A story I discussed almost 6 weeks ago is finally hitting the mainstream press — Sen. Max Baucus of Montana has introduced a bill to require adult web sites to relocate to a .xxx domain.
As I discussed on February 6, the bill is a threat to all domain name owners:
This is not a decision in which the US government should have a hand. That’s why ICANN was set up-to handle policy. The notion of taking away a .com domain name from its rightful owner is shameful and anti-American â€” contrary to the values of the United States. It’s called property rights. Furthermore, the US Congress has no control over what happens outside the US, so it would just mean companies moving their servers offshore. I think the Commerce Department would have to change the charter of ICANN to make this a worldwide policy. I wonder if Sen. Baucus realizes that his policy would cause offshoring of internet servers.
This issue is even more important now than when I first discussed it. I don’t think this bill will pass (it is ironically opposed by both the religious right and the adult entertainment industry). However, it shows other countries that the US is into censorship much like how China censors its web. After the brief scare that China might form its own domain system, we need to be vigilant to not give China or any other country a good reason to make such a drastic move.
You can submit a comment to Baucus via his web site here. Or call, write, or fax to his office in Washington D.C.:
Sen. Max Baucus
511 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-0515 (Fax)