House Amendment Would Outlaw "Misleading" Domain Names
On March 27, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Child Abduction Prevention Act outlawing the use of "misleading" domain names "with intent to deceive" Internet users into viewing obscenity or, in the case of minors, material "harmful to minors." The amendment, which was inserted by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) at the last minute, includes penalties of 2-4 years imprisonment. CDT has significant concerns about the potentially-harmful effects of the amendment's "harmful to minors" standard on free expression. CDT also believes that such legislation's collateral effects on the Internet's naming systems should be thoroughly evaluated before being enshrined in law.