ICANN and .xxx

A lot has been discussed about the .xxx issue. This is my take on the issues involved.

1) The processes and procedures of ICANN wrt delegation of new gTLDs. They followed a process that while not perfect, was relatively transparent and equitable. After this process was finished, and the approval given, and the company who had applied spent its $$ and got set up to start selling registrations to the new gTLD, came the second issue -

2) Political pressure on the US govt from the religous right. They got letters, and the response was to demand from ICANN that they hold the registration (after already having decided and communicated this decision to the registrar company) and ICANN complied. The only reason to hold it is to reverse it.

3) The US govt has the power to UNILATERALLY decide not to allow the gTLD to be entered into the global root zone file that (short version) basically allows the computers on the Internet to find each other (it's a lot more complex, but I'm boiling it down here, so please, people don't abuse me for the slight inaccuracy in this) as they are in control of editing the file.

So - ICANN is bowing to political prssure. Under the current system, it can't really do otherwise, as the US govt (DoC) is its "boss."
Issues - what is the role of a government in regards to this?
Is the creation of new gTLDs a technical or moral or political decision?
Where should that power lie - with governments, with a multistakeholder body, with ICANN? with the US DoC?

And one way to really take the issue out and away from the pornography part is to imagine that the gTLD under discussion and possible revoking is a .woman or a .gender gTLD. I thnk that the IG issues must be separate from the moral issues of what .xxx means.
Interestingly, one of the comments that came up in other discussions on this is that .xxx means nothing in some asian cultures - so the xxx=porn isssue is not an issue everywhere!

Comments

Taran said…
It's a nasty game. And the religious right don't seem to be religious or right. That U.S. politics controls the internet is bad enough, but to have U.S. politics controlled by interest groups for votes is worse.

But that's democracy, right? Or democratically elected administrative dictatorship...
D Entertainment said…
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