back to article Fate of porn domain left in government hands

The porn-only .xxx internet domain is set to come under review by international governments, after ICANN deferred voting on the proposal until December. This week, the organisation decided to refer the controversial domain to its Governmental Advisory Committee, which may prove to be the last hurdle it has to jump before being …


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  1. Christoph

    What have they been smoking?

    "the GAC states its concern that domains such as .xxx, which may end up being blocked by some censorious regimes"

    Are they living on the same planet? "May end up"? It will be blocked the instant they confirm that it will go ahead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Australia for a start...

      .... Probably...

  2. Heff
    Black Helicopters

    ...and the GAC is right.

    you create a subdomain for "porn only" and pretty soon you're challenging porns rights to register under any other TLD, probably "for the children", because nobody ever stands against that arguement. we roll that logic down the line and pretty soon you're looking at paying your ISP for access to "restricted" or "premium" domains. and as soon as you create a precedent for non-psycho countries* filtering net access, you're effectively legalising ISPs saying "nah. not gonna let you have the bbc's iPlayer. not going to let you near hulu. sure as hell not going to let you send UDP/IP and torrent traffic. eventually you'll be back at the model of the internet that AOL tried to sell the common man 15 years ago, where we only typed into their 'portal' and used keywords, not URLs, and pretty much only ever saw what they chose to link us to.

    Its another nail in the coffin for net neutrality, and we're selling ourselves down the river "for the children" one damned step at a time.

    *as in, not china, or some other lunatic theocracy/dictatorial/CONTROLCITIZENS bullshit,

    1. M Gale

      I can't wait.

      "nah. not gonna let you have the bbc's iPlayer. not going to let you near hulu. sure as hell not going to let you send UDP/IP and torrent traffic."

      I could see encrypted VPNs becoming suddenly a lot more popular and a lot easier to set up, in this eventuality.

      Doubt it'll happen though, as besides the number of PHBs around, most people know this and wouldn't be silly enough to encourage people further into obscure unmonitorable channels.

      Most people.

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  4. JaitcH

    Too hot to handle? Time to get off the pot!

    I was sorry to see Heather Dryden of Canada, a country with enlightened views, was questioning whether or not any "controversial" domains should be added to the internet.

    The reasons she gave were very weak. 'Censorious nations' exist on both sides of the political and geographic divides and include Australia, China, Germany, United Kingdom and VietNam - a very eclectic choice of bedmates.

    Dryden's claims this "could eventually lead to alternate domain name systems being set up", thereby "fragmenting the internet" shows just how out of touch she is. This suggests she is a card carrying member of CIRA (later confirmed). Worse still a Lexis-Nexis search reveals she is a government designate from the Canadian Government, which is extreme rightist at the moment.

    How her educational background in International Politics and Russian Studies.helps is beyond comprehension. Coming from Ottawa further compounds her problems, it is not a city noted for intelligentsia in government.

    I guess she is the 'Gordon Brown' type appointee - handed a cushy job where they can do minimum damage.

    The InterNet is already fragmented which is how children get advanced sex lessons already: assigning them to an internationally recognised domain name such as .XXX seems eminently suitable.

  5. The BigYin

    Let me get this straight

    Porn is invited to be on .xxx

    Puritanical countries (e.g. Australia) and other fundamentalist districts (e.g. states in the USA) block all .xxx domains

    There is no profit in being on .xxx as there are no customers

    Porn remains on .com, .net etc


    Is that about right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      ...and I'll get it a little queer (NTTIAWWT)

      I guess part of the opposition to the .xxx domain is worried that a few dice rolls from now anything subjectively judged as porn (i.e., possibly everything and especially anything involving tassels) will be forced to use a .xxx domain name.

      That said this really is nothing to be arguing about, give the damn smut barons the .xxx and enjoy the entertaining sight of the puritans suppressing all knowledge of sex unto their own extinction.

    2. Steve Brooks

      wrong, wrong, wrong wrongwrongwrongwrong

      "Porn is invited to be on .xxx

      Puritanical countries (e.g. Australia) and other fundamentalist districts (e.g. states in the USA) block all .xxx domains"

      Actually completely and utterly wrong.

      "The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy,Senator Stephen Conroy, has lashed out in an attempt to block the introduction of a .XXX domain."

      Peope like Contory don't want a xxx domain, they just want to remove ALL porn from the net, having a xxx domain actually legitimises porn on the net, and thats the last thing they want.

    3. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Let me get this straight

      > There is no profit in being on .xxx as there are no customers

      > Porn remains on .com, .net etc

      > Is that about right?

      Well yes, except that all the porn content providers will have forked out for a domain name in .xxx just to cover their bases, and the .xxx registrar will walk away with millions of free dollars. That's what it's always been about, after all. It's absurd that ICANN set themselves up for this, but that is a ten year old story, the slowest motion train crash the Internet has hosted. Just treat it as a good joke.

  6. Tron Silver badge

    Politicians eh? Tch.

    >GAC states its concern that domains such as .xxx, which may end up being blocked by some censorious regimes, could eventually lead to alternate domain name systems being set up, fragmenting the internet.

    As opposed to the block lists that all nations have, usually produced without any form of legal intervention.

    And the filters.

    And the snooping.

    And the Big Brother recording, as planned by, amongst others, that most censorious of regimes, our own duffers. No change from £10bn there on setting up, and millions a year to keep it going. Still, they have an almost unlimited amount of money to screw from public spending and tax revenue, so the costs won't bother them.

    As for alternate DNSs. They are inevitable anyway, but for political and religious reasons rather than to avoid the shock of seeing naked people. Maybe an Islamic or Chinese one first. You could argue that bit torrent acts as an alternate mechanism for online distribution, and that gets blocked and throttled.

