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ICANN Meeting Passes on .com, .xxx decisions

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-glaciers-in-town-moved-faster dept.

The Internet 110

Rob writes "As the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers wound up its annual meeting in Vancouver yesterday it was inactions that were still causing all the controversy. Major decisions on the .com and .xxx domains had been postponed until next year, as the domain name management body seeks to balance the interests of governments and commercial domain name organizations."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184697)

fp

Yippee (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184711)

I do not agree with .xxx being a domain TLD.

MOD PARENT INFORMATIVE YOU GAY FLAMEBAIT MODS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184841)

The parent comment is not flamebait. You mods simply suck.

Re:MOD PARENT INFORMATIVE YOU GAY FLAMEBAIT MODS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184883)

It might not be flamebait, but it certainly has some poor grammar.

Why .xxx won't work (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184724)

If you're not going to mandate that adult content can only be hosted on .xxx, then it will be useless for the reasons the fundies want. You know, that bit about not being forced to give up property of your .com domain?

On the other hand, if you were hoping for a burgeoning directory of naughty stuff, then yes, you're boned :(

Re:Why .xxx won't work (2, Insightful)

TuomasK (631731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184892)

And if it is forced, where does the line go? For example, if I have an automobile site that has some pictures of girls leanin on cars without bikinis, do I have to get .xxx domain or can I still use .com? What about wallpaper-pages that have nude pictures along other images? And so on..

Re:Why .xxx won't work (3, Insightful)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184965)

And what happens to the many news + porno sites that nerds like to visit? Where do you draw the line? Fark has boobies links for example - but only a prude would call it a porn site. But there are numerous sites that slide down the line between Fark and straight out porn sites.

The big problem would be that only an idiot would put their porn site on .XXX - because with that level of labelling, you'd risk more than just client side filtering (which only a foolish porno webmaster would complain about) but full-fledged back-end censorship - any one of the middling systems between your users and your site could be owned by "family oriented" bodies who might just drop all .XXX packets.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (0)

wed128 (722152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185117)

you could regulate it so only the really filthy shit has to move...nudity is okay, but if anyone starts having sex, over to .xxx. That way these sites can still exist and serve their function.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185408)

Nope, won't work either. Who decides what is really filthy shit? You or my grandmother? The same goes for "sex". We've had US presidents who consider the definition of what sex *is* as a gray area.

would adult sites object to self-monitoring? (4, Insightful)

rjnagle (122374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185219)

The assumption made here is that porn sites would object to being labeled "porn." I don't think that is the case. They would love a way to make it easy for content filters to block access for children. That makes their job easier, not harder.

There is a benefit to self-description, as long as the registering body isn't forced by that business's government to label certain things as porn. It has to be voluntary.

Ok, I see how edge-cases might raise questions, but why not just open the TLD and see what happens?

Judging from the time for the approval process, you would think they were trying to solve Fermat's Last Theorem. Hey, guys, it's fricking three letters. What's the holdup?

Robert nagle

 

Re:would adult sites object to self-monitoring? (1)

Aranel Alasse (880862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186345)

They would love a way to make it easy for content filters to block access for children.
. . .
It has to be voluntary.

My personal hope is that the pornography sites will voluntarily register at .xxx domains, and voluntarily remove themselves from .com domains. It would make it much easier for me to filter out the porn.

The fact that I get a lot of spam concerning porn, however, tells me that they (whoever "they" is... certainly not all porn sites, but some of them, for sure) don't really care that much about keeping their porn away from children or anyone else who doesn't want to deal with it.

My fear is that as long as it's voluntary, the porn sites will register at .xxx domains, *and* keep their .com domains. That would make it easier for people who want to view the porn to find their sites, and it would also make it easier for the porn sites to keep their sites within the search results of everyone else--thus hopefully still being able to exploit (or whatever it is "they" are trying to do) everyone else even though they conduct searches that filter out .xxx sites.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (2, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184933)

Why does everyone on slashdot assume standard practices are created and implemented overnight? They won't create .xxx domains, tansfer porn sites away from .com domains, and regulate porn on non-.xxx domains all overnight. The first step is creating the .xxx name though, and down the line you can give deadlines to transfer to a .xxx domain, and then start regulating a while after that if they choose to do so, but it's a slow process and I think it's a good idea personally.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184962)

Small moves, Ellie?

Actually, this sounds pretty straightforward. Except for the part where they deluge the domain with so many restrictions that pr0n becomes effectively illegal.

"And we shall have peace..."

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184985)

and I think it's a good idea personally.

Good thing you don't have a clue what you're talking about [ietf.org] .

please mod up parent (1)

rjnagle (122374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185370)

hi, there, why is the parent at 0?

The above link is great. I'll link there again.
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3675.txt [ietf.org]

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

F_Scentura (250214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185041)

"They won't create .xxx domains, tansfer porn sites away from .com domains, and regulate porn on non-.xxx domains all overnight."

And they never will.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (0, Flamebait)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187784)

But what is considered "xxx" type material? Do we have to follow the American view of what is adult content? And if the Christian Right finally gains full control of the U.S. government, do people around the world have to conform to the Protestent extremists view?

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184976)

1 - Well, create the .xxx domain and people will search for porn there.

2 - Make people search for porn at the xxx TLD, and almost all sites will be there.

It will not block all sites, but I can't really understand why you people keep saying that it is useless. If everything else fails, it will make it easier to find porn.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185098)

and easier to block. All current porn sites (and there are a lot) should be grandfathered into the old domains, but NEW sites use XXX. if the market is unstable enough, it should force a natural transition over several years.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185024)

It isn't just the fundies that want to filter pron. Schools and even relatively liberal parents would like to be have an easy way to lock out porn. As someone pointed out what is porn. Someone asked if they had a car site that had pictures of nude women laying on cars would that be porn? Yea that would pretty much go right in to the adult category IMHO.
I worry more about say a breast cancer site that has information of self examination or birth control sites. You even have to wonder about sites like Slashdot. Some of the children on here use language that is very offensive.
Before I get the "free speech" rants shouldn't parents have the freedom to decide what their child can read? I wouldn't want a nine year old of mine reading Penthouse or propaganda from the KKK or Nazis. Frankly I wish that Slashdot would have a filth filter. I wouldn't want a young child reading some of the posts on here. The amount of profanity and hate speech I see is at times very depressing.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185160)

"I wouldn't want a young child reading some of the posts on here."

And I just wish we didn't have so many young children posting on here. Except for the funny ones. They make me laugh. Ho ho.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (2, Insightful)

Woldry (928749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185199)

You don't have to change Slashdot to prevent yourself and your children from seeing the things you find "depressing".

There are many commercial filters that can filter out offending sites by keyword blocking. The things you object to on Slashdot could probably be blocked, if you truly don't want to read them. The downside is that you would probably wind up being mostly unable to read Slashdot if you applied such a filter.

Alternatively, you could write (or hire someone to write) a plugin for your browser that would find offensive words and, say, display them only in a white font, or insert the word "Smurf" every time an offensive word appears, or any other workaround that would prevent you from seeing the terms that offend you. I wouldn't be surprised if someone has already written these, or sells software that does effectively the same thing.

If, however, you meant that you think you have the right to decide what my children should be allowed to read, that's a completely different matter. I will not help you find ways to do that, and I will oppose any effort to impose your standards of what qualifies as "filth".

