FYI: Freedom of Speech in the URLs

YJ Park (by way of chiari mario <>) yjpark a MYEPARK.COM
Mar 28 Nov 2000 12:45:25 CET

The below message has been indirectly forwarded from Vint Cerf
in the council list which has dealt with "free speech right" in the second
level domain names.

I also attached "Resolution about freedom of speech" which was passed
in MdR NCC meeting on Nov. 13 hoping this could be a strating point
of this discussion regarding this subject.


>[ Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) acted properly in denying
>[ registration of some 30 sexually oriented domain names, the U.S.
>[ Dist. Court, Concord, N.H., ruled Sept. 28. The squabble arose
>[ when NSI refused a request by Lynn Haberstroh and National A-1
>[ Advertising to register domain names ranging from "" and
>[ "" to more explicit terms. Haberstroh sued,
>[ charging NSI, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and several
>[ NSI employees with violating her First Amendment rights. After
>[ reviewing the U.S. and NSI roles on the Internet, U.S. Dist. Judge
>[ Steven McAuliffe disagreed, saying NSI wasn't acting as an arm of
>[ the govt. when it rejected Haberstroh's request, and that even if
>[ it had been, no free speech rights were abridged. "In the end,"
>[ said the court, "plaintiffs' claim that they have a
>[ constitutionally protected right to include particular words or
>[ phrases in the space occupied by second-level domain names falls
>[ short. Plainly, URLs, transfer protocol identifiers, [top-level
>[ domain names], and second-level domain names were not designed,
>[ intended or traditionally employed to act as fora for speech...
>[ [T]o the extent that it is at all reasonable to view a Web address
>[ as a forum for speech, it is appropriate to look at the complete
>[ URL. In the 'forum' -- the complete URL -- plaintiffs' speech has
>[ not been suppressed or inhibited in any constitutionally
>[ significant way by the complained-of conduct of [NSI] or the NSF."

Resolution about freedom of speech:

Submitted by Kent Crispin

The NCDNHC notes with concern that none of the TLD applications
gives overt support to the notion of free expression. The NCDNHC
believes that free expression is one of the core values that must be
supported in the Internet, and we seek from the Board, a resolution
supporting the notion of one or more new TLDs that explicitely support
these values. In order to get such TLDs created, there must be more
rounds of applications; and we support the idea of reopenning applications
as soon as reasonably possible
                                       [End of Message]

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