamoreaux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 08:14:42 -0700
  • Importance: Normal
  • Organization: Swan Island Networks, Inc.
  • Reply-to: <sherry.lamoreaux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I am writing to communicate my unambiguous support for the “.xxx” sponsored top level domain (TLD) application.  I am writing as the CEO of a security system software company; as the recently retired chairman of the board of trustees of a high school; as a founder of TRUSTe, the Internet’s largest privacy self-regulation initiative, and as a parent and a grandparent.

 

At TRUSTe I worked to establish a contract-based system of disclosure and assertion that has played a significant role in helping raise the bar for online privacy—and for trust and confidence in the Web generally.  I think the .xxx proposal—with its emphasis on self-regulatory standards for online adult content—has the potential to do the same thing.

 

If there is going to be an "adult" TLD, then the ICM  Registry and the proposed foundation [IFFOR] proposal is clearly the best way to do it. The proposal demonstrates a comprehensive, well thought out, responsible approach, delegating the policy making to an independent non-profit organization (IFFOR).

 

As the Internet is a global medium, national (local) legislation will have little, if any, effect.  The new .xxx TLD will have the benefit of having global reach and be able to maintain the self-regulatory guidelines and ensure those that come into its tent  abide by those guidelines through enforceable contractual agreements. This would not work if a government tries to mandate entities into a .xxx space. 

 

In my book The Hundredth Window: Protecting Your Privacy and Security on the Internet (Simon & Schuster; 2000; pp 86-88), I reported on a remarkable consequence of the Children’s Online Protection Act, or COPA, passed by Congress and enacted into law in 1998.  The surprising result:  a marked increase in online identity theft.  It seems that the only “age verification system” meeting the requirements of the legislation was the international credit card system.  This fact gave unscrupulous website operators with a bit of lurid content an excuse to ask for credit card and personal identifying information for users (who frequently turned out to be adolescent boys, using their father’s card—since the age verification did not result in a bill or notice).  Porn sites starting popping that were nothing more than credit card and personal identify collection schemes…leading to massive, organized identity theft.  And helping to launch a new criminal industry, which continues undeterred today.

 

The .xxx approach, instead of relying on new laws, puts the forces of the free market to work in order to manage the inevitably huge flows of adult content, while preserving or enhancing the overall integrity of the Web.  The .xxx approach helps build trust and confidence in the public network, generally, by categorizing responsible adult content into one domain, and excluding those with anti-social, deceptive practices of any kind.  Once established, I believe this domain would quickly obtain the marketplace clout of a powerful brand—and one that many would have a great self interest in protecting!  The dynamics of strict brand-protection, managed through contractually enforceable agreements with .xxx site operators, will bring higher standards to the adult industry much faster than any regulation.  And, it will make the parental job of screening out large blocks of adult content much easier as well.

 

Rarely does one get a clear chance to do great good in one small step.  Your decision regarding the proposed .xxx domain is one such chance.  This is the right thing to do.  Please give this worthy proposal your support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles Jennings

CEO, Swan Island Networks, Inc.

 

 

Submitted for Charles Jennings by his executive assistant:

 

Sherry Lamoreaux

Swan Island Networks, Inc.

55 SW Yamhill, Fourth Floor

Portland, OR  97204

sherry.lamoreaux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

503/796.7926 (office)

503/704.9700 (cell)

503/227.1482 fax

www.swanisland.net

 

 



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