Re:Why .xxx won't work (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185308)

"If, however, you meant that you think you have the right to decide what my children should be allowed to read, that's a completely different matter. I will not help you find ways to do that, and I will oppose any effort to impose your standards of what qualifies as "filth". "
My definition of filthy is simple profanity without reason and the different flavors of hate speech. Frankly I wish the technical side would stay technical.
Hey it could be an option. I doubt that any filtering software on earth could block some of the anti-semitic and racist posts that I see on occasion. You may notice that even though I find some of the posts on Slashdot depressing I still read it and post on it. I just wouldn't want any kids under say 14 years old reading some of the posts.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (2, Insightful)

Woldry (928749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185581)

My definition of filthy is simple profanity without reason and the different flavors of hate speech ... the anti-semitic and racist posts that I see

This is not a straightforward definition (despite its brevity). Define "profanity." Define "reason." Define "hate speech." Define "anti-Semitic." Define "racist."

I am sure that you have clear conceptions of each of these (and your conceptions of them might not be all that different from mine), but I guarantee you that your definitions of each will vary widely from other people's. What's more, though I suspect we agree substantially on these definitions, I must admit that I disagree quite strongly that such things constitute "filth".

So whose definitions would you want Slashdot to use to determine "filth"? Yours? What privileges your definition over anyone else's? Why not mine? Why not Larry Flynt's? Why not those of the very people who post what you consider "filth"?

I just wouldn't want any kids under say 14 years old reading some of the posts.

So you are saying that if my kid is under 14 years old, you would prevent him from reading them? That would be my decision as a parent to allow or forbid it. I don't recall surrendering my parental rights or responsibilities to anyone else. If you want to keep your own kids under 14 from reading them, fine and dandy. That's your right as a parent. (Mind you, I'll think you're silly, and naive, and doing your kids a disservice. But I will still support your right, because they're your kids.) Don't fancy, however, that your own necessarily subjective standard should apply to other people's kids.

Finally, just to keep this even marginally on topic, the same applies to the .xxx domain. Whose standards do we use to determine what belongs there? My father thinks Ernest Hemingway is pornographic. Shakespeare has been called that, too. The movie Midnight Cowboy earned an X rating when it was first issued. If it were released today, it might merit an R, but even so, it's significantly milder than much other "R" stuff out there nowadays. I don't doubt that various religious groups would put Baywatch or Richard Hatch's bare-assed antics on the original Survivor into the porn category. Robert Mapplethorpe's photography was attacked in the 1980s as pornographic. Parents have been hauled into court to defend innocent photos of their own nude children. So who gets to decide what qualifies as .xxx material and what doesn't?

If it's meant to be a system whereby people can opt to register as .xxx to make the pornographic nature of their goods clear, then well and good. But if it's meant as a way of preventing "pornography" from being available anywhere but a .xxx domain, then (just as with the parent's apparent desire to filter Slashdot for the rest of us) I would oppose it on both philosophical grounds (as being de facto censorship) and pragmatic ones (as being impossible to draw the line).

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187370)

"So you are saying that if my kid is under 14 years old, you would prevent him from reading them? That would be my decision as a parent to allow or forbid it. I don't recall surrendering my parental rights or responsibilities to anyone else. If you want to keep your own kids under 14 from reading them, fine and dandy. That's your right as a parent. (Mind you, I'll think you're silly, and naive, and doing your kids a disservice. But I will still support your right, because they're your kids.) Don't fancy, however, that your own necessarily subjective standard should apply to other people's kids. "
Nope I am saying I wouldn't. Frankly I feel small kids do need to feel that they are safe.
The funny thing is I am if you read my original post you would see that I am not for the .xxx rating for the very reasons you describe. I don't think that you could come up with clear cut rules to make it an effective safe guard. It would end up as just yet another wasteland of crap. I was saying that a 100% effective way to filter out porn would be used by lots of people besides the "fundies". I just can not think of a good way to do it that couldn't be abused.
My comments on the filth level on Slashdot is again more of a wish than reality. I would love to have a filter that would prevent me having to see profanity, insults, hate speech, and the rest of the crap the I find detracts from Slashdot. Again I don't know of anyway to do that. I doubt that their is any technology based solution. Maybe adding a politeness level to the Karma system.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185846)

a plugin for your browser that would find offensive words and, say, display them only in a white font, or insert the word "Smurf" every time an offensive word appears

This month is National Smurf Cancer Month! Every woman should carefully check her Smurfs at least once a month for unusual lumps or bumps

John 12:14 And Jesus saw a young Smurf and took his seat on it;

When the Smurf crows

Vice President Smurf Cheney emerged from an undisclosed location today for a brief press conference...

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1, Insightful)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185249)

Before I get the "free speech" rants shouldn't parents have the freedom to decide what their child can read? I wouldn't want a nine year old of mine reading Penthouse or propaganda from the KKK or Nazis. Frankly I wish that Slashdot would have a filth filter. I wouldn't want a young child reading some of the posts on here. The amount of profanity and hate speech I see is at times very depressing.

Then lock them in the basement. It's difficult as a parent to watch your children exposed to things like profanity and hate speech, but the world isn't puppies and gumdrops. All of us were exposed to profanity and sexual material when we were young and most of us turned out all right. All my parents accomplished by admonishing my use of profanity was that I don't swear in front of them. Same goes with my kids. Instead of trying to shield them from the bad or pretend it doesn't exist, I've tried to introduce them to more "productive" pursuits. No matter what I do, though, ultimately it's their decision how to spend their time.

This ain't rocket science (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185278)

Ok, the .xxx domain system will not be perfect. HOWEVER the magazine, film, etc industries have managed to figure out what is porn and not porn. The same type of regulations should be applied.

Re:This ain't rocket science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185794)

Ok, the .xxx domain system will not be perfect. HOWEVER the magazine, film, etc industries have managed to figure out what is porn and not porn. The same type of regulations should be applied.

Those industries can trivially specialize by location. Vacation pics from the beach might be porn to someone in Iran. Do you get to put up your personal homepage on a .com or do you have to put it on .xxx?

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187300)

It drives me crazy when people think or expect that it's okay to water down or criple anything that isn't meant for children "because a child might see it."

How about this: Be a parent.

A filter is a good feature, but even those are imperfect.

If you're so concerned that your child might see something, then take the TV or computer out of your home and out of your life. Don't try to mandate what others have access to.

IMO it's "lowest common denominator" thinking - in that we all have to suffer the homogization of culture based on what the most fearful among us decide is inappropriate.

There is a lot of that sort of stuff going on lately. Especially in the US. We have a government in place that is moving slowly toward total control.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187933)

Wow. People really don't read my posts. I said that the .xxx domain wouldn't work unless enforced but that I could see no real good way to enforce it that couldn't be abused.
You comment is interesting. So the Internet shouldn't be for kids? Children shouldn't be allowed on it because it is meant for adults???
I am an adult and I don't like a lot of what I read on Slashdot. I really don't mind the different views but the vocabulary is down right sixth grade. You say be a parent but I have seen full blown porn in my email. Do we really want the Internet to be an Adult only resource?

Re:Why .xxx won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185629)

On the other hand, if you were hoping for a burgeoning directory of naughty stuff, then yes, you're boned :(

Darn. 'Cause it's just so hard to find naughty stuff online now.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

theJML (911853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185768)

I'm all about the mandate, makes sense as the whole original reason for using different .??? endings was to make things organized (org = orginazations, com=commercial, etc...) so .xxx=porn only makes sense. It doesn't seem like that hard of a decision either, heck it seems like if you just make it avaiable, the relevent sites will jump on it so they can be the first to be there. I figure it's good advertising, makes their content easier to block I suppose, but it also makes easier to find for those who are looking for it.

