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Published 20.12.17

The Impact of Domain Names on Children’s Rights and Child Safety

Jutta Croll, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
Stiftung Digitale Chancen
Quelle: eigenes Material
Childrens-rights.digital The Impact of Domain Names on Children’s Rights	and Child Safety

The allocation of domain names holds high potential to ensure children’s rights and their protection from inappropriate content and inadequate contact. For domain names especially attractive to children f. e. sub domains under .play or .kids the risk of misuse could be reduced significantly by safety reviews within the registration procedure. The Verified Top Level Domain Consortiums (vTLD) demonstrates how such a safety check is performed for generic Top Level Domains like .bank. The review of applicants for respective domains causes additional efforts, thus the registration of a vTLDs costs at present around 1.500 USD. This is affordable or companies applying for registration of a sub domain under .bank, but it’s not for child welfare organisations that would like to register a sub domain under .play or .kids.

In other cases domains with respective names pave the way directly to illegal content, f. e. when child sexual abuse imagery is hosted there. Often it could be common interest of the registry that has the right to grant sub domains under a certain TLD, and the child protection community, to keep the address space clean. A domain like www.naked-boys. could host legitimate content, but when child sexual abuse material can be found there children’s rights and dignity are violated and the reputation of the respective city will be damaged as well. In order to change this co-operation of all stakeholders involved is needed, reliable agreements on the procedures and a fund to finance the additional security checks for child sensitive domain names.

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