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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Independent Domain Registries


Independent domain registries allocate domain names in a subset of the Domain Name System under a top-level or lower-level domain which is properly registered with an ICANN-accredited registrar. These registries offer lower-level domains within their name space to the public. Most of the independent domain registries operate based on an ISO 3166-1 name that is a subdomain of a higher-level domain.
These registries combine the domain registry and the domain registrar functions in the administration structure, but may split them into two legal entities. The registry may be an entity that holds the data and the ownership of the top level domain, while another entity provides operational functions. This protects the continuity of operation in case of registrar business failure.



Operation



Independent registries operate at a technical level identical to official domain registries using the well-know principles of operation of the Domain Name System. In addition, the registries may also operate a WHOIS service to publish domain name information.


History


The idea for an independent global domain name registry stems from a series of conversations between one of CentralNic's original founders and the late Jon Postel, one of the founding fathers of the modern Internet. Postel suggested the use of .UK.COM to compete with .CO.UK, at a time when the proposed price of the latter was about $300.
After the use of UK.COM other ISO Country codes ending in .COM were also established such as AU.COM (Australia) and HK.COM (Hong Kong) and many other countries.


Domain Registrar rankings


Several organizations post market-share-ranked lists of domain name registrars and numbers of domains registered at each. The published lists differ in which top-level domains (TLDs) they use; in the frequency of updates; and in whether their basic data is absolute numbers provided by registries, or daily changes derived from Zone files.
The lists appear to all use at most 16 publicly available generic TLDs (gTLDs) that existed as of December 2009, plus .us. A February 2010 ICANN zone file access concept paper explains that most country code TLD (ccTLD) registries stopped providing zone files in 2003, citing abuse.


Published rankings and reports include:
Monthly (but with approximately a three-month delay), ICANN posts reports created by the registries of 16 gTLDs. These reports list absolute numbers of domains registered with each ICANN-accredited registrar.
Monthly (but with three-month delay as it relies on ICANN data.) Dotandco.net publishes a list of registrars by volume.
Yearly (but covering only the period from 2002 to 2007), DomainTools.com, operated by Name Intelligence, Inc., published registrar statistics. Totals included .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz and .us. It cites "daily changes" (presumably from daily zone files) as the basis for its yearly aggregates, although it only lists quarterly changes.


Domain name transfer


A domain name transfer is the process of changing the designated registrar of a domain name. ICANN has defined a Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars The usual process of a domain name transfer is:
The end user verifies that the whois admin contact info is correct, particularly the email address; obtains the authentication code (EPP transfer code) from the old registrar, and removes any domain lock that has been placed on the registration. If the whois information had been out of date and is now updated, the end-user should wait 12–24 hours before proceeding further, to allow time for the updated data to propagate.

The end user contacts the new registrar with the wish to transfer the domain name to their service, and supplies the authentication code.
The gaining Registrar must obtain express authorization from either the Registered Name Holder or the Administrative Contact. A transfer may only proceed if confirmation of the transfer is received by the gaining Registrar from one of these contacts. The authorization must be made via a valid Standardized Form of Authorization, which may be sent e.g. by e-mail to the e-mail addresses listed in the WHOIS. The Registered Name Holder or the Administrative Contact must confirm the transfer. The new registrar starts electronically the transfer of the domain with the help of the authentication code (auth code).

The old registrar will contact the end user to confirm the authenticity of this request. The end user may have to take further action with the old registrar, such as returning to the online management tools, to re-iterate their desire to proceed, in order to expedite the transfer.
The old registrar will release authority to the new registrar.
The new registrar will notify the end user of transfer completion. The new registrar may have automatically copied over the domain server information, and everything on the website will continue to work as before. Otherwise, the domain server information will need to be updated with the new registrar.
After this process, the new registrar is the domain name's designated registrar. The process may take about five days. In some cases, the old registrar may intentionally delay the transfer as long as allowable. After transfer, the domain cannot be transferred again for 60 days, except back to the previous registrar.