The only question about a forced turnover to that is what's going to happen to the already used .com names? Will playboy.com be owned by Playboy still, but just not have any nudity, maybe just a "clean" ad for their .xxx site? If they're forced to give up their .com name completely, then Joe Schmoe can grab it and host some adware, virus, pop-up loaded "search engine" and try to snag everyone that doesn't pay attention to ICANN news.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185962)

That's the only question? What about your right to not have property taken away from you because of new laws.

Emminent Domains explains the Fifth Amendment's "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" clause. Note there's especially no allowance there to take private property for other private use.

But, hey. This is the era of black hole federalism. I forgot it's already been ruled legal by the Supreme Court!

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

the argonaut (676260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186736)

You're also making a few simple and possibly incorrect assumptions:

1. That a domain name is property.
2. That even if it is property, "taking it away" and then giving you a .xxx domain in exchange for it would NOT be just compensation.
3. That ICANN taking your domain name is a government act. I think an argument could be made that it is not, and therefore the eminent domain (NOTE THAT IIT IS NOT PLURAL) wouldn't even apply. Of course, if you assume that its property, this could then be a violation of other laws.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186865)

1) I tried many different paragraphs to try and refute your arguement that domains may not be property, but can't! It just is, dammit :)

2) Can easily be shown to be true by showing the correlation in prices between what .coms are auctioned for versus what .infos or any of the newfangled sites sold for.

3) Dang, I hate when I confuse government and private enterprise. Still, I imagine they have a clause that "any violation of ICANN rules is grounds for relinquishing of domain", and everyone's got to be in violation of at least one rule

So yeah, they might get away with it. Especially since no one likes porn webmasters, so it's easy to do rotten things to them.

Re:Why .xxx won't work (1)

the argonaut (676260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187452)

1) "It just is" isn't really an argument. To be fair, I haven't really looked to see if there's any basis for stating that domains are not property, I was merely stating the possibility. My basis is looking at U.S. grazing leases; I can't cite the exact statute off the top of my head (and I'm in the midst of finals, so I can't spend a great deal of time on it right now), but basically the law explicitly states that ranchers have no property right in the leased lands. I'm theorizing that there may be a similar sort of thing happening with domains.

2) But you could also argue that while the "auctioned" price of a .xxx and a .com domain may not be equal, there would be no economic harm to the business by substituting one for the other, and therefore there isn't a "taking".

3) ICANN does also operate as a sort of "government contractor", and therefore it's actions could be considered to be government action. Again I was merely stating the possibility of an opposing argument, not fully developing it.

Really though, I'm skeptical that they would be "forced" into a .xxx domain. I do think however that the explicitly porn sites would want to voluntarily open up business there, as it would mean that visitors to their sites would be more likely to be potential customers, and it would defuse a lot of the political tension of having them co-exist with others in the .com domain. The biggest reason i would think they would not want .xxx domains is the potential for censorship, i.e. countries or businesses blocking those domains, but I don't think that would happen if the domains were voluntary. If countries did start blocking those domains to the point where porn sites were economically damaged, they would probably just move back to sites in the .com namespace. Nations in general would be better off having porn sites in a convenient "section" of the internet where uninterested consumers could then decide to filter them out on their own.

Of course it will work! (1)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187720)

You just misunderstand what its purpose is.

You think the idea is to move porn from the rest of the TLDs onto .xxx. The real purpose is twofold:
  1. Make ICANN look good; like it's "thinking of the children".
  2. Make more money by selling more domains.


You think .xxx is going to be your garden-variety $4.95/12Mo .com price? Nooo... it'll be a premium TLD, you'll pay top dollar for it, and renewals will be for 6 or 12 months only (because porn sites go up and down faster than a bride's nightie).

Why .xxx won't work (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14188213)

If you're not going to mandate that adult content can only be hosted on .xxx, then it will be useless for the reasons the fundies want. You know, that bit about not being forced to give up property of your .com domain?

You appear mistaken in at several items.

First, it would be technically trivial (although pricey) for sites with .com hosted porn to convert the entire content to a kid-safe "I agree/I disagree" page, with "I agree" pointing to the .XXX site. The current porn sites don't need to give up their .com entirely -- although I'd bet Playboy wouldn't be happy about the move. Still, it would be a good compromise between property rights and self-regulation; hopefully, the domain registry rules would facilitate such.

Next you don't specify what reasons you think the fundies want, nor even what you think they want. I'm guessing you're saying they want Porn off the mainstream net, and that the lack of a XXX mandate means there will still be porn on .COM and elsewhere. In reality, the fundies don't want it off the mainstream web, they want it gone (which is the basis for the Bush administration's objection to the .XXX creation: the domain would legitimize porn). The fundies also want all sex that isn't guy-topside missionary position within a marriage for the purpose of having kids gone, too... if that [virginia.edu] .

A much bigger problem than you seem to have noticed is that .com/.net/.org aren't the only domains for finding porn. One of the biggest gallery sites I found is in Hungary [goldengate.hu] . About a third of the galleries are broken, but it still had had about 20 gigabytes worth of pics.... with more added every week. That's not counting the screenshots from the couple hundred DRM-ed .WMV half-hour plus videos they have. (Individual license required, and the TOS page is in Hungarian, so I only downloaded the one.) National subdomains (IE, *.xxx.au, *.xxx.hu, *.xxx.uk, etc.) would also need to be implemented.

And, of course, that's only the traffic on port 80 [slashdot.org] . There's Usenet and Bittorrent, too. The fundies are... well, fucked. =)

On the other hand, for those of us with more pragmatic social agendas, .XXX will be a step towards helping keep the children from wandering in the adult merchandise so easily, and keep you from having to confuse a six year old with more facts of life than they have any interest in. Not the end of the journey, mind you, but a "modest" step.

Seeking to balance the interests of who? (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184727)

The only interests that matter, IMO, are those of the individuals. There is no mass-interest-level that can be made into a number and protected by a law or a regulation. In fact, interests change constantly.

For governments and regulatory bodies to try to assess interests for the masses, failure will always be the end result. We have the free market where the billions of consumers make decisions every second and the market continuously changes in response to the demand by consumers and the supply of a given service or product. On the other hand we have regulatory bodies and governments that change over years or even decades in order to satisfy 51% of the voting block.

Domain name extensions don't make sense anymore -- as we continue to add more, the value of the old extensions diminishes (except, maybe, .com). Why not just open the floodgates and let the market create what it needs? Why should anyone have a say in guiding those billions of buying decisions, other than the individual consumers making them?

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184852)

Why should anyone have a say in guiding those billions of buying decisions

That's exactly what the ICANN board members are thinking. "Why should anyone else have a say when I want to do it this way!"

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

geofferensis (808339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185538)

I want a pony!

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (2, Insightful)

kindbud (90044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185413)

Why not just open the floodgates and let the market create what it needs?

Because the market is not your girlfriend.

Because the market is not Santa Claus.

Because the market is not a creative entity.

Because the market is dumb as shit, and easily influenced.

Because the market is not a panacea for every societial ill.

