In the last few days, several press reports have been planted in Indian media stating that “Indian Government may oppose the introduction of .xxx domain names”.  (Refer article “India  to oppose .XXX domain for Porn sites” in Economic Times.

The Government of India has taken an anti pornography stand in legislating for Cyber Space under ITA 2008 and it is not considered possible for the Government  to take a stand in opposing the current move. In fact the quotes given in the article itself only suggests that Government may block .xxx domain and does not state that the Government is opposing the move to introduce the new domain name. The twist to the headline gives a wrong impression about the stand of the Government.

It is clear that there are vested interests in India including the ISPs who want to proliferate pornography for their commercial gains.  Schools and Corporates are finding it difficult to keep their networks free of pornography since it is difficult to isolate such content.

Now with the creation of the new domain name and under the assumption that ICANN will enforce the content segregation at their end, it becomes easy for filtering pornographic content through firewall configuration whether the Government takes action to block the .xxx domain in toto or not.

The article also states as if Cyber Law Experts also support the move to oppose introduction of .xxx domain names. This again is untenable since there may be experts who oppose provisions of ITA 2008 on pornography but there is no logic for experts to oppose the creation of .xxx domain names.

Naavi.org who was in the forefront of anti pornography measures and fought against sites such as savita babhi dot com had supported the move for creation of .xxx domain names way back in 2002 when it was first proposed. (ref: article:  Cultural   Policing , Creating a Red Light Area in Cyber Space).

It may be recalled that   when Indian Government tried to block the yahoo group page of Mizoram   extremists the ISPs blocked the entire yahoo group for some time. ( Yahoo groups blocked by Dishnet). ISPs defended   their action in this regard stating difficulties in blocking a specific   URL.

Now therefore if ICANN wants to introduce dot XXX domain names, Indian   Government which has committed itself to an anti pornography law in   India should welcome the development since it can now block dotXXX   domains as a category.

Naavi.org strongly recommends creation of dot XXX domain names so that the   segregation of sites take place. In fact after the segregation, the   regulation becomes far more easier and effective.

I wish main line media should be fair to depicting the correct information of the public opinion rather than becoming pawns in the hands of vested interests to promote pornography. If Indian public are properly informed that the ICANN move is not a move to create new pornographic content on the web but to segregate the content so that it provides a freedom to the users to keep children away from such content, public will wholeheartedly support the move. Indian Government does not have a choice in the matter since ITA 2008 already has stringent provisions on distribution of obscene electronic information and the blocking of .xxx domains becomes a necessity.

Naavi of Naavi.org

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