Mormon Group Lobbies for 'Internet Zoning'

OREM, Utah - Although Utah was named America's online smut capital in a recent Harvard study, one of the state's Mormon groups is lobbying for a crackdown on Internet porn.

The anti-porn organization wants adult content banned from the standard Internet protocol port and confined to a new area. The group also wants Internet service providers to block all IP addresses originating from non-compliant countries.

To that effect, CP80 is lobbying the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to allow the formation of an ICANN "Cybersafety Constituency" committee, which in turn, would certainly shut the door on any plans for a .xxx domain that's been under consideration.

CP80 is headed by Ralph Yarro III, chairman and largest shareholder of Internet tech company SCO Group, which is a Linux vendor.

Yarro and the group's lead attorney, Cheryl Preston of Brigham Young University, have pushed for "Internet Zoning."

According to the CP80 site, a drive for legislation in every state calls for voluntary compliance and would require that anyone offering adult content be held accountable if that content is accessible on the "Community Ports." Yarro's group claims this mirrors real-world zoning, such as the locations of some adult theaters, bookstores and strip clubs.

The proposed legislation would also provide marketing support for ISPs who "fight" pornography, calls for ISP record-keeping and imposes restrictions on wireless access

According to The Register, last December, Preston said the new committee would represent "the interests of families, children, consumers, victims of cybercrime, religions and cultures." It would also have the power to impose policies on intellectual property, ISPs and non-commercial domain-name owners.

Though Preston's said to have previously disclosed her affiliation and does so on the petition, her letter does not address the most radical changes the group wants on the Web.

ICANN is soliciting comments regarding the petition. The Register reports most comments have supported such a committee, but said those letters all come at the directive of Yarro, who told CP80 members to cut-and-paste responses based on information the group provided. 

Most of those comments of support for the ICANN cybersafety group appear to come out of Utah.

As AVN Online reported last month, a recent Harvard Business School study found Utah is the highest consumer of Internet porn among all 50 states, with an average of 5.47 porn subscriptions per 1,000 broadband users.