(except for extreme forms of free-market-fetishism, in which social ills are wished away)

Why not just open the floodgates ... (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185545)

There is no diplomatic way to phrase this. .xxx tld isn't populated by corporate citizens such as FordMtrCo, Reliant, Sony, etc... There is historically dubious funding sources and structures behind the business we refer to as porn. In the post-modern era, post 9-11, the funding mechanisms for non-state sponsored actors in global politics is troublesome. There are infinite reasons to NOT "just open the floodgates" when you have no idea what it is that you are releasing. Someone should have a say in guiding those billions of dollars when the chance of those monies being siphoned into criminal enterprises is very real. Also real is the money laundry function these could serve to legitimize criminal transactions with virtual revenue streams. Individual consumers aren't making the buying decisions as you postulate and it is naive to think of the market from the bottom-up.

Re:Why not just open the floodgates ... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185676)

Innocent until proven guilty.

Learn it, love it, live it.

The cornerstone of our country (supposedly)

Re:Why not just open the floodgates ... (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186605)

Presumed innocent proven guilty.

If you did it, you are guilty whether or not anyone else knows about it.

As a side note: It is not in the constitution.

Re:Why not just open the floodgates ... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186741)

nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; - 5th amendment

Though yeah, you're right. The "presumed" bit is somewhat essential to the maxim.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185557)

"We have the free market where the billions of consumers make decisions every second and the market continuously changes in response to the demand by consumers and the supply of a given service or product. On the other hand we have regulatory bodies and governments that change over years or even decades in order to satisfy 51% of the voting block."

It's a foregone conclusion to governments (even so-called capitalist ones) that the free market, without regulation, does not always result in the best solution for everyone. I'd have to agree with them, but YMMV.

"Why not just open the floodgates and let the market create what it needs? Why should anyone have a say in guiding those billions of buying decisions, other than the individual consumers making them?

Because, in the long run, it's probably cheaper and more convenient for everyone to implement 200 TLDs than it is to implement, say, 20,000 constantly-changing TLDs. Also, for those of us who pay tribute to Network Sol'ns or other vendor, I'd hate to have to pay for 10x the number of registrations, just to preserve the integrity of my company's business name online.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185685)

t's a foregone conclusion to governments (even so-called capitalist ones) that the free market, without regulation, does not always result in the best solution for everyone. I'd have to agree with them, but YMMV.

Which market requires force and coercion most, in your opinion?

I'd hate to have to pay for 10x the number of registrations, just to preserve the integrity of my company's business name online.

So you believe you have the right to monopoly over the use of non-unique words presented in a certain combination? I don't agree. You need to utilize guns as the last resort to force me even though I never initiated force against anyone.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185907)

"Which market requires force and coercion most, in your opinion?"

That's a loaded question. Regulation is very important in many markets IMO... like with industries that pollute, for example. Or natural monopolies. Or any particular market where the people decide to assign the government the right to regulate (I think this is overstepped alot, BTW). I was responding to a generalization in the OP that shouldn't be taken as always accurate.

"So you believe you have the right to monopoly over the use of non-unique words presented in a certain combination? I don't agree. You need to utilize guns as the last resort to force me even though I never initiated force against anyone."

No, I believe that it's my right to not have others pretend to be me and mislead my customers. I believe that it's my right to have a business reputation that I have earned, to have a name that people can associate with my business practices, without having to worry about imposters devaluing my reputation.

Since face-to-face business is, as a whole, being supplanted by electronic commerce, I think it's a service to consumers, retailers, and producers to be able to trust that the company they are doing business with is really the company they think they are doing business with.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

Fragglebabe (820889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185922)

You bring up an interesting point, but it is one that is widely thought of as unacceptable in this case. ICANN would not exist if it had been deemed that the "free market" would come up with a suitable solution on its own. Domains cannot be influenced by the free market, as you would either have so many domains that you would have search google every time you wanted to find a website, or everyone would be so lazy that there would only be one. It is important that there are some rules determining what a domain can represent, and that there is a collection of people who are willing to debate propriety of creating or redefining a new domain.

Personally, I am very grateful that there are some people who have taken on this responsability for me, because when i create a new website, or surf the web, I know what kind of urls to use in each case, because the rules are simple and well-defined. If it was left up to the free market, the chances are that any rules that may be created would be haphazard or confusing, or we would be left with a chaotic mess without any rules at all. The influence of the free market works for stopping one coffee company from monopolising the market, or to ensure that every new business starts off from an even footing. There are many situations in which is not applicable. You cannot expect the free market to sort out the problems of the pensions crisis in Britain, or to regulate the monopoly of only-just-privatised companies like National Rail, Royal Mail or BT. ICANN is there for a reason, and that is to provide some sense and insight into the problem of domain name registration. If they don't regulate it, then who will? And who would enforce all of these newly determined free-market solutions? I certainly can't be bothered to spend my Sunday afternoons on the problem.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (2, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186157)

You bring up an interesting point, but it is one that is widely thought of as unacceptable in this case. ICANN would not exist if it had been deemed that the "free market" would come up with a suitable solution on its own.

ICANN also has the money to market themselves as necessary, whereas I don't have the money to market that they really aren't necessary. This is why I work slowly trying to convince individuals, who as a group are more powerful than the wealthiest advertiser. That is the free market at work :)

Domains cannot be influenced by the free market, as you would either have so many domains that you would have search google every time you wanted to find a website, or everyone would be so lazy that there would only be one. It is important that there are some rules determining what a domain can represent, and that there is a collection of people who are willing to debate propriety of creating or redefining a new domain.

Interesting -- I already use Google more than I use the address bar. In between those two I use my bookmarks. Google has blown up in popularity because there are ALREADY too many domain names to recall them. If you want someone to remember your domain name, you either ask them to bookmark it (online) or you print the proper one on your business card. The person doing EITHER action doesn't care if you are .biz or .com or .net or .tv -- there may be dozens of other companies with the same name but a different extension. This is the free market at work and unlimited extensions would not cloud or confuse the issue at all. The world is completely able to deal with McDonalds.com, McDonalds.tv and McDonalds.xxx and even thousands of others.

If it was left up to the free market, the chances are that any rules that may be created would be haphazard or confusing, or we would be left with a chaotic mess without any rules at all.

How so? Why would ANY company want chaos and confusion? In my experience, companies do what they do in order to increase their profit, and that means getting along with what consumers desire. I don't see how ICANN reduces confusion in any way. If a bunch of ISPs wanted to offer domain names that others don't want, then the market will make the decision to run those ISPs out of business. In fact, this has already occurred.

You cannot expect the free market to sort out the problems of the pensions crisis in Britain, or to regulate the monopoly of only-just-privatised companies like National Rail, Royal Mail or BT.

Actually, the pensions crises in every country comes from the fact that the currency they are based in is being debased, and that the companies that invested in the pensions are finding themselves uncompetitive because of those pensions. Let the individual decide how to save for the future, don't mandate it through social security or "force the employer to offer pensions." In fact, the pensions of private businesses came out of the desire to avoid taxes, not out of a competitive atmosphere.

If they don't regulate it, then who will? And who would enforce all of these newly determined free-market solutions? I certainly can't be bothered to spend my Sunday afternoons on the problem.

Yet your purchases regulate the free-market solution. If you like something, you buy it. If you don't, you don't buy it. Companies that provide a solution you like, and offer it at a competitive price, and service and support it in the long run are generally the ones that last the longer. Companies that try for rock bottom prices and offer terrible service get run out of business.

