ICANN to reclaim all cussword domains – Party like it’s 1994
Pittsburgh, PA – The Unassociated Press
It could not happen at a worse time; ICANN announced today that it’s amending its Letter of Authorization (LOA) to all Registries, including Verisign and PIR.
The amendment revokes article BC1922/C/1995 that allows for the registration of domains which fall in the “cussword” category. In particular, article 7B of the amendment states:
“Registries are allowed to permit registrations of any textual string, regardless of the ethical or moral references to acts that would be socially unacceptable or even punishable by law, by means of invoking the Freedom of Speech protocol; Geneva 21/200KL, as described in the associated documentation herein.”
This entire paragraph has now been stricken out leaving the determination of which domains can be accepted for registration to the Registries; in essence, this means that each Registry will now decide by majority vote whether to permit domains such as sex.com, porn.com, ass.com and suckmebeautiful.org to remain registered.
In a memo to both Verisign and PIR, ICANN justifies this policy change as an event related to extreme pressure from the Religious Right, a group of conservatives that have been lobbying the ICANN members for such an action against “immoral domain names.”
According to Stephanie McPherson-Peters, executive director of WOWNow International – a freedom of speech watchdog agency – ICANN members could not but succumb to this pressure:
“It is unfortunate that we should forget about freedom of speech and such imaginary claims to democracy; the ICANN members acted upon extreme fear of losing their travel benefits and meal coupons. I think it’s a dark day for the Internet.”
ICANN will begin to reclaim all cussword domains before the end of the year; this should be enough time for their owners to surrender the domains through the respective Registries and receive in exchange a free dinner for two at Domino’s Pizza, along with a hardbound copy of The Holy Bible.