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Internet Porn Exists And .xxx Is Just Simpler

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-08-18

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Though people have been leery for years about regulating the Internet, that reticent stance is exactly what has caused a Wild West of online porn sites that don't care who sees what they're peddling. Recently, in their ever-efficient way, the two ruling parties of the United States government have been in a tizzy over the topic, and it is becoming clear that Internet regulation is soon to be a reality-even if either party hasn't fully agreed on how to handle it. One's blind and the other is trying to kill a fly with a bazooka.

What do you think should be down about Internet pornography? Discuss at WebProWorld.

Introduced into the Senate in late July and backed by Sen. Lieberman's camp, the Internet Safety and Child Protection Act of 2005 outlines strict guidelines for pornographic websites, requiring operators to be aggressive about how the content on their sites is accessed by requiring credit card age verification before any content is shown.

The act also introduces a 25% "smut tax," the proceeds of which will be placed in a lock box entitled the Internet Safety and Child Protection Trust Fund. This fund will pay for enforcement, a cyber tip-line, a "crimes against children task force," and research grants.

Meanwhile, back at the White House where the existence of such material has just been realized, President Bush has come out against the creation of a .xxx domain for pornographic websites, joining the ranks who are uncomfortable with the idea of a "virtual red light district."

The two responses to the issue are problematic, each in their own way. Those on the Bush side of things seem to not even want to recognize such things exist, as acknowledgement seems in some way a validation of the trade. They say that creating a special area for pornographic sites is, indirectly, of voice of support for it.

Am I wrong in saying that admitting something exists is not really a validation? I don't like cats. I think they're useless, allergenic, lazy nuisances. By admitting they exist and that many people like them, am I making a sort of indirect endorsement?

No. I'm just being realistic. Porn exists, it's not going away, and a grown-up will admit it.

If the .xxx domain is denied by the conservative powers that be, it will, by default, fall into line with the Internet Safety and Child Protection Act, which is complicated, potentially unconstitutional, and difficult to enforce.

Wouldn't it be simpler to set up the .xxx domain and then require online pornographers to release their .coms and switch to the new domain? How easy would it be to set up filters to block out content from this "red light district?" It's the same as having a part of town you just don't go into. Simple, streamlined, and with less of all the pesky site by site policing.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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