.XXX Domain Squabble XXX-tra Silly

from the there's-porn-on-the-internet? dept

Plans for the .xxx porn top-level domain have been mired in controversy, with politicians and activists unable to decide if it helps or hinders the proverbial "protecting the children". Under pressure from the US Department of Commerce, ICANN has several times delayed a final vote on .xxx, though it will apparently consider the domain at its board meeting today. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting look at some of the people and arguments behind .xxx, including the British entrepreneur (who now, unsurprisingly, lives in Florida and has been involved in shady deals in the past) pushing for it who "hopes to make a pile of money" from registrar fees. After all, that's what this is really about. The .xxx domain won't make porn easier to block (or indeed, easier to find), and despite what some conservative critics say, it won't attract more porn to the internet -- if that's even possible -- nor will it "legitimize" the net porn business, that happened a long time ago. .xxx is but the latest in a line of fairly useless domains that really do little more than line the coffers of ICANN and various registrars, but the debate over it is particularly silly, highlighting the folly of ICANN's rule over the internet. Update: The coalition of conservatives and porn-site owners that opposed .xxx have won out, as ICANN has rejected the domain.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Yoop, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:01pm

    same old

    Just have everyone's homepage be a blank page save for the words "The internet contains some pretty sexy and bizzare stuff". Then parents can realize the risk of walking away as their kid goes on the internet.


    Parents need to be the monitors of their children and not crazy xxx domain proposals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:02pm

    Actually, it does make it easier to block. All filtering software will have to do is block any connection from a .xxx domain. There won't be the issue of new porn sites that aren't yet blocked because they have some obscure name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Yoop, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:03pm


    Won't there be porn on other sites though?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    yoyo, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:13pm


    it would make it hell of a lot easier to block from children as well as business environments. Just place a check mark next to where it says "block .xxx sites". Porn anywhere else on the net would then be illegal and could be reported. why not just let them have their own top-level domain? the people who are arguing about it are probably going to be the first ones to try it out!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Ponder, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:21pm

    The problem is that it would not be illegal for porn sites to exist elsewhere on the net, they would just be encoraged to have .xxx domain names. This is because in the UK (and much of the west) women in swimsuits is not pornographic, however the same material in a Muslim country for instance, would be considered porn, and is often illegal. Where is the line drawn? Who decideds? Who rules the internet? Who can make a law forcing all porn in a .xxx domain anyway?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Wolfger, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:21pm

    easier to block?

    What anon coward and yoyo fail to understand, is that it is simply impossible to force porn to use the .xxx domain. USA laws only apply to companies inside the USA. Try to prosecute an off-shore .com, .net, or even .us porn site, and all you will get is laughed at. Besides... don't we have better things to do than run around trying to prosecute people who don't make the switch? Our already-overcrowded court rooms could spend their time much more wisely than that. Verdict: .xxx domain idea is xxx-dumb.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Bum, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:29pm

    Porn Star

    "women in swimsuits is not pornographic, however the same material in a Muslim country for instance, would be considered porn, and is often illegal."

    OMG David Hasselhoff is a Porn Star!?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Some IT Bastard, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:38pm


    It would make it easier to block IF, and I say IF, all "porn" was required to use .xxx domains.

    Block *.xxx

    case closed.

    Don't worry about what Musslims consider porn. They are too busy uploading and downloading the resent beheading of infidels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Chris, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:46pm


    The problem isnt that .xxx would make it easier, or somehow "justify" pornigraphic material. It's already beyond easy, and being a billion dollar industry is justification enough (least in the capatlistic society the world embraces today). The problem is, however, the same lazy parents who sit around wanting everyone to raise their children for them. Simplest way to get your kid to not be exposed to porn on the internet is to remove the source of the problem (wish I could say you), the internet. Have a computer, dont want the kiddies looking at the bad stuff? Then don't let them use it. LIFE WITHOUT INTERWEB?!?!11!?? Yes, it's possible. Kids still need to get online for school? Then do it at school, im sure the library would love someone to actualy use the resources they have available. There's a myriad of alternative options to get around this issue, as is generaly the case. Yet still people care not to seek out these other options, instead they prefer to just complain until the only option they know of is rubber stamped into legislation.

    AS ALWAYS there's a way to get around whatever safeguard is put in place. DONT give kids access to unsupervised content and it's no longer an issue. IF all pornographic sites were .xxx then simply filter all .xxx domains. For the ones that aren't .xxx, like I dunno... google image search, again supervision wins!

    The point im trying to make is this, the only reason .xxx has had any debate at all is because of people who think anything other than managomous sex is wrong, and god forbid the world "justify" somethings that's been flourishing since the dawn of time. Be a responsible parent and educate your children about the things you don't want them to experiance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:49pm

    Who rules the internet? Nobody.

