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(Fwd) FC: British Telecom wants ICANN to regulate sex-themed w

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 07 Feb 2000 12:55:40 -0500
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: British Telecom wants ICANN to regulate sex-themed web sites
Copies to:      	john.c.lewis@bt.com
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

Some of the corporations hoping to influence ICANN want the group to
segregate web sites with erotic or sexual-themed material. In a post
sent apparently accidentally to a public mailing list, we see that the
British Telecom delegate to an ICANN working group says such sites
must not be able to register in, say, a new top level domain (.ent?)
created for "entertainment" purposes.

"This is becoming a more significant issue for us as the introduction
of digital tv and its potential for distribution on the Net raises the
public awareness of this issue," wrote BT's John Lewis.

It might sound like a good idea at first, but there are lots of
problems with it. For instance, who decides what sites have an
unacceptable percentage of sex-themed content? ICANN? British Telecom?
Network Solutions? Morality in Media? The police?

It's not an obscure issue. Web sites that most of us might think to be
perfectly legitimate contain sex-themed content. Editors of news
organizations like Salon and CNET testified in the Child Online
Protection Act lawsuit that they could be vulnerable to prosecution
because their content might upset America's self-appointed purity
protectors. (The judge agreed, and blocked prosecutors from enforcing
the law.)

Original post from British Telecom's John Lewis:

Mirrored copy here in case it disappears from the archive:

Background on ICANN DNSO working group:

Article on Salon and CNET testimony in COPA lawsuit:


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