Internet Community Ports Act

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The Internet Community Ports Act (ICPA),ICPA created and advocated by The CP80 Foundation (aka "Clean Port 80"), CP80 is an approach to HTTP content filtering, leveraging HTTP ports to segregate content between "Community Ports" and "Open Ports." "Community Ports" would be for content that is not considered "obscene or harmful" to children; "Open Ports" would be for all other content, including content only considered suitable for adults, such as pornography. According to the advocates of ICPA, this would enable an individual to, through their ISP's firewall, choose the content they want by port, allowing content or blocking out content individually. Advocates of ICPA would particularly like to remove "objectional" content from Port 80, the standard port for World-Wide Web traffic (but by no means all Internet traffic, making the title somewhat of a misnomer).

CP80 is Chaired by Ralph Yarro III, who is also the Chair of the SCO Group.

The CP80 Foundation claims its solution is based on an individual's choice and the use of existing technology. They also claim the solution is a fair and balanced answer to an alleged "Internet Porn Problem". They conclude that the ICPA (Internet Community Ports Act) "protects" children and individuals while simultaneously "preserving" the First Amendment for all.

While the ICPA has not yet been introduced into the US Congress, it is said to have the support of a number of the Utah members of Congress including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah).support CP80 has reportedly made presentations to these members of Congress. Sen. Hatch has been quoted as stating "We have to pursue creative and innovative solutions to this growing public health threat, and CP80 is one of the leaders in that effort."desertnews Some may consider a proposal calling for the creation of a .xxx domain as similar, but was reportedly blocked by ICANN at the request of the US Government.

The CP80 Foundations claims the ICPA is different in several important ways from the .xxx domain proposal. The ICPA, if passed, would be a federal law, while the .xxx domain was always intended to be voluntary. ICPA would preserve all current URLs and current naming conventions, the .xxx domain would not. ICPA provides a mechanism of recourse against a non-compliant web publisher or content provider under US law, .xxx domain has no such mechanism. ICPA would provide a more secure and robust solution as the content blocking happens at the ISP level, whereas blocking of the .xxx domain would happen at the end user browser level.

The CP80 Foundation claims it's ICPA also attempts to address the international "Porn Problem". If the ICPA were to pass an end user would have several choices to make in terms of their Internet experience. The end user would choose Community ports or both Open and Community ports. If the end user chooses Community ports only, the end user could then decide to allow all IP's from foreign countries or just the IP's from compliant countries or no foreign IP's, all of this configuration would happen at the ISP level. In Addition, The CP80 Foundation also supports a movement to use the IANA function, which is still currently administered by the US Government, to enforce the ICPA’s proposed separation of content internationally as part of "A New Internet Evolution", disseminating down though the current ranks of Internet governance including RIR’s, ISP’s and finally web publishers and content providers. This would address any international web publisher or content provider who is not conforming to the "New Evolution" of the Internet.


The original discussion text should probably be moved to an archive page and the points summarized here.

Alternative Solutions

list from Aaron Toponce


  1. RFC 3514: Set a security flag in the IPv4 header. With this standard, it would be easy to filter out unwanted online material.
  2. .XXX TLD: Have a top level domain of .xxx, and force adult content to use the TLD. Again, using this approach, it is easy to filter out questionable material using simple software.
  3. Non-neutral tiered Internet: Rather than one dumb pipe serving all traffic for all types, we can tier the Internet, putting certain content and services on different pipes through your ISP. You want the porn? You’ll need to pay for it. Don’t want it? No worries – you won’t get it. (This solution opens up many of the issues raised in Internet neutrality.)

There are a number of other solutions to combating the problem with pornography. Probably the biggest, is just plain education. Parents need to teach their children and put the computer in high traffic areas. There are also a number of great tools already in place to filter out unwanted adult material.

The point of all this is: rather than messing with the underlying framework of the system, enhance existing technology to better fit the solution.

responses to Toponce

RFC 3514 is a joke. It’s equivalent to walking up to a crook and asking, “Are you honest?” Of course the crook is going to say “Yes!” just like people who are hackers are going to mark the “Is safe” field of the IP header. The XXX TLD has the same problem - it requires everyone to be honest.

How are you going to make companies whose webservers are in a different country abide by US laws? It’s impossible and silly to try to demand everyone in the world submit to draconian US laws.

