May 31, 2010
SOURCE: American Family Association
No enforcement regulation means amount of adult material will explode.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, (the governing board that controls the Internet) is ONCE AGAIN considering establishing an .XXX domain for pornography. This matter has been considered twice before but stopped because of overwhelming opposition in this country and abroad. An .XXX domain will increase the amount of porn on the internet and make it more available to adults and children.
ICANN would ask the pornographers to voluntarily move to the new .XXX domain which would contain nothing but pornography. There would be NO LAW TO FORCE THEM to the new .XXX domain.
Deadline for public comments is May 10. You can read the complete background on the issue here.
Here are reasons to oppose the .XXX domain, from our friends at PornHarms.com:
Neither ICANN nor the company urging the establishment of this new domain are arguing that the .XXX domain would clean up the .COM domain and require all pornographers to move to .XXX. The .COM domain is a cash cow for pornographers and they are not leaving it. ICANN has no enforcement powers to make them leave and thus clean up .COM. Pornographers would simply expand to .XXX and maintain their current .COM sites, perhaps doubling the number of porn sites and doubling their menace to society.
The .XXX domain will NOT make it easier to filter porn, even if all pornographers would voluntarily move there (and that will NOT happen). The problem with filtering is not that it is difficult but rather that too few parents care enough to employ filters for the home or laptop computers used by their children. Even if most parents did use filters on home computers, kids have access to the Internet outside the home. And it isn’t just the kids that need filtering. Addiction to pornography by adults is rampant so everyone needs filtering but, sadly, few bother. The new website Pornography Harms, http://pornharms.com, provides overwhelming evidence of harm from pornography and thus the need for protection from it.
Since most families do not use effective filtering services, the .XXX domain would merely make hardcore pornography even easier to find for children seeking such material. Thus the argument that .XXX would benefit children by “cleaning up the Internet” is without any basis in fact.
U.S. citizens should not believe claims by some that the U.S. Congress could merely pass a law requiring all porn companies to leave the .Com for the .XXX. Any law attempting to force pornographers to relocate to .XXX would likely be declared unconstitutional because under the First Amendment, all pornography is “presumptively protected” by the U.S. Constitution until it has been determined to be “obscene” or “child pornography.” Just as the Department of Justice cannot force porn stores to move or go out of business because it believes that such stores are operating illegally, the Department cannot force pornographers on the .COM domain to move or go out of business without first charging them with a crime and having a court make a determination of illegality.
Hardcore pornography (or “obscene material” as it is called in U.S. law) on the Internet is ALREADY a violation of U.S law. It is just not being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice because those in charge are letting the public down. So for those who argue that by establishing a new .XXX domain AND then passing by a new law requiring porn companies to move (IF such a law was upheld after years of litigation) we can solve our Internet porn problem, we must ask why these two events will suddenly compel the Department to begin prosecuting porn companies. If the Department of Justice is not prosecuting Internet porn companies now for violating U.S. obscenity laws, it is not going to prosecute such companies for merely locating in the wrong address.
If somehow all porn sites providing obscene material would actually leave the .COM Domain for the .XXX Domain, they would STILL be violating U.S. obscenity law which prohibits such material on the Internet regardless of location. We don’t want the Department of Justice to say to illegal porn companies, in effect, that it is okay to violate U.S. law as long as you do it on .XXX. Men, women, and children are becoming addicted to pornography and I believe the rates of addiction are skyrocketing – this is a virtually untreated pandemic. Many who begin by viewing adult pornography deviate down to harder and harder material as they continue a steady consumption of material and many of these will deviate down to the point that they only become excited by child pornography. This is a significant factor in the growth of child pornography on the Internet. Countless marriages are breaking up because of pornography use. Violence against women, which is depicted in most porn films, is changing male attitudes toward girls and women in a very negative way. A more appropriate goal should be to STOP the distribution of this destructive material by prosecuting those responsible for it, NOT protect pornography on the triple X domain.
ICANN is considering options regarding the approval for a .XXX domain. You can see them here.
AFA supports option 3 and encourages you to email ICANN and ask them to adopt option 3.