Joins Indonesia and the Middle East to protect the moral integrity of its citizens
After half-a-decade worth of approvals and rejections the quest for a separate .xxx domain exclusively for porn finally came to fruition a few days ago. The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has finally given a go ahead to the xxx domain. We had considered the pros and cons of the move in our coverage of the news, and one major concern that emerged was the inevitability of conservative governments like Islamic states in the Middle East and Indonesia imposing a blanket ban on the domain, which would undermine the freedoms that the Internet stands for. Shortly after the news broke out, the Indian government expressed its intention to seek a ban on the pornographic domain; putting it in the company of Indonesia and the Middle East vying to protect the moral integrity of its citizens.
The new .xxx domain evoked a response from the ministry of IT, wherein an official issued the following statement, "India, along with many other countries from the Middle East and Indonesia, opposed the grant of the domain in the first place, and we would proceed to block the whole domain, as it goes against the IT Act and Indian laws." The Indian laws, which are widely considered to still be clinging to the outdated Victorian roots, ironically do not have any credible deterrent for sexual abuse of children, making India a haven for paedophiles world over, but they have a provision that outlaws adult sexual content.
The distribution of adult content is illegal as per the Indian Penal Code, which validates India's opposition to the xxx domain. However, viewing pornography isn't technically a crime. The new domain, however, will make it easier for conservative Islamic states and, ironically the original peddler of adult content, India, to block the porn distribution channels. That will essentially be futile as Indians still have the option of visiting the pornographic websites working from existing .com domains, banning which would be counter-productive if not impossible.