It is unwise to attempt to transfer a domain immediately before it expires. In some cases, a transfer can take up to 14 days, meaning that the transfer may not complete before the registration expires. This could result in loss of the domain name registration and failure of the transfer. To avoid this, end users should either transfer well before the expiration date, or renew the registration before attempting the transfer.
If a domain registration expires, irrespective of the reason, it can be difficult, expensive, or impossible for the original owner to get it back. After the expiration date, the domain status often passes through several management phases, often for a period of months; usually it does not simply become generally available.


Domain name registrar


A domain name registrar is an organization or commercial entity, accredited by a generic top-level domain registry (gTLD) and/or by a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry, to manage the reservation of Internet domain names in accordance with the guidelines of the designated domain name registries and to offer such services to the public.


Until 1999, Network Solutions (NSI) operated the com, net, and org registries. In addition to the function of domain name registry operator, it was also the sole registrar for these domains. However, several companies had developed independent registrar services. One such company, NetNames, developed in 1996 the concept of a standalone commercial domain name registration service to sell to the public domain registration and other associated services. This effectively created the retail model into the industry and assigning a wholesale role to the registries. NSI assimilated this model, which ultimately led to the separation of registry and registrar functions.


In 1997, PGMedia filed an anti-trust suit against NSI citing the ROOT zone as an essential facility, and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) was enjoined to this action. Ultimately, NSI was granted immunity from anti-trust litigation, but the litigation created enough pressure to restructure the domain name market.
In October 1998, following pressure from the growing domain name registration business and other interested parties, NSI's agreement with the United States Department of Commerce was amended. This amendment required the creation of a shared registration system that supported multiple registrars. This system officially commenced service on November 30, 1999 under the supervision of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), although there had been several testbed registrars using the system since March 11, 1999. Since then, over 900 registrars have entered the market for domain name registration services.
Of the registrars who initially entered the market, many have continued to grow and outpace rivals. Go Daddy is the largest registrar. Other successful registrars include eNom, Tucows, Melbourne IT. Registrars who initially led the market but later were surpassed by rivals include Network Solutions and Dotster.
Each ICANN-accredited registrar must pay a fixed fee of US$4,000 plus a variable fee. The sum of variable registrar fees is intended to total US$3.8 million. The competition created by the shared registration system enables end users to choose from many registrars offering a range of related services at varying prices.



Designated registrar


Domain registration information is maintained by the domain name registries, which contract with domain registrars to provide registration services to the public. An end user selects a registrar to provide the registration service, and that registrar becomes the designated registrar for the domain chosen by the user.
Only the designated registrar may modify or delete information about domain names in a central registry database. It is not unusual for an end user to switch registrars, invoking a domain transfer process between the registrars involved, that is governed by specific domain name transfer policies.

When a registrar registers a com domain name for an end-user, it must pay a maximum annual fee of US$7.85 to VeriSign, the registry operator for com, and a US$0.18 annual administration fee to ICANN. Most domain registrars price their services and products to address both the annual fees and the administration fees that must be paid to ICANN. Barriers to entry into the bulk registrar industry are high for new companies without an existing customer base.
Many registrars also offer registration through reseller affiliates. An end-user registers either directly with a registrar, or indirectly through one or more layers of resellers. As of 2010, the retail cost generally ranges from a low of about $7.50 per year to about $35 per year for a simple domain registration, although registrars often drop the price far lower – sometimes even free – when ordered with other products such as web hosting services.
The maximum period of registration for a domain name is 10 years. Some registrars offer longer periods of up to 100 years[citation needed], but such offers involve the registrar renewing the registration for their customer; the 100-year registration would not be in the official registration database.


Drop registrar


A drop registrar is a domain name registrar who registers expiring Internet domain names immediately after they expire and are deleted by the domain name registry. A drop registrar will typically use automated software to send up to 250 simultaneous domain name registration requests in an attempt to register the domain name first. In recognition of the potential abuse of such a "domain land rush", ICANN and VeriSign limited the number of simultaneous requests to 250 since July 17, 2001.Drop registrars usually work for a domain back-order service, and receive a percentage of the final auction price.



