Feeds

British porn domain mastermind fights US Government

.xxx blocked by US Gov, Lawley claims

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The British man behind the proposed .xxx internet domain believes the US Government has intervened to thwart his plans. Stuart Lawley is fighting a court battle to retrieve the documents he says would prove his case.

Lawley made dotcom millions with web design and hosting firm Oneview.net which was floated then sold before the first internet crash, and has bank rolled the seven-year proposal to have a top level domain for pornography.

His firm ICM Registry was awarded the right to operate the domain but contractual wrangling is more about the conservative Bush administration's connections to the religious right than they are about the contract itself, Lawley told technology podcast OUT-LAW Radio.

"We were hoping to sign our contract which was a standard contract that most other registries have, until the United States Government intervened," said Lawley, who lives in Florida. "They had been lobbied very heavily by the Christian conservative groups here in the United States."

Lawley says that the US Department of Commerce's view of the proposal changed, which filtered down to ICANN. He said that he obtained some government documents under freedom of information legislation outlining parts of his case but that crucial elements were redacted, which means they were blanked out.

"We received documentation that showed clearly what had gone on. Some of the documents were sent in redacted form and we have litigation in the District of Columbia courts against the United States Department of Commerce and the United States Department of State to try and force them to turn over these documents that we allege show the level of interference in the ICANN process," said Lawley.

"The documents show that up to a certain date the Department of Commerce understood our application and were mildly approving of it," said Lawley. "After several high level meetings between Christian conservative leaders and administration and Department of Commerce officials the tone very much changed overnight into 'how do we stop this' and 'how do we kill it'. That's the nature of the documents we are trying to get more detail on."

Lawley says that the .xxx domain is a good idea because it introduces some self-regulation into a $5bn industry that does not currently police itself. His proposal mandates that anyone registering a .xxx domain must tag their content so that it is labelled as pornographic or adult material.

Even if the .xxx site merely points to a .com or .net domain, the content to which it ultimately points must be tagged, he said. He also said that $10 of the $60 annual registration fee will go to a foundation set up by his company to fund child protection online.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI
Read the paperwork very carefully - or fall victim to marketing shysters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.