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Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain

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Slobodan Miskovic

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icon Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain16.08.2005. u 16:31 - pre 198 meseci
The plan for a virtual red light district through the creation of a .xxx net domain name has hit delays after concern from government officials.

An official from President George Bush's administration has asked for the brakes be put on the planned domain name until its impact is studied more.

The domain was given the go-ahead by Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in June.

But some are concerned that it would encourage more porn on the net.

The domain name was expected to get final approval by the net's supervisory body, Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), on Tuesday.

Net domains such as .com. and org. are overseen by Icann. It polices the companies that run the different domains and approves the expansion of the different net names that can be bought and used.

The ICM Registry, the not-for-profit group which would operate the .xxx domain name, said it would agree to a month's delay in order to explore some of the concerns which have been voiced.

Easy filter?

The .xxx domain name was approved five years after it was first proposed.

The idea is that sexually-explicit sites will move to the new domains to make it easier for people to filter and avoid them.

In a statement, the ICM Registry which originally proposed the idea said it would "help protect children from exposure to online pornography and also have a positive impact on online adult entertainment through voluntary efforts of the industry".

But some are sceptical that it will allow for more controls over sexually-explicit content.

"The Department of Commerce has received nearly 6,000 letters and e-mails from individuals expressing concern about the impact of pornography on families and children," said Mr Michael Gallagher, assistant secretary at the US Commerce Department, in a letter.

There has been growing opposition to the new domain name. In June, concern was expressed by net privacy campaigners who said it could provoke censorship problems for years.

Last week, a letter from Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, chairman of Icann's Government Advisory Committee, reiterated the concern that several countries had over the decision.

It requested that Icann "allow time for additional governmental and public policy concerns to be expressed before reaching a final decision" on the registration of the domain name.

More than 10% of all online traffic and 25% of all global net searches are for adult content, according to the ICM Registry.

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icon Re: Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain16.08.2005. u 16:35 - pre 198 meseci ce narocito da predje na xxx domen tako da je sve to jedno veeliko sr...

[Ovu poruku je menjao bojan_bozovic dana 16.08.2005. u 17:36 GMT+1]
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Ivan Dimkovic

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icon Re: Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain16.08.2005. u 16:53 - pre 198 meseci
U konzervativni republikanci strike again - jedva cekam kad oni predloze da se otvori .gun TLD, kako bi mogli da uzivaju u puskama i kupovini oruzja za pucanje u burad a da ih slucajno ne sablazni neka tanga ili golo zensko telo.

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Strašni Hogar

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icon Re: Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain16.08.2005. u 17:55 - pre 198 meseci
bojan_bozovic: ce narocito da predje na xxx domen tako da je sve to jedno veeliko sr... :D

Pa sad videcemo :)
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Slobodan Miskovic

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icon Re: Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain21.08.2005. u 20:02 - pre 198 meseci
Whose net is it anyway?

Is it time to take control over the net away from the US government, asks technology analyst Bill Thompson?

When it comes to politics and policy making, those of us who take an interest in the way the internet is governed are usually treated with mild disdain by our activist friends.

Somehow the details of IP (internet protocol) address allocation, domain name resolution and the creation of new top-level domains (TLDs) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) fail to ignite the passions of even the most committed policy wonk.

Few people, for example, could tell you any of the tortuous history of the .xxx domain, which is intended for adult-only content, primarily pornography.

Originally proposed in 2000 and initially rejected, the board of Icann was about to give the final go-ahead to this new home for the world's pornographers when the US government said it was unhappy with the proposal.

Because of this approval has been put on hold for a month and may now not happen, despite the fact that there have been years of discussion and consultation and millions of dollars have been spent by those who want to run the registry which will provide .xxx websites.

Jumping and hoops

You have to feel a certain degree of sympathy for ICM Registry, the company set up more than five years ago to push for the idea of an adult-only domain.

After its original proposal was rejected it has lobbied, argued, persuaded and jumped through more bureaucratic hoops than a well-trained circus seal.

It is even working with a Canadian non-profit organisation to ensure that only "responsible" pornographers get .xxx domains.

Having done everything by the book and worked slowly and carefully within the Icann process to get approval for the new domain, everything was in place for board approval on the 12 August, after which it would start planning the rollout and begin making money.