Domain name registry


A domain name registry is a database of all domain names registered in a top-level domain. A registry operator, also called a network information center (NIC), is the part of the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet that keeps the database of domain names, and generates the zone files which convert domain names to IP addresses. Each NIC is an organisation that manages the registration of Domain names within the top-level domains for which it is responsible, controls the policies of domain name allocation, and technically operates its top-level domain. It is potentially distinct from a domain name registrar. 
Domain names are managed under a hierarchy headed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the top of the DNS tree by administrating the data in the root nameservers.

IANA also operates the .int registry for intergovernmental organisations, the .arpa zone for protocol administration purposes, and other critical zones such as root-servers.net.

IANA delegates all other domain name authority to other domain name registries such as Afilias and VeriSign.
Country code top-level domains (ccTLD) are delegated by IANA to national registries such as DENIC in Germany and Nominet in the United Kingdom.


Allocation policies
Historically, domain name registries operated on a first-come-first-served system of allocation but may reject the allocation of specific domains on the basis of political, religious, historical, legal or cultural reasons.
For example, in the United States, between 1996 and 1998, InterNIC automatically rejected domain name applications based on a list of perceived obscenities.
Registries may also control matters of interest to their local communities: for example, the German, Japanese and Polish registries have introduced internationalized domain names to allow use of local non-ASCII characters.




Dispute policies
Domains which are registered with ICANN registrars, generally have to use the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), however, Germany's DENIC requires people to use the German civil courts, and Nominet UK deals with Intellectual Property and other disputes through its own dispute resolution service.


Prices of registration


A basic search engine query on the term "domain registration" reveals that prices for domain registration vary widely between each registry.


Third-level domains


Domain name registries may also impose a system of third-level domains on users. DENIC, the registry for Germany (.de), does not impose third level domains. AFNIC, the registry for France (.fr), has some third level domains, but not all registrants have to use them, and Nominet UK, the registry for the United Kingdom (.uk), requires all names to have a third level domain (e.g. .co.uk or .org.uk).
Many ccTLDs have moved from compulsory third or fourth-level domain to the availability of registrations of second level domains. Among them are .us (April 2002), .mx (May 2009), and .co (March 2010).



Domain sub-registration


Registrants of second-level domains sometimes act as a registry by offering sub-registrations to their registration. For example, registrations to .fami.ly are offered by the registrant of fami.ly and not by GPTC, the registry for Libya (.ly).

Domain name registration


The right to use a domain name is delegated by domain name registrars which are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization charged with overseeing the name and number systems of the Internet. In addition to ICANN, each top-level domain (TLD) is maintained and serviced technically by an administrative organization, operating a registry. A registry is responsible for maintaining the database of names registered within the TLD it administers. The registry receives registration information from each domain name registrar authorized to assign names in the corresponding TLD and publishes the information using a special service, the whois protocol.
ICANN publishes the complete list of TLD registries and domain name registrars. Registrant information associated with domain names is maintained in an online database accessible with the WHOIS service. For most of the more than 240 country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), the domain registries maintain the WHOIS (Registrant, name servers, expiration dates, etc.) information. For instance, DENIC, Germany NIC, holds the DE domain data. Since about 2001, most gTLD registries have adopted this so-called thick registry approach, i.e. keeping the WHOIS data in central registries instead of registrar databases.


For COM and NET domain names, a thin registry model is used: the domain registry (e.g. VeriSign) holds basic WHOIS (registrar and name servers, etc.) data. One can find the detailed WHOIS (registrant, name servers, expiry dates, etc.) at the registrars.
Some domain name registries, often called network information centers (NIC), also function as registrars to end-users. The major generic top-level domain registries, such as for the COM, NET, ORG, INFO domains, use a registry-registrar model consisting of many domain name registrars In this method of management, the registry only manages the domain name database and the relationship with the registrars. The registrants (users of a domain name) are customers of the registrar, in some cases through additional layers of resellers


Domain Name System


Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities.
A Domain Name Service translates queries for domain names (which are easier to understand and utilize when accessing the internet) into IP addresses for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide.
An often-used analogy to explain the Domain Name System is that it serves as the phone book for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. For example, the domain name www.example.com translates to the addresses 192.0.43.10 (IPv4) and 2620:0:2d0:200::10 (IPv6).

