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Wednesday, December 7, 2005

 

Ubiquitous Porn: Alive on the Net

`In a column I wrote in the 1990s, I proposed the creation of an .xxx top-level domain to make it easier to prevent what I then described as a porn storm. These were onerous self-spawning pornography page attacks that took place on the desktops of unsuspecting users. This phenomenon evolved into the “pop-ups” that we still see today and is essentially driven by a flaw in the design of browsers. Since most of these storms were created by porn sites, it seemed as if the easiest way to control them would be to create an .xxx domain for porn and filter the storms out unless you actually wanted to see them.

I harped on this topic on and off for a decade, and it was finally going to happen when, in a surprise move last week, Vint Cerf removed the initiative from the agenda of an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) board meeting. It appears that a mere 6,000 canned letters sent to the Commerce Dept. did the trick. These apparently stemmed from a cell of evangelical organizations. That’s all it took.’




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