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.XXX is Back on the Radar Screen

The DoC seems to have finally realized it went too far by using ICANN to serve the interests of some conservative groups, as mentioned in a previous post.

The new story is now that the ICANN board did not reject the .XXX application as such, but only the agreement negotiated between ICM Registry and the ICANN staff at that time. How subtle these things are.

Consequently, a new draft agreement between ICANN and ICM registry is now being put on the table. Keeping in mind ICANN’s main job is to pursue the security and stability of the Internet infrastructure, one still wonders why on earth ICANN is willing to deal with the actual content of web sites. Isn’t this really outside the scope of its mission.

The registry will need to “create and enforce specified registry policies, including policies prohibiting child pornography”. Stuart Lawley reports through Kieren McCarthy’s blog that checking for ICRA labels can be automated. But how is the third party monitoring company going to check that an actual picture does not represent an under age kid?

It needs also to “Reserve geographic and religiously/culturally sensitive names”. What may be sensitive for you may not be for me, or vice versa. Hence, it seems pretty much unworkable.

Finally, ICM registry would need to both “provide a fully compliant WHOIS service” and “protect user privacy”. Yup, you read well. These two diametrically opposed and contradictory requirements need to be met.

By Patrick Vande Walle, All around Internet governance troublemaker

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