The Domain Name System makes it possible to assign domain names to groups of Internet resources and users in a meaningful way, independent of each entity's physical location. Because of this, World Wide Web (WWW) hyperlinks and Internet contact information can remain consistent and constant even if the current Internet routing arrangements change or the participant uses a mobile device. Internet domain names are easier to remember than IP addresses such as 208.77.188.166 (IPv4) or 2001:db8:1f70::999:de8:7648:6e8 (IPv6). Users take advantage of this when they recite meaningful Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) and e-mail addresses without having to know how the computer actually locates them.

The Domain Name System distributes the responsibility of assigning domain names and mapping those names to IP addresses by designating authoritative name servers for each domain. Authoritative name servers are assigned to be responsible for their particular domains, and in turn can assign other authoritative name servers for their sub-domains. This mechanism has made the DNS distributed and fault tolerant and has helped avoid the need for a single central register to be continually consulted and updated.
In general, the Domain Name System also stores other types of information, such as the list of mail servers that accept email for a given Internet domain. By providing a worldwide, distributed keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of the Internet.
Other identifiers such as RFID tags, UPCs, international characters in email addresses and host names, and a variety of other identifiers could all potentially use DNS.
The Domain Name System also specifies the technical functionality of this database service. It defines the DNS protocol, a detailed specification of the data structures and communication exchanges used in DNS, as part of the Internet Protocol Suite.


Internet Assigned Numbers Authority


Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the entity that oversees global IP address allocation, autonomous system number allocation, root zone management in the Domain Name System (DNS), media types, and other Internet Protocol-related symbols and numbers. IANA is a department operated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, also known as ICANN. 
Prior to the establishment of ICANN for this purpose, IANA was administered primarily by Jon Postel at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) of the University of Southern California (USC), under a contract USC/ISI had with the United States Department of Defense, until ICANN was created to assume the responsibility under a United States Department of Commerce contract.




IANA is broadly responsible for the allocation of globally unique names and numbers that are used in Internet protocols that are published as RFC documents. These documents describe methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet and Internet-connected systems. IANA also maintains a close liaison with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and RFC Editorial team in fulfilling this function.
In the case of the two major Internet namespaces, namely IP addresses and domain names, extra administrative policy and delegation to subordinate administrations is required because of the multi-layered distributed use of these resources.


IP addresses
IANA delegates allocations of IP address blocks to Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). Each RIR allocates addresses for a different area of the world. Collectively the RIRs have created the Number Resource Organization formed as a body to represent their collective interests and ensure that policy statements are coordinated globally.
The RIRs divide their allocated address pools into smaller blocks and delegate them in their respective operating regions to Internet service providers and other organizations. Since the introduction of the CIDR system, IANA typically allocates address space in the size of /8 prefix blocks for IPv4 and /12 prefix blocks from the 2000::/3 IPv6 block to requesting regional registries as needed.



Domain names
IANA administers the data in the root nameservers, which form the top of the hierarchical DNS tree. This task involves liaising with top-level domain operators, the root nameserver operators, and ICANN's policy making apparatus.
ICANN also operates the .int registry for international treaty organizations, the .arpa zone for Internet infrastructure purposes, including reverse DNS service, and other critical zones such as root-servers.



Protocol parameters
IANA administers many parameters of IETF protocols. Examples include the names of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) schemes and character encodings recommended for use on the Internet. This task is undertaken under the oversight of the Internet Architecture Board, and the agreement governing the work is published in RFC 2860.


Timezone database
After the Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al. lawsuit and the tz database's (or Timezone database, sometimes also referred to as the Olson database after its creator) eventual shutdown, IANA resumed operation of the database on October 16, 2011. The tz database holds the timezone differences and rules for the various regions of the world and allows this information to be mirrored and used by computers and other electronic devices to keep accurate track of timezones through the Internet.