    I can assure you, however, select scopes of the internet (Domain names (ICAAN)) are, in fact, owned. The ICAAN rules the URL world on the internet, but it doesn't own the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Chris, May 10th, 2006 @ 3:52pm


    Show me a URL ending that ICANN doesnt own, then tell us they dont own the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Matt, May 10th, 2006 @ 4:08pm


    How about requiring porn to be routed through a different port? People who want porn can have a seperate browser for porn, or it'd exist as an add-on to the current lead browsers. In any case, it'd be easy enough to block, and you couldn't even get access to it without the right software.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    JP, May 10th, 2006 @ 4:24pm

    one little problem

    you know, i can recall that when i was a kid, parents alwasy tried to "hide" things from us that we were not supposed to see, but we found ways anyway. The moral of the story is that no matter what you do to keep your children out of something, either they or one of their peers is going to find away around it and spread the word. I'm not trying to say do try, i'm just trying to say be a little realalistic. Basically, do what you can to protect your children, but don't forget the age old rule, "where there is a will, there is a way."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    DittoBox, May 10th, 2006 @ 6:31pm



    What makes you think that all new porno is going to be registered using *.xxx exclusively..instead of going for obscure .com addresses? It's the porn industry, they'll whore themselves out for anything, so long as they can "make a pile of money".

    They're still going to use .com, .net and all the others to purvey "product", .xxx is just another one domain to register when you open up shop.

    Adding .xxx isn't going to stop things like whitehouse dot com. They'll just register whitehouse dot com *and* whitehouse dot xxx.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    The Chad, May 10th, 2006 @ 7:04pm

    JP got it right

    Just like JP said, if a kid wants to see it, they will... Contrary to what everyone thinks, it doesn't matter how much you try and monitor your children, they'll just end up at their friends house on the computer while the parents are away. =P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    deaf_by_ipod, May 10th, 2006 @ 8:01pm

    Internet porn is like a runaway train. As long as the porn servers (no pun intended) stay online, American kids and their contemporaries around the world will continue to be exposed to it no matter what anyone tries to do.

    The .xxx domain idea would be awesome if:
    1-The internet just got invented
    2-It was known that porn would *ahem* cum to dominate its content turning a whole generation into pervs and
    3-There was actually a way to police it.

    If the above were true, then "blocking" porn would be easy, however, not all parents buy the software and if they do, many use easy-to-crack passwords because they need to remember them for their own access when the kids aren't there. In a situation where the kids have their own computer... forgetaboutit

    Most kids will consume the porn in some form and turn out ok (I think I did); some won't and will become victims and victimizers in some form because of it. Just pray it won't be your child or your relatives'/friends' who fall in the last two categories.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    RedBeard, May 10th, 2006 @ 8:08pm

    The Domain Name Scam

    For all domains to be under a handful of headings - such as .com, .net, .biz - is a bunch of dot-crap!

    This is the equivalent of people only getting to have a phone number if there last name is, or is changed to Smith or Jones.

    The IP address is based on 4 numbers, each from 0 to 255, so that they give you the web site or page. For example, is yahoo’s address. Computers don’t give a crap about words such as .com, .net; People just suck so they use the word forms to remember everything. Your Internet Provider’s DNS has to translate the text (google.com) to the appropriate IP address (

    Imho, ICANN justs limits the suffixes so that can rake in the dough.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    deaf_by_ipod, May 10th, 2006 @ 11:42pm

    Dude, check out for some hot girl on

    Most of us (even uber geeks) perform web searches using hostnames as opposed to IP addresses. People simply cannot resolve all those IPs by heart. Even if one could remember all active IPs, he/she would need a computer to find, resolve, then memorize them. I doubt there's a printout lying around somewhere in this world waiting for someone to request it.

    Since you got your cell phone or handheld, have you increased your capacity to recall (non-critical) phone numbers or not?

    If all porn was (somehow) restricted to an .xxx domain, then porn blocking by domain would work beautifully, but, only for those who would choose to buy and use the software and if their kids never left the house. Of course the opinion that ICANN is just looking for more ways to make money stands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, May 10th, 2006 @ 11:56pm

    Re: porn!?

    That won't help, you just get the same problems over again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    mkam, May 11th, 2006 @ 5:14am

    More Porn?

    Love the qoute:
    it won't attract more porn to the internet -- if that's even possible

    There is a definate shortage of porn right now!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Xanthir, May 11th, 2006 @ 6:33am

    Re: .xxx

    Ignoring the racism...

    What about Europeans? In many European countries, topless women are A-OK. Topless beaches are common, and definitely not taboo like in the US. Would some Spaniard's family photos be considered porn? By American definitions, maybe.

    What about art? Michealangelo's David is quite nude, as are, well, pretty much every other statue and a lot of paintings from that era and earlier. Are those porn?

    Porn is impossible to define. The moment you try, someone else can dredge up tons of examples that break your definition. Trying to unilaterally block porn will always fail, because you'll always block too little, too much, or both at the same time.

    And that's not even considering the fun you'll have trying to force foreign pages to obey your rules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    RedBeard, May 14th, 2006 @ 8:33pm

    Re: The Domain Name Scam

    Let me clarify from earlier post 17...
    I just meant that the ICANN can have as many suffixes as names in the phone book; That their limiting it to .com, .biz, .org, etc just keeps their profits rolling in.
    They could easily have a .xxx, .state, .sports and a thousand others. The DNS does the work of finding the correct phone number (that is... IP address).
    Personnally, I think why not have more dot suffixes? Because most people probably google to get a link anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Porn Star

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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