Feeds

.xxx probes US government interference

Files another Freedom of Information request.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

The company behind the unsuccessful .xxx bid has filed a third freedom of information act (FOIA) request against the US Department of Commerce in its ongoing bid to discover what pressure was exerted by the US government on internet organisation ICANN to turn the top-level domain down.

The new FOIA request from ICM Registry, dated 28 June, asks for copies of communication between the DoC and internet naming authority IANA shortly after the DoC sent a letter to ICANN outlining its concerns for the .xxx domain, which was to be used to host internet pornography.

ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley suspects that a request by the DoC to IANA requiring it to change the style and format of its official reports may have been inspired by an effort to block the .xxx domain thanks to political pressure exerted by right-wing Christian groups in the US.

Dot-xxx is the only one of a number of new top-level domains that were initially approved by ICANN but has not had its contract signed off. Despite many of the other domains being officially approved, there remains an unexplained lag in their official IANA reports being sent to the DoC for formal approval. ICM Registry is probing what influence, if any, its application may have had in that delay.

The FOIA request is the third filed by the company to discover if assertions both by ICANN and the DoC and that the US government played no role in turning down .xxx are true. The first FOIA request provided thousands of pages of communication that showed demonstrably that the DoC had been actively lobbied by US Christian groups, had changed its stance as a result, and had organised a lobbying effort against the domain at ICANN.

However, many pages contained "redacted" or deleted information which ICM Registry suspect point to an effective blocking of the domain - going against the US government's stated principle of non-interference in ICANN. ICM Registry is currently suing the DoC for the redacted information and expects to receive a second tranch of information in the coming weeks.

A second FOIA request pinpointed a meeting between US communications secretary John Kneuer and ICANN president Paul Twomey around the same time that ICANN voted against the .xxx domain and the DoC subsequently approved ICANN as the contract holder for running the internet's foundations.

This third request demonstrates the level of determination ranged against the US government to expose what is widely suspected to have been a behind-the-scenes manipulation of ICANN's decision-making processes.

If proven, the backroom dealing could have severe implications both for ICANN and for the US government's stewardship of the Internet.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.