Frequency assignment authority


In telecommunication, frequency assignment authority is the power granted an administration, or its designated or delegated leader or agency via treaty or law, to specify frequencies, or frequency bands, in the electromagnetic spectrum for use in systems or equipment.
International frequency assignment authority is vested in the Radiocommunication Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In the United States, primary frequency assignment authority is exercised by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for the Federal Government and by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for non-Federal Government organizations.
In Europe each country has regulatory input into the progress of European and international policy, standards, and legislation governing these sectors through their respective telecom regulators.
Frequency management for Europe is driven by a number of organisations. These include the:
European Union (EU)
Independent Regulator's Group (IRG)
European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) 
European Radiocommunications Office (ERO) 
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 
In July 2002, the European Commission also established the European Regulators Group for Electronic Communications Networks and Services; creating, for the first time, a formal structure for interaction and coordination between the European Commission and regulators in all EU Member States to ensure consistent application of European legislation.

Freedom of the press


Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials. While such freedom mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.

With respect to governmental information, any government may distinguish which materials are public or protected from disclosure to the public based on classification of information as sensitive, classified or secret and being otherwise protected from disclosure due to relevance of the information to protecting the national interest. Many governments are also subject to sunshine laws or freedom of information legislation that are used to define the ambit of national interest.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"


This philosophy is usually accompanied by legislation ensuring various degrees of freedom of scientific research (known as scientific freedom), publishing, press and printing the depth to which these laws are entrenched in a country's legal system can go as far down as its constitution. The concept of freedom of speech is often covered by the same laws as freedom of the press, thereby giving equal treatment to spoken and published expression.
Besides legal definitions, some non-governmental organizations use other criteria to judge the level of press freedom around the world:
Reporters Without Borders considers the number of journalists murdered, expelled or harassed, and the existence of a state monopoly on TV and radio, as well as the existence of censorship and self-censorship in the media, and the overall independence of media as well as the difficulties that foreign reporters may face.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) uses the tools of journalism to help journalists by tracking press freedom issues through independent research, fact-finding missions, and firsthand contacts in the field, including local working journalists in countries around the world. CPJ shares information on breaking cases with other press freedom organizations worldwide through the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global e-mail network. CPJ also tracks journalist deaths and detentions. CPJ staff applies strict criteria for each case; researchers independently investigate and verify the circumstances behind each death or imprisonment.
Freedom House likewise studies the more general political and economic environments of each nation in order to determine whether relationships of dependence exist that limit in practice the level of press freedom that might exist in theory. So the concept of independence of the press is one closely linked with the concept of press freedom.


Film censorship


The first act of movie censorship in the United States was an 1897 statute of the State of Maine that prohibited the exhibition of prizefight films. Maine enacted the statute to prevent the exhibition of the 1897 heavyweight championship between James J. Corbett and Robert Fitzsimmons. Some other states followed Maine.
In 1915, the US Supreme Court decided the case Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio in which the court determined that motion pictures were purely commerce and not an art, and thus not covered by the First Amendment. This decision was not overturned until the Supreme Court case, Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. Wilson in 1952. Popularly referred to as the "Miracle Decision", the ruling involved the short film "The Miracle", part of Roberto Rossellini's anthology film L'Amore (1948).
Between the Mutual Film and the Joseph Burstyn decisions local, state, and city censorship boards had the power to edit or ban films. City and state censorship ordinances are nearly as old as the movies themselves, and such ordinances banning the public exhibition of "immoral" films proliferated.

