Amber Alert Bill: How Can It Affect You?

Most of us, especially those of us residing in and around the Toronto area are aware of a bill that was passed by the US government recently, called the Amber Alert Bill. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the bill, it empowers law enforcement, the media and the public to combat child abduction by sending out immediate, up-to-date information that aids in the childs safe recovery. In Toronto, we saw this bill put into place a couple of weeks ago with the abduction and subsequent murder of 10-year-old Holly Jones. Although this bill mostly addresses this issue of child abduction, there is a section of the bill that can and will affect adult webmasters and it reads as follows:

(a) Whoever knowingly uses a misleading domain name with the intent to deceive a person into viewing obscenity on the Internet shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. 
(b) Whoever knowingly uses a misleading domain name with the intent to deceive a minor into viewing material that is harmful to minors on the Internet shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 4 years, or both. 
(c) For the purposes of this section, a domain name that includes a word or words to indicate the sexual content of the site, such as `sex´ or `porn´, is not misleading.

This is a very clever trick on the part of the United States government. They tack on some anti-porn legislature onto a bill that nobody in their right mind would want to rally against. I have no idea what online porn has to do with child abduction but obviously, nobody wants to be the insensitive a-hole that speaks out against a child abduction law. Very, very sneaky!

A journalist for recently gave a good example in an article of a misleading domain name that would be in violation of this bill. The example he gave was, which in fact does contain adult content. According to this new law, the owners of this domain could be fined and imprisoned for two years. That is a very clear example of a domain name that is quite obviously meant to mislead people. What about domain names like,, According to the bill, these domain names would be in violation of both (a) and (b). What happens to all of the adult sites out there that have domain names that do not include the words “sex” or “porn”? There are probably tens of thousands of these that are in violation of this new bill. 

You are probably wondering how the government will be able to monitor and police the immense online area that is taken up by adult content. Well, it seems that to back up this particular bill, the government has imposed a limitless budget, and twenty-five more prosecutors will be appointed to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice that handles obscenity and child porn.

As long as the Bush administration sits in office, pornographers will suffer. So, what can we as adult webmasters do about this legislation? To get some answers, I hit the discussion boards to see if anybody had come up with any solutions and I was pleasantly surprised to find that people had some pretty interesting ideas for combating this new bill. 

One Webmaster suggested that all porn site domains have a specified extension that clearly shows that their site contains adult material. He recommended that all adult domains end in extensions like .prn or .xxx. He felt that this would perhaps be a solution to the whole misleading domains issue. It would also probably be a viable answer that the government would find suitable and one that if it hasn’t already been suggested, probably will be soon. Of course, this solution definitely has its downsides such as ISP’s, states, or even individuals being able to ban domains with certain extensions from being viewed. All in all, there was much debate taking place on this issue.

Another concerned online pornographer discussed the idea of supporting the organizations that are out there that protect civil liberties and personal freedom. He mentioned the three major ones being ACLU or American Civil Liberties Union, the Free Speech Coalition, and the Internet Freedom Association. It is certainly a step in the right direction to get behind these organizations and the work that they do, but they have a lot on their plates. They may not have the resources or the time to take on legislation that affects the online adult industry specifically, unless perhaps they receive support from an extremely large group of adult webmasters.

Another webmaster suggested a .kids domain extension. This would give parents the opportunity to filter their browser to allow just .kids domains when their children are surfing the Internet. All .kids websites would have content suitable for minors.

One other suggestion, although a pretty extreme idea, was to get the support of the surfers by having banners on the adult websites such as “save porn on the Internet”, “protect your first amendment rights”, etc. The hopes behind this are that surfers will feel compelled to go out and attack anti-porn legislation. My take on this matter is that surfers are there to see porn and they would not really be interested in getting into a political battle about civil liberties. The only people that this kind of campaign will appeal to are the fanatics.

So, what can you do to save yourself from the possibility of being affected by this new bill? My suggestion would be to discuss it with your lawyer and if you do not have one then get one. An attorney will be able to tell you how and if you will be affected and what measures you can take to protect yourself. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Reader Comments: (1 posts)

Viki says:
Yo, that's what's up trtuhfluly.
January 14th, 2012
at 4:12am EST
Rating StarRating StarRating StarRating Star


Post Your Comments

WARNING: Any comments you post are solely your responsibility. accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever in connection with or arising from such content. Defamatory, derogatory, or other comments that we feel should be removed will, at our own discretion and ours alone.