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Bring on those .XXX internet domains

By Nathan Tabor
web posted July 11, 2005

Bob Parsons is an interesting, entrepreneurial kind of a guy. He got in on the front end of the technology curve in the early 1990s when Parsons Technology made a name for itself in evangelical circles by being among the first to market Bible software. His QuickVerse software brought the Scriptures to Christian computer users' fingertips.

GoDaddy.com's infamous Super Bowl commercialParsons has more recently made an even bigger name for himself in secular circles by creating a racy TV ad that ran nationwide during the 2005 Superbowl. That spoofish spot featured a buxom brunette who was allegedly testifying before a Congressional committee on censorship, while her bra strap supposedly kept slipping down and threatening to expose her ample bosom. Fox and the NFL then spiked the second-half airing of the ad – which sparked an even bigger flurry of media attention.

When criticized by Christians for hypocrisy, Parsons fought back. "To this day I consider myself a Christian," he insisted. "But I am not a fundamentalist Christian. I am also not a member of the Religious Right. I am not opposed in any way to these groups. I am just not part of them. My beliefs today are exactly what they were back when I owned Parsons Technology. I'm still the same guy."

Well, you have to give him credit for being up front about what he believes. He told Paul Capelli, an ad agency executive: "I would love to have a beautiful woman with a nice ample chest with my name across her shirt." Apparently, for Parsons the bottom line is bucks, whether it's produced by Bibles or boobs.

Bob ParsonsBut that isn't all. Parsons, who is now the sole owner of another highly successful company called GoDaddy.com, also sells Internet domain names. This has been a very lucrative enterprise for Parsons, and it's about to become even more so, with the advent of the new .XXX domains for pornographic websites. It should come as no surprise that Parsons is pushing the .XXX domain monikers big time.

Parsons applauds the fact that ICANN, a quasi-governmental agency that oversees the naming and numbering system used to identify Internet sites, has recently approved the .XXX domain. Their move effectively creates a "red light district for the Internet," with the adult domains likely being available for purchase by year's end.

"I personally believe that out of all the new top level domains being approved, .XXX is one that makes a great deal of sense and will serve a useful purpose," Parsons said.

He then described how it would work: ".XXX will operate much like .COM does now – meaning it will be a domain name people can type into their browsers to take them to a website – but similar to the way .GOV is reserved for governmental organizations, .XXX will be reserved for pornographic or adult content websites."

Understandably, many Conservative and religious groups oppose the new Internet pornography neighborhood. The Family Research Council, for example, released the following statement immediately after ICANN approved the .XXX extension:

"The new domain would do more harm than good," said Patrick Trueman, FRC's
senior legal counsel and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. "The .COM domain has been a cash cow for the porn industry and pornographers will not give it up and remove themselves to the .XXX domain. Instead, they will populate the .XXX domain and perhaps double the number of porn sites available on the Web."

It may surprise some people, but I agree with Parsons on this one. And I would go even further. I am a Conservative who believes that we should both welcome and fight for the .XXX domain designations.

What? Yes, you heard me right. Now hear me out.

I believe we should use the tactics of the Liberals – who always love to tax and regulate everything – and make all porn sites drop their current .COM domains and go to the .XXX url exclusively.

Forcing the porn peddlers to identify themselves will cut down drastically on families' being bombarded with smut e-mail and accidentally entering the wrong website. Parents could then block all the spam e-mail, and unsuspecting web surfers would know before visiting whitehouse.com that they weren't going to see government in action but rather some salacious smut.

Smut magazines are banned to the back of store counters now. Strip clubs are regulated and closely monitored for compliance. So why not regulate porn websites also?

I know: they will just continue to operate. Well, not if you severely penalize the hosting companies who don't shut down porn sites that aren't abiding by the law.

"It's going to take a while for .XXX to really work," Parsons says. "I suspect that it will take some sort of government intervention to require adult sites to use only .XXX extensions. It's anybody's guess when and if the government will take such action here."

While I don't condone his actions or his motives, I tend to suspect that Parsons' professional analysis is right on target.

Nathan Tabor is a conservative political activist based in Kernersville, North Carolina. He has his BA in Psychology and his Master's Degree in Public Policy. He is a contributing editor at www.theconservativevoice.com. Contact him at nathan@nathantabor.com. Copyright © 2005 by Nathan Tabor


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