Public outcry over perceived immorality in Hollywood and the movies, as well as the growing number of city and state censorship boards, led the movie studios to fear that federal regulations were not far off; so they created, in 1922, the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association (which became the Motion Picture Association of America in 1945), an industry trade and lobby organization. The association was headed by Will H. Hays, a well-connected Republican lawyer who had previously been United States Postmaster General; and he derailed attempts to institute federal censorship over the movies.
In 1927 Hays compiled a list of subjects, culled from his experience with the various US censorship boards, which he felt Hollywood studios would be wise to avoid. He called this list "the formula" but it was popularly known as the "don'ts and be carefuls" list. In 1930, Hays created the Studio Relations Committee (SRC) to implement his censorship code, but the SRC lacked any real enforcement capability.
The advent of talking pictures in 1927 led to a perceived need for further enforcement. Martin Quigley, the publisher of a Chicago-based motion picture trade newspaper, began lobbying for a more extensive code that not only listed material that was inappropriate for the movies, but also contained a moral system that the movies could help to promote - specifically a system based on Catholic theology. He recruited Father Daniel Lord, a Jesuit priest and instructor at the Catholic St. Louis University, to write such a code and on March 31, 1930 the board of directors of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association adopted it formally. This original version especially was once popularly known to as the Hays Code, but it and its later revisions are now commonly called the Production Code.
However, Depression economics and changing social mores resulted in the studios producing racier fare that the Code, lacking an aggressive enforcement body, was unable to redress. This era is known as Pre-Code Hollywood.
An amendment to the Code, adopted on June 13, 1934, established the Production Code Administration (PCA), and required all films released on or after July 1, 1934 to obtain a certificate of approval before being released. For more than thirty years following, virtually all motion pictures produced in the United States and released by major studios adhered to the code.  The Production Code was not created or enforced by federal, state, or city government. In fact, the Hollywood studios adopted the code in large part in the hopes of avoiding government censorship, preferring self-regulation to government regulation.

The enforcement of the Production Code led to the dissolution of many local censorship boards. Meanwhile, the US Customs Department prohibited the importation of the Czech film Ecstasy (1933), starring an actress soon to be known as Hedy Lamarr, an action which was upheld on appeal.
In 1934, Joseph I. Breen (1888–1965) was appointed head of the new Production Code Administration (PCA). Under Breen's leadership of the PCA, which lasted until his retirement in 1954, enforcement of the Production Code became rigid and notorious. Breen's power to change scripts and scenes angered many writers, directors, and Hollywood moguls. The PCA had two offices, one in Hollywood, and the other in New York City. Films approved by the New York PCA office were issued certificate numbers that began with a zero.
The first major instance of censorship under the Production Code involved the 1934 film Tarzan and His Mate, in which brief nude scenes involving a body double for actress Maureen O'Sullivan were edited out of the master negative of the film. Another famous case of enforcement involved the 1943 western The Outlaw, produced by Howard Hughes. The Outlaw was denied a certificate of approval and kept out of theaters for years because the film's advertising focused particular attention on Jane Russell's breasts. Hughes eventually persuaded Breen that the breasts did not violate the code and the film could be shown.
Some films produced outside the mainstream studio system during this time did flout the conventions of the code, such as Child Bride (1938), which featured a nude scene involving 12-year-old actress Shirley Mills. Even cartoon sex symbol Betty Boop had to change from being a flapper, and began to wear an old-fashioned housewife skirt.
In 1952, in the case of Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overruled its 1915 decision and held that motion pictures were entitled to First Amendment protection, so that the New York State Board of Regents could not ban "The Miracle", a short film that was one half of L'Amore (1948), an anthology film directed by Roberto Rossellini. Film distributor Joseph Burstyn released the film in the U.S. in 1950, and the case became known as the "Miracle Decision" due to its connection to Rossellini's film. That in turn reduced the threat of government regulation that justified the Production Code, and the PCA's powers over the Hollywood industry were greatly reduced.
At the forefront of challenges to the code was director Otto Preminger, whose films violated the code repeatedly in the 1950s. His 1953 film The Moon is Blue, about a young woman who tries to play two suitors off against each other by claiming that she plans to keep her virginity until marriage, was the first film to use the words "virgin", "seduce" and "mistress", and it was released without a certificate of approval. He later made The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), which portrayed the prohibited subject of drug abuse, and Anatomy of a Murder (1959) which dealt with rape. Preminger's films were direct assaults on the authority of the Production Code and, since they were successful, hastened its abandonment.
In 1954, Joseph Breen retired and Geoffrey Shurlock was appointed as his successor. Variety noted "a decided tendency towards a broader, more casual approach" in the enforcement of the code.
Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot (1959) and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) were also released without a certificate of approval due to their themes and became box office hits, and as a result further weakened the authority of the code.