The big fear for many is that one company, such as AOL or Microsoft, could all of a sudden control the majority of the Internet and start shutting out smaller ISPs and businesses. Yet the way the Internet is built -- millions of subnetworks tied together, sometimes with two or three backbones -- makes it virtually impossible for one company to shut EVERYONE out. It is ICANN that is giving the Internet find a single-point-of-monopoly / failure-point. I believe that the tens of thousands of ISPs out there could do a better job of free market regulating the domain name situation than one company backed up by one country.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

Fragglebabe (820889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186367)

I just disagree with you. That's just the way it is. Yes, I guess some companies would want to work together, but in reality i think that all the small individuals/companies would be trying to give themselves their own unique extension, and we would end up with a world of confusing, disparate and maybe even offensive urls. When you talk about the free market solution, you have to remember that the Internet is a unique being, and that you don't need to be a business to take part in the melee. Yes, in the real world, companies behave ethically or they will be charged with an offence or run out of the market becuase people won't use their product. But if you gave over domain registration to just anybody, then my next door neighbour could create one, or a murderer, or even a child. The Internet, by it's very nature, is a great leveller, but it is also very anonymous, and to be honest, I want to know that someone with a sense of responsability is making decisions as important as domain registration. If you don't think it's important, that's up to you.

For your information, the pensions crisis in Britain is by far and away going to be caused (for it hasn't happened yet) by all the Baby Boomers retiring at once, and every single one of them living an average of 8-10 years longer than their parents. And as Lord Turner so aptly pointed out, if you left it up to your average 26 year old, they wouldn't put any money away for the future. It is the government's responsibility to put away 4% more of our GDP into the pensions fund, and to raise the retirement age at that. I would not think that those sorts of solutions would be available to the free market, and personally, I want to know that something is being done, by someone with the right sort of power and responsibility, to ensure the financial security of myself and my children in old age. But this is really beside the point.

If you are quite happy to have just anyone creating domains, that's great. But i think that most people would appreciate a responsible body of people in the know considering the propriety of creating and redefining domain names. In my opinion, it is far better to have some rules, than open the field up to just anybody, because that can only result in chaos.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186456)

For your information, the pensions crisis in Britain is by far and away going to be caused (for it hasn't happened yet) by all the Baby Boomers retiring at once, and every single one of them living an average of 8-10 years longer than their parents.

Which to me is BS because your birth rate is over 1.0 and has been from before the births of the so called Baby Boomers. This means that MORE people are paying into the fund. The U.K. continues to inflate the British Pound, causing non-stop devaluing of the currency. The U.K. also continues to devalue savings by reducing the return on savings accounts.

And as Lord Turner so aptly pointed out, if you left it up to your average 26 year old, they wouldn't put any money away for the future. It is the government's responsibility to put away 4% more of our GDP into the pensions fund, and to raise the retirement age at that.

Why? People don't save because your government manipulates savings returns AND offers the cushion of a social security program. China has one of the highest savings rates in the world. You (and I, in the U.S.) live with people who feel that government should take care of their retirements. I don't want any social security -- and I find ways to pay as little into the program as possible. I don't want a mortgage because I know that life can change at an instant, so I live in the best house I can afford without a mortgage or rent. Don't lay your future concerns on me, I'm not going to support you. To force others to pay for your lack of concern is ridiculous, and immoral.

I want to know that something is being done, by someone with the right sort of power and responsibility, to ensure the financial security of myself and my children in old age.

The government taxes you to save for your future? No. The government taxes you so that they can invest those dollars into the businesses of their cronies. Look at where your tax dollars REALLY go. They don't go into a fund to be protected for a rainy day. They go into loaning money at low interest rates to cronies. They go into fighting wars that are run by their cronies. They go into education systems that are managed by their cronies. Don't believe that government cares about you or any citizen -- they don't.

Even worse, they're inflating your currency every day, making your money worthless over time but giving them extra money to spend now before it is worthless. This is your government, and you want more?

If you are quite happy to have just anyone creating domains, that's great. But i think that most people would appreciate a responsible body of people in the know considering the propriety of creating and redefining domain names. In my opinion, it is far better to have some rules, than open the field up to just anybody, because that can only result in chaos.

We already have billions of domain names in existence and it isn't chaos because the market provides for companies to sort those domain names -- search engines, link managers, bookmarks and the like. Nothing would change in a free market. You'd just have lower prices and better competition. I'm glad we can agree to disagree, though!

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

Fragglebabe (820889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187831)

I refuse to believe your tin-hat, bomb-shelter-in-the-back-garden approach to the government. Your U.S. government may behave in that way, but here in Britain we have laws and regulations to prevent the government behaving in the way that you describe. I am quite happy to work all my life and pay my taxes so that I and others less (and more) fortunate than myself can have free healthcare, a sizeable state pension, and a government that looks after me when my fortunes take a turn for the worse. Cos not everyone can afford to buy a house with ready cash, and i'm sure that works out great for you, but most people have to pay the rent, the mortgage, their tax and national insurance before they can enjoy the money they earn. And that doesn't bother me, cos at the end of the day, and my mortgage, i'm going to have a nice big house to pass down to my kiddies. My life is not about tax evasion and looking after number 1. I am quite happy to pay my dues because I know that my money goes to pay for another mother's chemotherapy, or a poor student's rent for a month.

I'm also pretty sure that the Bank of England's Base Rate has been stable for the last 4 or 5 quarters in order to keep inflation in check, but you know, that's just a minor little detail. Economic problems are mostly caused by the free market anyway, as anyone involved in the High Street Fashion business in Britain will tell you. People are just choosing to spend elsewhere. I can clearly see that we just have different approaches to life, and that is perfectly fine by me. It's been lovely debating with you.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186592)

"Actually, the pensions crises in every country comes from the fact that the currency they are based in is being debased, and that the companies that invested in the pensions are finding themselves uncompetitive because of those pensions."

The two factors you list are not even close to being the only two things causing failure of pension systems worldwide. In fact, they are likely not even the top two factors. Also, devaluation of currency actually helps the solvency of a pension system. And, there is a big distinction between government pensions and private pensions, and what factors cause their failure.

You've left out:

Increased payout times (longer life expectancy)
Fluctuations in the size of the working population (like the upcoming baby-boomer retirement in the US)
Fluctuations in the markets where pensions are invested, and poor decisions by fund management.
Companies not meeting growth targets.

Pensions are just accrued expenses, whether there are tax incentives or not. Private pension failures happen, basically, for the same reasons that public pensions fail -- income being less than (current expenses + accrued expenses).

You may know quite a bit of free-market theory, but what you state as fact regarding solvency of pensions is not even remotely so.

Also, regarding currency debasement (controlled inflation is what I think you are referring to) -- this is a stimulus for investment, and is a primary method by which growth can be achieved. The idea is to stimulate investment that results in a greater growth in GDP than the debasement of the currency. One of the results of this is innovation, since there is more capital available for new ideas.

Without regular periods of inflation, you get a stagnant economy in which everyone loses -- even those who keep their cash in a mattress, since there will be less to spend their cash on when they choose to do so.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186729)

Also, devaluation of currency actually helps the solvency of a pension system.

I disagree in the long term intent of devaluation. Look at it this way, if you're expecting to earn 60% of your income upon retirement 30 years from today, and the government devalues currency 100% in that time (the U.S. is devaluing almost 10% a year!), then prices will be double, so you're really earning is actually 30% of your current income.

Increased payout times (longer life expectancy)
Fluctuations in the size of the working population (like the upcoming baby-boomer retirement in the US)
Fluctuations in the markets where pensions are invested, and poor decisions by fund management.
Companies not meeting growth targets.