Now it is all on hold because the US Department of Commerce has been lobbied by right-wing religious groups.

But all is not lost. In the past the pornography industry has been one of the big drivers behind certain technical developments in web publishing, from video streaming to online payment systems.

It would therefore be rather appropriate if the way Icann has been pressurised when it tries to address the industry's needs forces a rethink of the way the net is managed, and that may well happen.

New proposals

Last month the UN's Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) published its proposals for reform of the way the net is run, and these will be debated at the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia.

Having a clear cut case where a national government is able to stamp its feet and get Icann, who is supposed to be in charge of such things, to abandon a two-year process will encourage those who think that the current system is unacceptable.

When it comes to .xxx I am not at all convinced that it is needed or that it will be useful. It may help some people find online porn, but this does not really seem to be a problem without it.

More worrying is that it could be used to create an online ghetto, with countries passing laws that require adult content to register under .xxx so they can be filtered, with the danger that this will be extended to cover anything deemed "unsuitable" for children.

When discussing this issue we need to be clear that pornography is not illegal, however distasteful some people may find it.

The degree to which the people involved are exploited or corrupted, the impact that viewing pornography has on adults, and the measures that can best be taken to ensure that children are not exposed to unsuitable sexual imagery are all uncertain, and the evidence that does exist is ambivalent and subject to multiple interpretations.

But rational debate is not something we can expect from some political or religious establishments.

The recent furore over the "hidden" sex scenes in the Grand Theft Auto computer game shows just how ridiculous and irrational the debate can get, when a few scenes of CGI consensual sex are used to criticise a game that was happily passed even though it condones violence, lawbreaking and brutality.

The reason we have complicated structures of government, with committees and consultations and formal mechanisms, is to try to make it harder for one group, however vehement, to hijack the process.

The question is how Icann can ensure it is capable of running core internet functions.

One option would be to reform Icann and make it properly independent of the United States Department of Commerce.

The chances of this happening are slim, especially after Michael Gallagher from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said in a speech that the US intends to "maintain its historic role in authorising changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file".

So we need to look at ways of wresting control from the US, and here the only real option is the United Nations.

The existing proposals from WGIG are not ideal, but they are a start. The UN system is not perfect, but it is the only forum we have where national interests can be put to one side and compromise can be sought.

One of the principles that has driven the internet's technical infrastructure from the early days of the Arpanet has been to have "rough consensus and running code" - to find something that most developers can agree on, get something working and then refine and improve it.

When it comes to net governance we need to establish a consensus that the UN is the right forum, get some mechanisms in place to replace the compromised Icann, and then work to make them better.

This is a task that will require the engagement and active participation of the whole net-using community, so I think it is time for my policy making friends to start learning more about root servers and IP version 6.

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Slobodan Miskovic

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icon Re: Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain02.12.2005. u 13:10 - pre 194 meseci
Porn domain faces further delays

A final decision on the controversial .xxx domain has been delayed again.

The domain for sex sites was approved in June and final negotiations over how it should be run were due to conclude in early December.

This latest delay is because the net body that oversees the creation of new domains said it needed more time to review a report on .xxx before granting final approval.

No date was given for when the review of the report would be completed.

Slow start

The idea for an .xxx domain was first floated in 2001 and since then has gradually inched towards approval.

The domain was widely expected to achieve final approval at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) meeting held in Vancouver from 30 November to 4 December.

However, Icann chairman Vint Cerf unexpectedly announced at the meeting that the decision was being delayed as the organisation and governments wanted more time to argue about the merits of setting up such a domain.

Icann is waiting for a report from its own Governmental Advisory Committee on .xxx that a review committee had yet to read and decide upon. No timetable was given for when the work of this committee would be finished.

In August, the final decision was postponed following a request from the US Department of Commerce which had "concerns" about the domain.

Plans for the .xxx have been criticised by many people and organisations, among them former Icann board member Karl Auerbach and US conservative religious groups, including the Family Research Council.

ICM Registry, the company that proposed and plans to run the .xxx, said the domain would make it easier to find and filter pornographic material online.

Critics said that because signing up for .xxx was voluntary, there was no guarantee pornographers would move material to the new domain, not least because many have established themselves on other well-known sites.
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