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Broadcast censorship


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates "indecent" free-to-air broadcasting (both television and radio). Satellite, cable television, and Internet outlets are not subject to content-based FCC regulation. It can issue fines if, for example, the broadcaster employs certain profane words. The Supreme Court in 1978 in F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation upheld the commission’s determination that George Carlin’s classic “seven dirty words” monologue, with its deliberate, repetitive and creative use of vulgarities, was indecent. But the court at that time left open the question of whether the use of “an occasional expletive” could be punished. Radio personality Howard Stern has been a frequent target of fines. This led to his leaving broadcast radio and signing on with Sirius Satellite Radio in 2006. The Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy increased the political pressure on the FCC to vigorously police the airwaves. In addition, Congress increased the maximum fine the FCC may levy from US $268,500 to US $375,000 per incident.


The Supreme Court, in its 5-4 decision in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, No. 07-582, on April 28, 2009, said it did not find the FCC's policy on so-called fleeting expletives either "arbitrary or capricious", thus dealing a blow to the networks in their efforts to scuttle the policy. But the case brought by Fox to the high court was a narrow challenge on procedural grounds to the manner in which the FCC handled its decision to toughen up its policy on fleeting expletives. Fox, with the support of ABC, CBS and NBC, argued that the commission did not give enough notice of nor properly explain the reasons for clamping down on fleeting expletives after declining to issue penalties for them in decades past. The issue first arose in 2004, when the FCC sanctioned, but did not fine, NBC for Bono's use of the phrase "fucking brilliant" during the Golden Globes telecast. The present case arose from two appearances by celebrities on the Billboard Music Awards. The first involved Cher, who reflected on her career in accepting an award in 2002: “I’ve also had critics for the last forty years saying I was on my way out every year. Right. So fuck em.” The second passage came in an exchange between Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in 2003 in which Ms. Richie discussed the difficulties involved in cleaning cow shit off a Prada purse.

The majority decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, reversed the lower appellate court's decision that the FCC's move was "arbitrary and capricious." “The commission could reasonably conclude” he wrote “that the pervasiveness of foul language, and the coarsening of public entertainment in other media such as cable, justify more stringent regulation of broadcast programs so as to give conscientious parents a relatively safe haven for their children.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissenting, wrote that “there is no way to hide the long shadow the First Amendment casts over what the commission has done. Today’s decision does nothing to diminish that shadow.” Justice John Paul Stevens, dissenting, wrote that not every use of a swear word connoted the same thing: “As any golfer who has watched his partner shank a short approach knows,” Justice Stevens wrote, “it would be absurd to accept the suggestion that the resultant four-letter word uttered on the golf course describes sex or excrement and is therefore indecent... It is ironic, to say the least, that while the FCC patrols the airwaves for words that have a tenuous relationship with sex or excrement, commercials broadcast during prime-time hours frequently ask viewers whether they are battling erectile dysfunction or are having trouble going to the bathroom... The FCC’s shifting and impermissibly vague indecency policy only imperils these broadcasters and muddles the regulatory landscape.” For 30 years, the FCC has had the power to keep “indecent” material off the airwaves from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and those rules “have not proved unworkable” Stevens added. Justice Breyer, dissenting, wrote that the law “grants those in charge of independent administrative agencies broad authority to determine relevant policy,” he observed. “But it does not permit them to make policy choices for purely political reasons nor to rest them primarily upon unexplained policy preferences.”Scalia’s majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. and (for the most part) by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, and Breyer dissented. Four justices wrote concurrences or dissents speaking only for themselves.

But the decision was limited to a narrow procedural issue and also sent the case back to the 2nd Court of Appeals in New York to directly address the constitutionality of the FCC's policy. The 2nd Court of Appeals is already on record in its 2007 ruling that it was "skeptical" that the policy could "pass constitutional muster." Scalia said that the looming First Amendment question “will be determined soon enough, perhaps in this very case.” The decision provided hints that the court might approach the constitutional question differently. Some dissenting justices and Justice Clarence Thomas, who was in the majority, indicated that they might be receptive to a First Amendment challenge. Thomas, in a concurrence, said he was “open to reconsideration” of the two cases that gave television broadcasters far less First Amendment protection than books, newspapers, cable programs and Web sites have.