You're right. And this is where the individual has way more ability to compensate for these things than the government planners can! If you live longer, you have to understand that the retirement age that government sets is unreasonable and you have to play for doing some work for the latter years after forced retirement. My father is retired but he is finding options to continue earning. All decisions by fund managers seem to be poor as they ignore the realities of the economy. I believe a fund manager who follows the Austrian School of thought would be the best to make investment decisions -- understanding that the stock market is manipulated directly by the central bank's printing of money and lowering/rising of interest rates counter to what the market can bear.

Pensions are just accrued expenses, whether there are tax incentives or not. Private pension failures happen, basically, for the same reasons that public pensions fail -- income being less than (current expenses + accrued expenses).

This is completely true, and why I don't have a pension, a 401K or any investment that is completely in the hands of other people. I put my money into cash-purchased property, gold and my own businesses or the businesses of others close to me. If you look at the wealthiest people based on net assets, you'll see that they are debt free and self-invested even if they aren't rich. I'm not rich by any means but I have wealth compared to my friends who live in US$500,000 houses 80% mortgaged and have hundreds of thousands of dollars in 401Ks. Plus my wealth is not time-related: I travel more, take more time off and work less than any other person I know, even though I earn significantly less.

Without regular periods of inflation, you get a stagnant economy in which everyone loses -- even those who keep their cash in a mattress, since there will be less to spend their cash on when they choose to do so.

That is a myth created by the Keynesians. In an economy with a fixed currency base (say gold) that fluctuates little in supply, inflation and deflation are not based on currency as the world economies currently are. If you have 100 units of currency in existance, the prices of goods fluctuates directly on supply and demand and disregard the currency base. Today, as central banks print more money, those in control of the newly printed currency have way more power than those of us that end up with the new bills. When there are 100 units of dollars in existance and the central bank prints 10 more, the people who can spend those 10 more first won't see a 10% inflationary change based on the new currency.

If you're not familiar with the Austrian Economic theory, check mises.org or read Murray Rothbard's "What Has Government Done To Our Money?" Both have decent, easy-to-understand articles on why government and private pensions fail and why anything tied to a fiat currency base can't last forever. Also Gene Callahan's "Economics for Real People" is a GREAT remake of Rothbard's classic.

Re:Seeking to balance the interests of who? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187263)

"then prices will be double, so you're really earning is actually 30% of your current income."

Well, duh :). The reason this helps the solvency of a pension system is that it lowers the accrued liability of the org/gov that is paying the pension (assuming it's not indexed).

" believe a fund manager who follows the Austrian School of thought would be the best to make investment decisions"

A good stock fund manager takes this into account. However, a good fund would not be looking only at stocks.

"If you look at the wealthiest people based on net assets, you'll see that they are debt free and self-invested even if they aren't rich"

When you're looking at net assets (which includes debt), of course the highest will have zero or minimal debt. Why not use growth of net assets, instead? Then, you're removing debt from the equation and looking for those who can maximize earnings, which is really what a good investment strategy does.

"In an economy with a fixed currency base (say gold) that fluctuates little in supply, inflation and deflation are not based on currency as the world economies currently are"

No, they are still based on currency, by definition. The difference is that individual governments have less ability to control currency values -- which can be bad, if government action could prevent catastrophic events.

"If you have 100 units of currency in existance, the prices of goods fluctuates directly on supply and demand and disregard the currency base

Not so, since the currency is not tied to a single good. This would only hold true if there was zero net growth in production, or if the currency was tied to that one particular good (like the market for gold if you had a gold standard).

"When there are 100 units of dollars in existance and the central bank prints 10 more, the people who can spend those 10 more first won't see a 10% inflationary change based on the new currency."

That's not exactly true, unless the market is unaware of the additional currency being printed. Remember, if you want to apply market theory, you've got to assume that the market is aware of all factors. Besides, currency value is dependent on amount in ciculation, not amount printed -- so anyone who amassed 10 units could hold 5 off the market to drive up the value of their other 5, selling them, then re-releasing the withheld 5 into circulation. This is one way that big banks can manipulate (and have done so) currency to their own benefit. Is it better for government to do so, or for private concerns to do so? In theory government acts on behalf of the people... but, well, we know how that has turned out. OTOH, governments can act as a counter to private concerns seeking to manipulate the currency market to their benefit.

The problem with a gold standard is that gold is currency too -- even though supply is relatively stable, and is hard for governments to influence. I think, in the end, it is better to have a currency backed by GNP (like the USD) than backed by an arbitrary hard good like gold. Either one is an abstraction, but one has value other than just perceived value.

I'll check out your book suggestions next time I'm at the library, thanks.

christmas present xxx (3, Informative)

missing_myself (857407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184739)

I was expecting a christmas present from ICANN...

Time to do our own thing then (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184741)

I reckon it's time to start seeding our own DNS servers with the required domains then, seeing as ICANN can't manage it. And rename then to ICANT.

Re:Time to do our own thing then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14186193)

Naw, name the new one either:

    "UCANT"

    "UCANTICANN"

Criticism (5, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184754)

He went on to observe several times that ICANN is criticized for not moving quickly enough as frequently as it is criticized for moving too slowly.

Um... that makes sense, I guess. In other news, Slashdot is criticised for posting dupes as frequently as it is criticised for duplicating posts.

Re:Criticism (0)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184786)

Lol...best reply evAr

Re:Criticism (1)

jeriqo (530691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184978)

Hey kid, did you just type "xxx" in google to find slashdot ?

Is there a new date set for decisions? (4, Insightful)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184756)

The article just says, "next year," and then calls the current meeting an "annual" meeting. Does that mean we're going to have to wait another year for any changes?

Re:Is there a new date set for decisions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184875)

The article just says, "next year," and then calls the current meeting an "annual" meeting. Does that mean we're going to have to wait another year for any changes?

yes, here's your sign.

Re:Is there a new date set for decisions? (1)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184919)

Yeah, he's a funny comedian, but your comment doesn't really apply here...

I'm not all that familiar with the workings of ICANN. The article doesn't say that this current "annual meeting" is the ONLY annual meeting. How many "annual meetings" does Apple have? Lots.

Re:Is there a new date set for decisions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14186803)

To be honest, three hours later, I'm still stunned by the stupidity of this comment.

The real reason (3, Informative)

andyring (100627) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184765)

I think the real reason they haven't made a decision yet is because this is what happens when you take a bunch of high-paid bureaucrats who answer to no one and let them have free reign of things. They don't make decisions! They're simply incapable of it. It's easier to defer a decision under the guise of some lame excuse for a long time, that way you can more easily justify your "job" and it makes it look like you're actually doing something. Mix it in with governments from around the world, and it's a picture-perfect recipe for nothing to happen.


Oh, and since it's getting slow already, here's the article:


ICANN meeting passes on .com, .xxx decisions

5th December 2005

By Kevin Murphy in Vancouver

As the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers wound up its annual meeting in Vancouver yesterday it was inactions that were still causing all the controversy.


Major decisions on the .com and .xxx domains had been postponed until next year, as the domain name management body seeks to balance the interests of governments and commercial domain name organizations.


During a public forum on Saturday, domain registrars voiced concerns over the proposed settlement between ICANN and VeriSign Inc, which would give VeriSign a five-year extension to its .com registry contract and the ability to raise prices 7% a year.


