Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Defining Pornography

There's a common quote about pornography, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it".

The wonderful thing about terrorism -- from a governmental view, anyway -- is that it fits the same pattern. See something you don't like? Call it terrorism and proceed to violate every law on the books in order to stop the...err... lawbreakers.

To those like me that were frustrated by ICANN's reluctance to define an '.xxx' domain, this article at least gives a good explanation as to why they were fighting it:
Paul Twomey, ICANN’S chief executive, said the decision largely came down to whether by creating the “.xxx” domain ICANN might be put in a position of having to enforce all of the world’s laws governing pornography.
Makes sense. Just like "terrorism", every government has their own temporal definition of "pornography", which would drag ICANN into the Sisyphean task of judging who does and doesn't belong there. Playboy? Yes. Breast cancer awareness sites? No....

Not only can I see why ICANN doesn't want the job, I can see why no one else would, either.

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