    It's probably too late for .xxx to actually do the job it was intended to as the internet equivalent of the TV watershed, in theory easy enough for the dumbest parents to block, although their kids would probably find a way round it. Maybe ten or fifteen years ago it could have moved mainstream porn from the mainstream domains, but asking politicians to be less than a decade behind public use of technology is asking too much.

    Depends on how much the White House feels the need to suck up to the repulsive religious right this term.

    Of course we could just all stop being such bloody prudes.

    Naked people: Not that big a deal really.

  7. thecakeis(not)alie

    I have a plan.

    Let's move at the pace of humanity's slowest member! Bring everyone down the lowest common denominator! Backwards countries censor things on the net? Let’s all do so pre-emptively!

    Heaven forbid we actually try to enlighten them and bring them forward into a more progressive, open and accepting society. No, instead let’s whimper like scared children when they bust out some argument about “your views and beliefs aren’t the only ones and ours are just as valid!”

    They are...until you start contravening an individuals fundamental rights. There are rights. They are defined in the UDHR. If your belief system is incompatible then I am sorry but there is no reason on this earth that the rest of humanity should be held back by your complete inability to move on. If you want to stay in your little world and cultivate ignorance you go right ahead. I will personally help you built the wall that separates you from the rest of the world.

    Humanity will move on, and we will quite simply leave you behind. Culturally, sociologically, technologically. We cannot be bound by the pace the slowest and most scared among us choose to move at. We should not force our beliefs upon them…but we shouldn’t allow them to hold us back either.

    1. Smudger 1

      Unfortunately, it's not a well thought through plan...

      I can't tell whether or not you're being ironic; but, in case you're not...

      We are in a war in Afghanistan because the inhabitants thereof are arguably "culturally, sociologically and technologically" left behind. So what do they do? They grow opium poppies so that they can get money by selling heroin to the first world. They get politically overtaken by the Taliban who apparently want to terrorise the first world over cultural and sociological differences.

      We were in in a war in Iraq, not because they are "culturally, sociologically and technologically" left behind, but because they have oil and they are slap bang in the middle of an area where other countries have lots of oil. And we want stability in sandland.

      We are likely, at some point, to go to war with Iran and/or North Korea over the fact that they have nuclear weapons programmes. Both countries are "culturally, sociologically and technologically" different. Is different good enough or do they absolutely have to be backward in your world?

      Zimbabwe is "culturally, sociologically and technologically" left behind, and desperately needs international intervention. But Zimbabwe doesn't have international terrorists and it doesn't have oil and it doesn't have mineral reserves we are particularly interested in, so we leave it to become a rotten, corrupt, failed state; a place where the UDHR means nothing.

      How about Somalia and piracy on the high seas? Not so easy to build a wall 200 miles offshore...

      You can build a Great Internet Firewall of China if you like, but it's no going to stop China's ICBM's from blowing your arse to hell.


      1. thecakeis(not)alie


        War never changes.

        How you deal with peacetime however, does. We obviously have some very different views there.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's drop all the pretense...

    This isn't about censorship. Nor is it about content filtering. It isn't even about porn per se. It is about money.

    One the one hand you have a company wanting officialdom's approval for its own monopolistic top level domain so that it can make millions flogging domain names that cost effectively nothing at hugely inflated prices. Everyone else is quite rightly looking at that and asking "and just why should you be given an exclusive and monopolistic opportunity to make money for no work?"

    When you cut out all the surrounding crap it is easy to see just how much real credibility the .xxx proposal has.

  9. Etrien Dautre
    Paris Hilton

    You’re logged in as...

    ...Paris, because she finds the header almost completely sexy.

  10. Spanners Silver badge

    This is more proof

    that control of the internet needs to be removed *ALL* government hands. So Obama may get things done that will make some of the craziest nutjobs happy.

    It should all be out there and labelled as what it is. If you do not like it. Keep out. Train your homeschooled kids to keep out too.

    "Git awf mah lawn,,,"

  11. James Woods

    from the perspective of someone invested in it

    I've been in the adult industry for many many years and throughout my reading of this I never came across anything that has stated that if the .xxx gets passed that all porn would have to get moved to it.

    The whole problem with this is how to make money on it and it starts with ICANN and works it's way up through governments.

    The first time we gave this stuff a shot domains were what $100. That made sense because people wouldn't buy random domains to spam from because after awhile it became rather expensive.

    That as broken up and as a result of it ICANN got tons of money for anyone wanting to sell a domain. However as all the domains are being bought up now ICANN needs a new method of generating endless revenue.

    You'll have companies like godaddy giving away .infos for like $1/year but .info's aren't the best tld's to spam from so the spammers run to the other cheap tld's.

    I and everyone else will choose what we are going to allow into our networks. To block porn you wouldn't necessarily have to block a domain or a tld you can simply block the networks that host it.

    We have allowed ourselves to become slaves in this country with the cable monopolies piping pornography right into your house.

    The sicko left-wing of the world isn't the the majority and all this liberalism that has been permitted so far has only taken a sledge hammer to the morals of the world.

    The .xxx is simply all about money and the execution. They have been stalling on it for years because they don't want to execute it wrong and lose money.

    It's all money, it's all ICANN, ICANN is only about the money.

    And let's not forget about the governments.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    They'll also include a new data transfer protocol

    "File Is SenT Express Delivery". This includes an extra layer of error checking- it's double-headers- which will help maintain the quality of porn feed you receive.

    It's well tested as well; HMRC is currently trialling these techniques out on taxpayers...

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