And proponents of the .xxx domain said their proposals to launch a porn-only address has been turned into a political football by ICANN's governmental advisors, a charge not being strenuously denied by ICANN or governments.


"The very few governments that have written to ICANN, with the possible exception of the US, are not opposed to our proposal on substantive grounds," said Stuart Lawley, president of would-be .xxx operator ICM Registry Inc.


"The ICM application is being held hostage in a dispute between ICANN and the GAC," he added, referring to ICANN's Government Advisory Committee, which has members from dozens of international governments.


Lawley had arrived here working on the assumption that ICANN's board would approve .xxx on Sunday. However, it was pulled from the agenda at the eleventh hour after the GAC asked for more time to review the .xxx proposal.


"Some governments are concerned with the content of .xxx itself, then there are those concerned about process," GAC chair Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, a senior Malaysian telecommunications regulator, said in an interview with ComputerWire.


Members of the GAC "are just trying to understand the processes ICANN took" he said. Some had assumed that because a proposal to offer .xxx from ICM was rejected in 2000, that it would also be thrown out this time, he said.


There's a bigger political picture too. Following the recent World Summit on the Information Society, a UN meeting on internet governance, governmental interest in the ICANN process has been reignited.


"In some respects, this discussion about .xxx is a proxy for the renewed attention governments are paying to ICANN," ICANN president Paul Twomey told us.


WSIS created a document called the Tunis Agenda, which promised to leave existing internet management bodies including ICANN essentially untouched, while also recognizing the roles government can play.


"It's not unimaginable that some governments went into this GAC meeting with their own interpretation of Tunis Agenda," Tarmizi said. "There were those who saw the Tunis Agenda being a statement of political will for change to take place, there were some who said it just reaffirmed what we had already being saying."


While Tarmizi would not be drawn on which governments are demanding the extra scrutiny of .xxx, so far Brazil, Iran and the European Union are on record expressing concerns on process grounds, with the US expressing concern on content grounds.


During an open-mic public forum before ICANN board of directors Saturday, others voiced strong objections to the delays on policy grounds.


"The GAC is acting as an investigator, as sort of Congressional hearings agency so that they can assert authority to make the final decision about what top-level domains are accepted," claimed Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller.


"Vote on xxx tomorrow," Mueller said. "Get a backbone. Show that you're independent of the US government and independent of the GAC, as you're supposed to be."


"I don't see this as a question of our independence from governments. They are part of our process," ICANN chair Vint Cerf responded. He went on to observe several times that ICANN is criticized for not moving quickly enough as frequently as it is criticized for moving too slowly.


The GAC is not alone in its concerns about .xxx. ICANN and the US Department of Commerce received almost 100,000 objecting letters and emails, an unprecedented level of input, from people motivated by lobbyists on the Christian right.


While ICANN was being criticized for its inaction over .xxx, it was also receiving criticism for its actions in attempting to settle its lawsuit with VeriSign, a deal that many perceive as giving too many concessions to the .com operator, as previously reported.


ICANN is taking all the comments about .com on board, and yesterday extended the public comment period until December 7, after which it will publish a document summarizing the objections. A decision is not expects for some months.

Re:The real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185282)

He went on to observe several times that ICANN is criticized for not moving quickly enough as frequently as it is criticized for moving too slowly.

Seems like the same thing to me...

Get a backbone and assert your independence (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184785)

"Vote on xxx tomorrow," Mueller said. "Get a backbone. Show that you're independent of the US government and independent of the GAC, as you're supposed to be."

Vote on xxx tomorrow and get a backbone, or look at xxx today and get a frontbone.

Who cares (2, Insightful)

trollable (928694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184803)

of us?

...as the domain name management body seeks to balance the interests of governments and commercial domain name organizations."

I guess no one.
BTW, ICAAN seems too weak and not able to challenge Verisign or the US governement.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185267)

given the fact that the us government, specifically, its military, invented the internet, i see no reason to discount its interest in what becomes of it

Hell yeah !!! (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184818)

"Vote on xxx tomorrow," Mueller said. "Get a backbone. Show that you're independent"

yes i know the quote is misrepresented, I just like the sound of it :P

Best Interests (1)

turbothumbz (907352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184833)

While the interest may lie with individuals who are in it for money, or politicians who wan to "clean up" the itnernet, I feel better knowing that ICANN is taking care of more important business first.

.xxx and .kids (3, Insightful)

70Bang (805280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184838)



You might as well have both TLDs and make it known "East is East & West is West".

Turn .kids into a walled garden: *.kids can point to and only to *.kids.

As far as .xxx goes, start peeling the spammers off of everyone's windshields. Instead of waiting for 50'000'000 pieces of evidence, cut them off at the knees a bit earlier. Why with .xxx? redirection. If you filter your email, it doesn't appear to come from someone you know, and it's got .xxx within the content, reroute it to the porcelain euphemism (just remember to flush twice & hard -- it's a long way to the kitchen).


.con (3, Funny)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184853)

All scammers, spammers, phishers, and other Internet fraud should be conducted through .con domains.

Re:.con (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184938)

and still people would fall their tricks...

Re:.con The IETF "Evil Bit" and morality (1)

netrangerrr (455862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185053)

The IETF tried and failed to regulate morality like this in 2003. It was a brilliant but doomed plan. What makes you think ICANN can do better? There was a brilliant RFC [3514] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3514.txt [ietf.org] crafted to improve the efficiency and efficacy of network security screening / content filtering by requiring evildoers and ne'er do wells to mark a special IP security flag known as the 'evil bit' in packet headers containing malicious content.

In IPv6 there was to be an malicious content extension header that required evil people/organizations/companies to mark the severity of the evil in the packet with a 128-bit rating scale for severity.

The new scheme failed (of course) as the idea was not adopted by certain evil enterprises that posed as corporations run by high-level government officials. These corporations wanted (and had the political backing to do so) to mask their evil intentions so they failed to mark the 'evil bit' or marked the 'good bit' and disguised their content as in the interest of the common man, in "the service of the Lord", or as necessary in the fight against global terrorism.

So, let's review... (5, Informative)

meisenst (104896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184873)

We don't want ICANN to be run by the United Nations.

No, wait, we don't want ICANN to be run -like- the United Nations. Okay.

So, ICANN has already passed decisions on the major resolutions of interest until next year, and instead is now the subject of political tugs of war, so much so that nothing is being accomplished except idle banter between politicians, committees and private industry.

I'd say that it's already being run like the UN! =)

Ever heard of ITU ? (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185760)

From what I see , ICANN is run *worst* than all of the technical UN institution. Sure the "political" side of the UN is poorly run, but that would be previsible from a meeting of people with all different (read opposite) agenda , and 6 of them can say at any time "shut the hell up we are right" (security concil, a real shame). But if you look at the technical institution they are pretty damn well run. ICANN in comparison is RIGHT at the political UN level. On the contrary to everybody here I would purport that making it an UN institution technical standard like other would only make it better, and would depolitise it quite a bit.

Re:So, let's review... (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185921)

So, let's review.

i) Slashdot is made of different people
ii) Many of those people hold different opinions

Err, that's it.

ICANN Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184911)

Is there a chance that a second domain name resolving network will arrise and give us an alternative to ICANN? I know I must not be the only person who is sick of their crap. As far as I'm concerned, their system is flawed and needs to be replaced anyway BECAUSE IT RELIES ON DOTTED NAMES.

