June 25, 2010

.xxx Domain, Approved by ICANN, is a Bad Idea


CONTACT: Cris Clapp Logan

                     703.476.7890 (office)

                     703.595.3986 (cell)



June 25, 2010 - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which coordinates and oversees the creation of Web addresses for the U.S. Government, announced today that it has approved the creation of a .xxx suffix for websites with pornographic content.  In past years, ICANN board has repeatedly rejected the request by U.S. Company ICM Registry Inc. to sign off on the .xxx domain, but this recent departure from precedent marks a significant loss for those concerned about the safety, security and sexual health of children and families.


 "The creation of a .xxx domain sounds good in theory but is a very bad idea.  It will allow Internet pornographers to co-locate their content on both their existing .com domains and the new .xxx domain, thus dramatically increasing pornography's pollution of the Internet.  Internet pornography is taking a significant toxic toll on our Nation's children and families; harms are widespread and addictions are skyrocketing-impacting productivity, relational, social and psychological health," commented Donna Rice Hughes, President of Enough Is Enough® and former Child Online Protection Act (COPA) Commissioner. The COPA commission recommended against the creation of a top-level .xxx domain in its 2000 report to Congress.


"Expecting pornographers to voluntary give up their successful .com addresses and locate solely on the .xxx domain is both foolish and shortsighted," Ms. Rice Hughes continued. Arguments presented suggesting that the U.S. Congress will be able to pass a law to require all pornographers to leave the .xxx space would likely not pass, and even if passed, would likely be either struck down in the federal courts or be unenforced. Historically, all attempts by Congress to regulate Internet pornography have not been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Additionally, since many families in the United States do not utilize filtering software to prevent unintentional and intentional access to pornography, the creation of .xxx domain will only make it easier for children and those struggling with addiction to access this content.


"So-called free-speech advocates along with pornographers claim that restrictions on their content are violating free speech. This is nonsense as much of Internet pornography is non-prosecuted hardcore obscenity, making it illegal regardless of what domain it is on.  Additionally, non-obscene adult content is not impacted by the creation of the porn red-light district.  Only ICM founder Stuart Lawley, who successfully brokered the approval of .xxx domain names, ICM's affiliates and the pornographers will benefit from ICANN's unwise decision, and while they prosper, it is our children and families that will suffer," added Ms. Rice Hughes.


About Enough Is Enough®

Donna Rice Hughes is President of Enough Is Enough® (EIE), a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which emerged in 1994 as the national leader on the front lines to make the Internet safer for children and families. Since then, EIE has continued to pioneer efforts including the widely acclaimed Internet Safety 101SM program, which educates, equips and empowers parents, educators and other caring adults with the knowledge and resources needed to effectively protect children from pornography, sexual predators, and cyberbullies as well as how to keep kids safe on social networking sites, gaming and mobile devices.