Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

ICANN makes it trivial to block pr0n

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-06-27

Finally!  The net can get a proper red-light district, where R-rated stuff can be regulated, and from which innocent eyes can be easily protected.

Many geeks of my vintage have long advocated a top-level domain (TLD) especially for pr0n, with ".xxx" for such stuff, just like we have ".com", ".org" and ".edu".  ICANN (a peak naming authority) has just approved ".xxx" TLD applications, after the process for rejecting xxx applications was shown to be flawed.

With only a bit of co-operation between international governments, it is not difficult to make all legitimate content of a sexual nature live in the ".xxx" domain (or maybe "", "", "", etc), and come down hard on any content coming from more normal "com" TLDs and such like.

Politicians, however, have long been opposed to XXX, just like they have opposed regulated brothels that minimize harm… but it’ll be a bit harder for them to block it honestly.

It is trivial, absolutely trivial, to use even the simplest router or firewall to block anything coming from a domain that looks like "*.xxx" or "*.xxx.*".  The pr0n vendors get a red-light district with lots of traffic, bidding for xxx subdomains will fatten a lot of pockets, techno-challenged parents get a trivial way to protect their kids, administrative law becomes dead simple – and libertarians are fairly happy.

I’d even imagine those trying to sell "racy" mobile phone wallpapers would rush into the xxx domain, to enhance the reputation for "raciness" even if those wallpapers aren’t really "hot" enough to deserve an R-rating.

Now… why exactly do we need an expensive-to-maintain, overblocking, politically odious mandatory filter to protect the kiddies?

Maybe this is just the circuit breaker we need, and with a new PM, there is no better time ditch the stupid Conroy plan – and hopefully Conroy with it.

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