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FSC Opposes Baucus/Pryor Mandatory .XXX TLD Legislation


March 15, 2006 – The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) is opposed to legislation introduced today by Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark) that would ghettoize content-based speech on the Internet by creating a mandatory .xxx top-level domain.

The bill, titled the “Cyber Safety for Kids Act of 2006,” requires the Department of Commerce within 30 days after enactment to direct ICANN to approve a top-level “international” domain for “material that is harmful to minors, such as [a] domain name ending in .xxx,” and establishes a timeline of 60 days for ICANN to “commence and complete” the application process for the establishment of the new domain.

Within 6 months of the establishment of the TLD, all adult websites are required to register a .xxx address if they contain sexually explicit material that conforms with the definition of “material that is harmful to minors” as defined in the bill, with civil penalties for lack of compliance. The Department of Commerce is also tasked with setting and enforcing the civil penalties.

“The Free Speech Coalition reiterates its opposition to .xxx,” said FSC Executive Director Michelle L. Freridge. “Our original concern was that Congress would make the content-based segregation of speech on the Internet mandatory, and that concern has been borne out by this bill. But our other core objections to the proposal remain as well.”
  • .XXX Will Not Create a Framework to Protect Children
  • There Is No Compelling Need For .XXX
  • .XXX Will Lead To The Ghettoization of Protected Speech
  • .XXX Will be Regulated, Not Self-Regulated
  • .XXX Does Not Have The Support of the Adult Entertainment Industry
  • .KIDS TLD Would Provide a Far More Effective Solution
In light of this development, we call on Congress to reject this bill in favor of solutions, such as .KIDS, that will truly protect our children from inappropriate content on the Internet.

Text of the legislation is here.


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