Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has got another scheme to protect kids from online porn. Brian Krebs and David McGuire of Newsbytes write:
The measure offered by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., would instruct the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to set up a new domain name — such as “dot-prn” — for pornographic Web sites. Owners of adult sites would have 12 months to move their businesses following the creation of the new domain.
The bill, dubbed the “Family Privacy Protection Act” also would require e-mail advertisements that include explicit content to be clearly labeled as containing sexually oriented material.
Sigh. Same old problems in new packaging. First of all, what’s a pornographic site? If a site has information on safe sex or breast cancer or has sexual information of an academic nature, is it pornographic? Who determines the label? If it’s self-assigned, it loses any chance of working. If it’s assigned by a government agency, it puts a clear chill on free speech, since many users will set up their browsers to block the porn domain name, thus discouraging people from talking about sex or sexual issues.
As for labeling e-mail, I must say that I’ve never had trouble deciphering when an unsolicited e-mail contains pornographic content. It’s usually right there in the subject line. It’s called the delete button — use it.