Let me tell you about this new thing thats all the rage- names with no dots! Can you imagine that? No, it can't be true! YES! Its actually possible for DNS to resolve names without dots in them. Unfortunately the whole existing infrastructure relies on them and ICANN seems to have meetings to discuss having meetings about maybe having a meeting about having a .xxx domain.

Can we please get a public group formed who will offer an alternative to the existing DNS structure? I know I'd switch.

But Didnt Condi Say (0, Flamebait)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184915)

That the us didnt want one country to control the internet.

Re:But Didnt Condi Say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185000)

the way I read it, the US doesnt want to burden the regulation of the internet with beaurocracy and red tape.

Re:But Didnt Condi Say (1)

Woldry (928749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185062)

She said no such thing. Reread her letter [theregister.co.uk] if that is the impression you took from it. What she said was: "The history of the Internet's extraordinary growth and adaptation , based on private-sector innovation and investment, offers compelling arguments against burdening the network with a new intergovernmental structure for oversight. It also suggests that a new intergovernmental structure would most likely become an obstacle to global Internet access for all our citizens."

Note that the "new intergovernmental structure" was what she didn't want controlling the Internet. "Intergovernmental" implies that more than one country would be involved.

Re:But Didnt Condi Say (2, Insightful)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185319)

The US wants ICANN to have the appearance of being an international organization without any single country in control, while still reserving the option of stepping in to overturn any decision the US government doesn't like. More on these tactics. [wikipedia.org]

Can It, Tag It (1)

transami (202700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185546)

I too once thought an *enforced* .xxx domain was a good idea, just to allow those who wished it to easily block adult content. But now I've come to think that's too much of a hack. If the government wants to regulate it all they'd have to do is mandate offical META-TAGS to be used in pages. They could do a number of differnt content meta-tags realated to sex, language and violence. Browsers could then be configured to not display certain pages. That's a much better way to go about it.

As for the global domains. Since they are in no way enforced, let's just get rid of them altogether. Then the ICANN cats will have one less thing to waste our money on. Word!

Re:Can It, Tag It (1)

stillmatic (874559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185777)

You mean, regulate content coming from web servers within the US.

Consensus lacking (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185807)

All the discussion of the .xxx domain and UN governance of the Internet domains is a smokescreen for the real issue at the heart of all this: lack of true global consensus. Look at any issue affecting the planet - the spread of AIDS, global warming, terrorism, etc. On no issue can the governments of the world come to any understanding of the urgency of the problems laid before them. If it is not the industrialized world blocking things as being "too expensive" or "bad for the global economy" it's the poorer nations harping on "disenfranchisement" or "meddling in their affairs".

Let's be realistic: the industrialized nations of the world have the power to bring the Third World up to modern standards, provide food, clothing, education to all those who need it (including their own people), and create stability though enforcing freedoms. They don't. Why? Because of the constant denial that the problems of the world require immediate action. The UN spends an awful lot of time debating issues but creates little or no progress and meanwhile the problems continue to escalate. Then the rich members go home and complain to their countrymen about the relative ignorance of the poorer nations, while the poorer members go home and harp on how the richer nations are retarding their progress. The UN only servers as a generator of rhetoric. Nowhere was that more in evidence that the run-up to the secong Iraqi conflict.

As I see it, the Internet is the new battleground between the have and have-not nations. The haves do not wish to relinquish control of their cash cow and prefer to squabble over who runs it. The have-nots know they will continue to be have-nots as long as they are frozen out of control of their domains, retarding their ability to compete in the global marketplace, but cannot seem to come together to fight this battle on a united front. In the end we get endless squabbling, no consensus, and a hew and outcry that ICANN is a puppet front for the US. Until everyone can put aside their distrust and individual interests and see the mutually beneficial ways that the Internet can be put to good use, this can only lead a bitter road ahead.

THE answer... (3, Funny)

bsdluvr (932942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186128)

Let's pretend .org stands for .orgasm, and use that one instead.

Re:THE answer... (1)

tedhiltonhead (654502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187610)

I thought it was pronounced "or g"...

Those of us who read the articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14186233)

When's google.xxx coming out?

.xxx already exists (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186475)

There is already a standardized way to do this, but nobody is using it.

The ICRA [icra.org] (formerly know as RSAC) defines a meta tag that allows a web site to indicate the level of violence, nudity, etc. that is on a page, or a site, or a directory of a site. It is easy, unbiased, and self-reporting. Internet Explorer [icra.org] supports it. I don't know if any other browsers do. All of the off-the-shelf parental control programs support it. But I don't see any sites adding these labels to their pages. Why not?

Maybe I should email the search engines and ask them to support it in their searches. Google already has a safety setting in the image search.

For the SLOW ones out there.... (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186549)

The problem with the XXX domain is that you cannot "make" porn site move from COM to XXX and because you cannot "make" them move there isn't any reason to have one. Someone suggested "open it and see". Oh that is a good plan. Then when people have purchased XXX domains and haven't moved (because we all know they won't) you cannot close it. So that isn't a very good plan at all.

For those suggesting it is a "fundie" issue, grow up. I know plenty of "non" religious people that think it is a bad idea as well.

All that would end up happening is the porn sites would get yet another TLD to pollute.

Sure it would be nice to have all that stuff in the XXX domain space because that would make it easy to block. It is the fine details that mess it up. What is porn? Who says what is porn? Can we make them move? No.

There are ZERO reasons to have a XXX TLD. ZERO.

What? Inaction on the part of ICANN? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186643)

They should change their name to ICANT....

ICANN needs to go (1)

ShOOf (201960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186783)

the domain name management body seeks to balance the interests of governments and commercial domain name organizations
There lies the problem. ICANN should be focused on what's good for the internet as a whole, just because Jesusland (formely the U.S.) doesn't like pr0n shouldn't effect whether the .xxx tld is good for the internet.

Don't got much time to post ,but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14187736)

I wish that .xxx was passed. Why? I'm studying law at the moment and basically courts ignore the TLD extension when determining if a domain name violates a trademark. So basically, if you were to register "www.microsoft.com" the court would ignore the "www" and ".com" and find that the domain is identical to MS's trademark.

Okay, so courts ignore the TLD. Whoopdiefrickingdo. Well... it's one thing to try to convince a court that www.microsoft.info doesn't infringe MS's mark because it's just for information... but it's something completely different to say www.microsoft.xxx doesn't infringe because it makes no sense that MS would be selling porn. Thus no one would be confused into thinking www.microsoft.xxx was run by MS.

Where am I going with this? Well, I think allowing .xxx TLDs will make courts reconsider whether or not to continue ignoring the TLD extension. Yes, I know .xxx will solve nothing other than this though; no one expects the porn companies to give up www.whitehouse.com and move their location to .xxx. No. They'll simply keep their .com's and also take up living in .xxx. But still, I think for trademark purposes, it would be great to see .xxx pass.

.xxx already exists (1)

aksis (803660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189805)

ICANN dosn't have any rights to .xxx as it is already being served by the alt-root networks. Contrary to ICANN's propaganda, ICANN isn't the only Domain Name System serving the Internet community. The alt-roots not only resolve all the Legacy TLD's & ccTLD's (.com .org .net .edu .us .uk .zh etc..), but also all the alt-TLD's (.pub .oss .xxx .unix .biz etc...).

Untill ICANN aquires the Right's to .xxx from the lawful owners of it, they would be infringing on the owners rights.

That's why they are stalling. They can't just start selling domain names on the .xxx TLD with out the premission of the current alt-TLD owners consent.

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