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James Dobson and Republican Politics

Okay, I needed a catchy title. There you go. Here's the issue, quoted in the story Bush administration objects to .xxx domains | CNET News.com: "The Family Research Council, for instance, warned that 'pornographers will be given even more opportunities to flood our homes, libraries and society with pornography through the .xxx domain.' "

How dumb can you get?

If pornographers want to "flood libraries and society" with porn, they can do it plenty-fine now. Don't need any more "opportunities". What a .XXX domain does is allow portions of society (libraries, schools, parents, whatever) to LIMIT the flood, by restricting access to the domain.


Porn is on the internet. It's not going to go away as long as we have a bare minimum of freedoms in this country. So why not attach a modicum of regulation to it, so that we have a better chance of avoiding it?

Yes, the article explains that this is the Bush Administration objecting to the domain... but Bush is just doing what his "conservative base" demands, and Jim Dobson is the self-appointed (and self-important) leader of that "base". If the FRC weren't in a tizzy about it, Bush wouldn't be, either.

In the "We can't win" category, the article notes that ICANN turned down the .XXX domain suggestion five years ago; "At the time, politicians lambasted ICANN's move. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., demanded to know why ICANN didn't approve .xxx 'as a means of protecting our kids from the awful, awful filth, which is sometimes widespread on the Internet.' Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., told a federal commission that .xxx was necessary to force adult Webmasters to 'abide by the same standard as the proprietor of an X-rated movie theater.'

What's ICANN to do?


At August 18, 2005 at 11:42 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Not to be dense, but I have thought about this topic about everytime I read about it and what strikes me is the fact that I don't believe there is any legal or Internet regulation that says that an adult web site has to give up its .com, .net, etc domain name and move to .xxx.

So in the end what is the point? All you would be doing is openning up a large block of new names for the porn industry to populate that no normal indivdual or company would want to register.

The real question is what is the benefit to us to have a .XXX domain... WhiteHouse.com isn't going to give it up and move to whitehouse.xxx. Not a chance!

At August 18, 2005 at 11:59 AM, Blogger emlarson said...

Good points to raise. By providing a .XXX domain, the government (or even private organizations) have an easier time of regulating or "policing" the other domains. Right now, you can't tell a pornographer to abandon a .com domain, because there's nowhere else to go.

"Legitimate pornographers" -- and there are some who'd call themselves that -- really don't want gradeschool kids viewing their smut. They want legal adults, with valid credit cards, subscribed to their site.

So, just like you can address phishing by saying, "if it's legit, it'll be in ____ domain", a .XXX domain allows you to agressively block whatever's not there, and is self-regulating in the sense that webmasters who want to attract that target audience would want to be there.

(And BTW, http://www.whitehouse.com is now an information site, not a porn site.)

At August 19, 2005 at 9:17 AM, Blogger Rob said...

I think the ACLU and other organizations would have some first amendment issues with your desire to regulate free speach. By asking or forcing businesses to move to a new domain name.

I think if 'Legitimate pornographers' existed you won't be bombarded by the pop-up hell of ads if you stumble across a site with adult content. I agree they want a credit cards to view, but that is like saying the tobacco industry really doesn't want to attract future business.

At August 19, 2005 at 2:30 PM, Blogger emlarson said...

But you've gotta remember, for years you had to be a non-profit organization to own a .org, and a "network service provider" to own a .net, right? So the precedent for regulation of domain names exists.

It's a really interesting question -- to say, "if you're providing _____ type of service, you need to be in this particular domain." Granted, nobody ever told a non-profit organization that they couldn't buy a .com domain, so there's a difference there.


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