Contract Talks Over .XXX Have FSC Concerned
While .XXX appeared to have stalled of late, a recent bill introduced by Sens. Max Baucus and Mark Pryor combined with the current contract talks raises old concerns anew.
A March 20 letter from Commerce to GAC stated “that the key commitments offered by ICM Registry to the GAC are not reflected in the provisions of the proposed .XXX Registry Agreement.”
That letter drew criticism from ICM President Stuart Lawley, who stated in a March 25 letter to GAC that Commerce was incorrect in its assessment. In that letter, Lawley asserted ICM’s commitment to best practices to obligate registrants to prohibit illegal content.
That assertion raised alarms at the FSC. Chief among the trade-group’s concerns were that no specifics regarding how material would be deemed “illegal” were given, nor was there any mention of who would make that determination, according to Tom Hymes, communications director for the FSC.
According to the FSC, the following provisions also are being recommended for inclusion in the ICANN/ICM agreement:
“The Free Speech Coalition has long opposed the establishment of a .XXX top-level domain name because of its potential to serve as an easy censorship tool,” Hymes said. “ICM Registry’s hope to establish and operate a voluntary .XXX TLD free from government interference appears to be a dangerous pipe dream, now more than ever before.”