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Oppose this Friday’s vote about adding .xxx Internet domain

Mar 27, 2007 Oppose this Friday’s vote about adding .xxx Internet domain

Bill of Rights. (From the public domain.)

Will .xxx be added as an Internet domain? This Friday, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will decide this question at its Lisbon meeting.

I remain as opposed to adding a .xxx domain today as I did three years ago when the Today Show interviewed me on the matter. I strongly believe that such a move will make it more likely to increase efforts unconstitutionally to censor adult entertainment, by first making the .xxx domain a voluntary venue followed by government efforts to force sexually explicit material into a .xxx domain followed by laws censoring and criminalizing material from the .xxx domain.

The Free Speech Coalition and I agree on this issue. (I am the founding past president of the Free Speech Coalition of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, Inc.; the FSC is a trade association for the adult entertainment industry.) As it turns out, some religious groups oppose the .xxx domain, having an expectation that such a domain will increase the availability of sexually explicit material on the Internet.

The First Amendment protects the production, distribution, and possession of sexually explicit material that is not obscene and is not child pornography. The .xxx domain seems to have little support from adult websites. Consequently, the only effective purpose of such a domain would be to lead down the path to censorship, which is an illegitimate purpose for a .xxx domain.

Among the avenues for expressing opposition to adding the .xxx domain are (1) to contact ICANN directly and (2) to sign onto the .xxx domain opposition page at http://www.fightthedotxxx.com, by contacting brandon@fightthepatent.com. The Free Speech Coalition’s website has additional information links on the issue. Jon Katz.

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