Friday, December 02, 2005

The three-letter word

The new top-level domain, .xxx, is in the news. But is its addition technically necessary? Branding arguments aside, why can't .xxx be replaced with a subdomain, such as .xxx.us?

The domain names are used for global identification of resources and navigation. Since they have to be typed only once, three extra characters don't make a significant difference. For machine-generated content, there is zero difference: after the site is bookmarked, it doesn't matter how long its URL is. There will be no perceivable loss in productivity if the address is slightly lengthened. (This is especially true in the context of .xxx domain.)

There is no point in abolishing .com today, but there is also absolutely no good technical reason to add new generic top level domains. Introducing .xxx will not make filtering adult content any easier, since adult sites will continue to operate under .com, with new ones springing up daily. What it will do is create a windfall of profits for registrars as another land grab starts—and not surprisingly it's the registrars who lobby ICANN.

Real progress on restricting children's access to adult content can be made if robust age verification becomes part of the protocol, which requires solving the Identity paradox. As for battles over the root zone, they can be resolved by simply freezing it in the current state, removing unnecessary central control and thereby starting to address the Responsibility paradox.

6 Comments:

Blogger Mac said...

As you stated, adding .xxx into the mix will only serve to the line the pockets of domain registrars.

But I disagree that solving the Identity Paradox would restrict children's access to adult content.

No, there's too much unfiltered, uncensored, mislabled, and willfully available content to be caught by simply identifying the web-user as underage.

Also, attempting omnipresent identity verification on the web just gives rise to furthering identity theft... even on the small scale. What's to stop 13 year-old Johnny from using Daddy's web ID?

The first step in stopping children from accessing adult web content is for parents to step up: take an active part in their children's lives and stop waiting for others to solve their problems.

...just my opinion, tho.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Morris said...

The other thing is major companies will have to buy up .xxx now like microsoft.xxx, who wants a porn site version of their site? It's certainly much cheaper then taking the person to court by just buying it.

Mr. Morris
Ask Morris

10:00 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...

I would think that most of the responsible companies would purchase cocacola.xxx, boyscouts.xxx and so forth. Even some of the more shady folks would want to protect their sites (vivid.xxx).

It is just so hard to try and filter out all of the trash.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Kahlfin said...

I wouldn't say that that the identity paradox need be solved in order to prevent the viewing of obscene content by children. I would say that browsers and ISPs simply need to offer better security. This can be done, and I believe the reason this hasn't happened yet is simply a lack of effort on the part of the browser and ISP companies.

I would support .xxx.us for a reason not mentioned in your original post. The US is not the center of the internet world anymore, and although it once was, I think it's time we start having to type our country like everyone else. There's no reason for the US to be an exception.
I agree that .xxx will create huge windfall profits for domain registrars.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Click here to see how christians disobey God said...

Let's face it; parents can't watch kids 24/7. Even if they do restrict access at their house, some neighbor who doesn't will have a kid who will allow your child access.

I see the perverted generation raised on playboy’s magazines from under dad’s bed (soft core). Imagine all the sick crap curious kids are seeing today (hardcore) at a young age. Imagine how their minds are being twisted.

The next generation will be worse. This society is drunk on its freedoms and can't even care for its children. Curiosity killed the cat and will get our young boys addicted to porn.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

It will help though...and if it is made illegal to publish a website .com then that would also help.

11:04 PM  

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