Saturday, May 13, 2006

Triple-X denied but you can .tel yourself

Well the ICANN Board has finally voted and denied the setting up of the triple-x domain space. For now, anyway.

ICM has spent the last 6 years or so in pursuit of this domain space, but after various recent objections, including by ICANN's Government Advisory Council (GAC), the US Government and some members of the adult entertainment industry, the ICANN Board voted 9-5 against the proposal. Notably, Vint Cerf (Chairman), Alejandro Pisanty (Vice-Chairman) and Paul Twomey (CEO) all voted against. In June 2005, the Board had given preliminary approval but it would appear various lobbying efforts have ensured a reversal of this decision.

It appears at the heart of it all is the fact that ICM was apparently not really representing the adult entertainment industry and there was an apparent lack of how it was all going to work, what the regulation mechanism was going to be and so on.

I do like the idea of triple-x, but if done right. It would be good to have all adult sites in one domain space and with the right equipment (for example) a parent could ensure kids cannot gain access to this domain space. For this to work completely (in the sense implied), it does mean that such sites should not be available on .com or .net and other domain space - all adult sites should only exist in one domain space. Of course regulating this (which some would argue is regulating the internet) would be difficult at best. The internet has evolved tremendously in the past couple of years and perhaps it is now time to take stock and think of the future because there are going to be many more issues such as this coming up and the internet bodies of this world, as well as governments and public policy (and civil liberties) groups need to have a strategy in place to manage it all. ICANN sometimes gets a lot of flak (usually from someone who does not fully understand its role in the internet, and sometimes from some who expect ICANN to do things out of, let's use the term "civic responsibility, when it really does not have all this in its charter). Perhaps its time to expand ICANN's role, but of course then some will start jumping up and down about how ICANN is ultimately at the mercy of the US Government due to its relationship with the US Department of Commerce, and that's a whole new can of worms.....

It does appear the .tel domain name has gained the nod. Apparently the rationale behind this domain name is one can buy a .tel domain name and set up a website with their contact information numbers eg. phone numbers for work, home, mobile, email addresses, Instant Messaging IDs and so forth. Ho hum.....

1 comment:

Franck Martin said...

You forgot to mention that Brazil, Iran, and a couple of other countries had voiced to ICANN their views to stop tripleX. But people remembered only the USA opinion because they have also the finger on the nuke button for ICANN via the DOC.
But if this nuke button gets used, only once, it would be surely the end of ICANN.
I think if John did not use country codes at all, we would not be here arguing with ICANN today.
I also find it strange that the vote on TripleX took place outside an ICANN meeting.
Finally on a related issue, ICANN is getting lot of pressure to introduce Iternationalised Domain Names (IDN) at the top level. China is doing it for .cn some other countries are following with their own implementation. Towards a fragmented Internet?