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[liberationtech] gTLDs and censorship

James S. Tyre jstyre at eff.org
Wed Jun 22 09:26:52 PDT 2011


True.  But while forcing a porn site to use .xxx clearly would be illegal here in the U.S., we can't say the same for
the laws of all countries.  Activists would do well to avoid using new and smaller TLDs (let's say .activist for
discussion), but if the law of the activist's country requires activists to use .activist, and the law is legal, the
activists in that country have a problem either way.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
James S. Tyre                                      jstyre at jstyre.com
Law Offices of James S. Tyre          310-839-4114/310-839-4602(fax)
10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512               Culver City, CA 90230-4969
Policy Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation     http://www.eff.org


> -----Original Message-----
> From: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu [mailto:liberationtech-
> bounces at lists.stanford.edu] On Behalf Of Steve Weis
> Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 9:17 AM
> To: Luke Allnutt
> Cc: liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu
> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] gTLDs and censorship
> 
> Short answer: Yes, it's trivial to filter specific TLDs, but it won't matter unless laws
> requiring their use were strictly enforced.
> 
> Censorship was a motivation for the ".xxx" TLD, which went into operation this year. The
> idea is that if all the porn sites were .xxx domains, it would be easier to block them. In
> practice, porn sites may voluntarily register a .xxx domain, but are still going to keep
> their existing domains. Censors will add a filter to block all .xxx domains and business
> will go on as usual.
> 
> Censoring .xxx will not make any difference unless porn sites are legally required to use
> it. This was proposed by US Senators Mark Pryor and Max Baucus in the "Cyber Safety for
> Kids Act", but it died in committee. That's not surprising since it would be hard to
> enforce and most likely challenged in court.
> 
> On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 7:33 AM, Luke Allnutt <AllnuttL at rferl.org> wrote:
> >
> > I wonder if the list members would be able to help me on something. I'm looking into the
> question of how new gTLDs could potentially affect censorship in repressive regimes. I
> have a few general questions:
> >
> > If you create very fine-grained TLDs will it be making it easier for governments to
> enforce blocking and censorship on those TLDs?
> >
> > Or would NGOs or activists steer clear of domains such as .freedom or .humanrights?
> >
> > Aren't generic, .com, .org, domains more difficult to block selectively without all
> kinds of collateral damage?
> >
> > Would anyone be able to offer any insight, either on list or off list. I'm just an
> interested journalist seeking expert advice. Any help would be hugely appreciated.
> >
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