Saturday, June 11, 2011

GoDaddy to start selling .xxx : The dilemma for Kenyan Internet Users

Go Daddy, the largest seller of internet domain names, has become the latest registrar to sign up to sell .xxx addresses.

The company joins about 50 other registrars that have so far been approved by .xxx manager ICM Registry and accredited by ICANN to sell the names. However for, internet users and domainers in Kenya, there is little to celebrate as the Kenyan government, recently joined a few other ill advised governments who have expressed an intention to block the new Top level domain name.

A look at the Top 500 most visited sites in Kenya by Alexa rank will show you that Kenyan internet users already have a more than healthy dose of porn. If the Kenyan government was so concerned about infiltration of porn why did they not block the second level domain(websites) top porn sites visited by Kenyans?

That's why the intention to block .xxx seems so hypocritical to many of us. It's sort of the scapegoat for our failures to inculcate values in our kids. Blocking the .xxx TLD will change nothing in the equation in terms of users' access to porn. As someone commented some time back, it will simply give unaware parents a false sense of security that the government has already done its job. It will just deny the country's internet entrepreneurs the freedom and opportunities of the internet. Not all those who buy .xxx domain names are porn stars, or porn peddlers or whatever misinformed name people come up with to justify these decisions and the casual ways in which they are made. Most of them are simply business people and the government will simply take them out of the business equation due to this-and I stress again- ill advised decision.

It's also very shameful that Kenya, an increasingly sophisticated information society, joins a handful of other "blocking nations". The bad guys of the internet. It's a dubious distinction, bad precedence.