However, you nail the point when it comes to education - that’s the real solution. Not to mention, is pornography _really_ the problem we need to be working on? Whatever your thoughts on the subject, you can certainly agree that there are _much_ more important things that America can be fixing with both the Internet and the country than movies of people having sex. Porn is like smoking, it’s just another shill issue that congress like to bring up to distract people from the huge real problems that we have.

rating system

This solution seems rather simplistic, not particularly tech-aware, would result in a number of other issues needing to be addressed, and also seems like something that was proposed back in the 1990s. I'm including it for the sake of completeness. --Woozle 10:18, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

The simplest solution would be creating a mandatory rating system. Every website has a mandatory rating number. Every new router, browsers slowly adds rating control mechanism.

Website owners are responsible to keeping the contents within the self-set rating number. It's up to the consumer to decide to see material of a given rating. If web site owner can not keep its material within self-set rating, consumers can complain and website owners are liable for not keeping their contents to according to their own rating. The US "Do-not-call" law enforce method can be used to enforce this. This is the most reasonable way if we apply common sense from the physical world. This solves both the parenting and employer problems while freedom is preserved.

In the physical world, a billboard company can not just let anyone put an obscene ad on its billboard and disclaim any responsibility. At this time, we are letting discussion, blogging web sits and others to do that. With mandatory rating system, they can continue to do that. And through the rating system, each person can decide to view.


ICPA appears to either ignore reality (that the Internet is an international entity and countries, companies, and people outside the USA are extremely unlikely to comply with its provisions, if passed) or to assume the US has extraterritorial rights to regulate foreign entities (many of which would presumably not accept such an assumption).

It also assumes that the most important attribute of all material content distributed on the Internet is whether or not it is "adult" or pornographic (presumably matching some criteria in the minds of the proposers). These are the only forms of content that could be censored by the US Government consistent with the US Constitution. However, many find depictions of violence, intolerance, extremist views, sexist messages or racist content more problematic. The ICPA as a government mandate cannot provide a practical mechanism whereby a myriad of other attributes of material could be assessed and categorised for suitability. This is contrasted with the voluntary Platform for Internet Content Selection which fully enables individuals to voluntarily screen content consistent with their personal world-views.

The current proposal, concentrating as it does on "pornography", does not address any of these aspects, or the presumable requirement to address different combinations of unsuitable materials, dependent on local, cultural, or individual preferences or views. In the absence of any common view as to what attributes of content, if any, require regulation, the most pragmatic approach would appear to be eschew censorial categorisation of any form, and allow individuals to filter their own access.

The ICPA seeks to criminalize obscenity sent over "community ports". Obscenity is already illegal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1460-1466 to 47 U.S.C. § 223(a) & (b). Certainly no publisher of content would have an incentive to label their content "obscene" for purposes of not being put on "community ports" where such an announcement would subject them to criminal liability.

Critics have also likened the proposal to the "evil bit" of RFC 3514 due to problems of defining what types of content qualify.


The CP80 Internet Channel Initiative and the ICPA have gone to great lengths to promote individual rights, regardless of where you live. It offers you the choice to 1). Limit access to only the Community ports (free from pornography) and 2). Block those countries whose definition of “Community” content does not match your own.

It is an individual choice.

The primary “line drawn in the Internet sand” for content mimics the same lines that exist in the real world that separate content based on age appropriateness. Although the impetus for the CP80 Initiative and the ICPA is Internet pornography, the categorization of content into adult ports and all-age-appropriate ports could extend to other topics and forms of content, easily allowing parents to better do their jobs — which is already difficult in today’s world.

Furthermore, each country could apply its own values with regard to what is appropriate for the Community ports. Remember, only those individuals who opt for a pornography-free Internet experience would have a limited Internet experience — which may only include access to websites hosted within their own country; however, the Internet experience for an individual who chose to access everything would not change.

The CP80 Initiative is mandated, either through legislative processes or through the various Internet management bodies. Voluntary content management technologies will never work.

The ICPA seeks to fill the gaps that have been created by higher court judgments that have rendered existing “obscenity” and “harmful to minors” laws unconstitutional when applied to Internet content. In fact, due to the lack of legislation governing Internet pornography, there are many forms of pornography on the Internet that if they existed in the brick-and-mortar world, would be immediately prosecutable.

Sources and Notes

  1. CP80 Internet Community Port Act
  2. Putting lipstick on the Internet porno-pig Network World Fusion
  3. Utah tries new tack in battle over Net porn, Deseret News
  4. Web Censorship for Dummies, AlterNet
  5. Grey Matter for Internet Scissors, ITWorldCanada