I am having a very hard time coming up the moderate language to describe this topic…

There is a proposal to ICANN to create a .XXX TLD for the internet. The .XXX domain seemed close to becoming a reality, when politics reared it’s ugly [brainless] head.

Let me make my point of view very clear. I have three kids - all with computers. Right now blocking porn sites is essentially impossible. The very first thing I will do if the .XXX domain becomes real is to instruct my network router to block all .XXX sites. I do not expect this will block everything - but I do expect that it will eventually help quite a lot.

Now I hear that the Family Research Council wants to kill the .xxx Domain. The FRC issued a press release back in June voicing their Opposition to ‘.xxx’ Domain Name including a statement from Patrick Trueman (FRC’s senior legal counsel and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section [and apparently a brain donor]).

The new domain would do more harm than good. The ‘.com’ domain has been a cash cow for the porn industry and pornographers will not give it up and remove themselves to the ‘.xxx’ domain. Instead, they will populate the ‘.xxx’ domain and perhaps double the number of porn sites available on the Web.

The ‘.xxx’ domain also cloaks the porn industry with legitimacy. The industry will have a place at the table in developing and maintaining their new property.

Creating a virtual red light district may also discourage law enforcement from bringing obscenity cases on the notion that the problem is solved.

[ … what a pack of idiots … ]

I am very disappointed to find the FRC making it harder to filter out porn. That is the one and only result in opposing the .XXX domain.

Yes - adding the .XXX domain will increase the number of names used by porn outfits on the internet, and Yes - the porn operations are unlikely to give up their current .COM and other names. This part does not matter, as changing the (huge) number of names will not make their business any larger. Porn sites are already extremely easy to find, so adding .XXX domains will make essentially no difference in that respect. The number of porn businesses and the amount of money they collect will change very little, if at all.

There are two factors in our favor. First, porn sites are interested in folks with credit cards - not in kids who cannot pay. Second, porn sites are a little bit worried about the law - just enough to move most of their content to .XXX names. This means their .COM names would become a front door, and once through the door you would get sent to their .XXX site.

I care very little about porn sites with plain (or at least plainer) front doors in the .COM domain - if I can block all the nasty stuff in the .XXX domain.

… then there is the other aspect to this sideshow. The “Patrick Trueman” whose name is publically associated with this misadventure is in my considered opinion either:

  • a fool … possibly intelligent but lacking the needed facts
  • an idiot … possibly well-informed but lacking the needed intelligence
  • immoral … valuing publicity for personal gain above any harm caused to millions of kids

I just do not see any other logical possibility - aside from a combination of all three traits. Wondering about the last reminded me that the infamous “green card lawyers” were one of the early milestones for moral decay on the internet (which makes “immoral fool” my best guess).

The best approach for organizations like the FRC is to support the creation of the .XXX domain. Once created the FRC and friends should do everything possible to clean up the .COM neighborhood by using every possible means to prosecute sites that displays objectionable material on a .COM site. This combination has the best chance of yielding a big result from a small effort.