The FCC is also responsible for permitting transmitters, to prevent interference between stations from obscuring each others' signals. Denial of the right to transmit could be considered censorship. Restrictions on low-power broadcasting stations have been particularly controversial, and the subject of legislation in the 1990s and 2000s (decade).
The Guardian reported U.S. censorship of U.S. media regarding a CIA employee implicated in murder in that "A number of US media outlets learned about Davis's CIA role but have kept it under wraps at the request of the Obama administration."Colorado station KUSA censored an online report indicating Davis worked for the CIA when the station "removed the CIA reference from its website at the request of the US government.



Digital Millennium Copyright Act


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is an extension to United States copyright law passed unanimously on May 14, 1998, which criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology that allows users to circumvent technical copy-restriction methods. Under the Act, circumvention of a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work is illegal if done with the primary intent of violating the rights of copyright holders.

Although the Act contains an exception for research, the DMCA has had an impact on the worldwide cryptography research community, because many fear that their cryptanalytic research violates, or might be construed to violate the law. The arrest of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov in 2001, for alleged infringement of the DMCA, was a highly publicized example of the law's use to prevent or penalize development of anti-digital rights management measures. Sklyarov was arrested in the United States after a presentation at DEF CON, and subsequently spent several months in jail. The DMCA has also been cited as chilling to non-criminal inclined users, such as students of cryptanalysis (including, in a well-known instance, Professor Felten and students at Princeton), and security consultants such as the Netherlands based Niels Ferguson, who has declined to publish information about vulnerabilities he discovered in an Intel secure-computing scheme because of his concern about being arrested under the DMCA when he travels to the United States.
Free speech lawsuits have resulted surrounding the publication of DeCSS and the AACS encryption key, both dealing with the "cracking" of copy-protected movies (on DVD and Blu-ray Disc/HD DVD, respectively).


Corporate censorship in America


In 1969 Nicholas Johnson, United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner, put forward in an article in TV Guide entitled The Silent Screen that "Censorship is a serious problem" in the United States, and that he agreed with the statements by various network officials that television was subject to it, but disputed "just who is doing most of the censoring". He stated that most television censorship is corporate censorship, not government censorship.

Croteau and Hoynes discuss corporate censorship in the news publishing business, observing that it can occur as self-censorship. They note that it is "virtually impossible to document", because it is covert. Jonathan Alter states that "In a tight job market, the tendency is to avoid getting yourself or your boss in trouble. So an adjective gets dropped, a story skipped, a punch pulled … It's like that Sherlock Holmes story — the dog that didn't bark. Those clues are hard to find.". The head of the Media Access Project notes that such self-censorship is not misreporting or false reporting, but simply not reporting at all. The self-censorship is not the product of "dramatic conspiracies", according to Croteau and Hoynes, but simply the interaction of many small daily decisions. Journalists want to keep their jobs. Editors support the interests of the company. These many small actions and inactions accumulate to produce (in their words) "homogenized, corporate-friendly media". Croteau and Hoynes report that such corporate censorship in journalism is commonplace, reporting the results of studies revealing that more than 40% of journalists and news executives stating that they had deliberately engaged in such censorship by avoiding newsworthy stories or softening the tones of stories.


Nichols and McChesney opine that "the maniacal media baron as portrayed in James Bond films or profiles of Rupert Murdoch is far less a danger than the cautious and compromised editor who seeks to 'balance' a responsibility to readers or viewers with a duty to serve his boss and the advertisers". They state that "even among journalists who entered the field for the noblest of reasons" there is a tendency to avoid any controversial journalism that might embroil the news company in a battle with a powerful corporation or a government agency.
Self-censorship is not the only form of corporate censorship in the news and entertainment businesses. Croteau and Hoynes also describe examples of managers censoring their employees, subdivisions of conglomerates applying pressure upon one another, and pressure applied upon corporations by external entities such as advertisers.
One of the incidents of corporate censorship that Croteau and Hoynes find to be "the most disturbing" in their view is the news reporting in the U.S. of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which made fundamental changes to the limitations on ownership of media conglomerates within the U.S. and which was heavily lobbied for by media interests, and yet which was subject to, in Croteau and Hoynes words, "remarkably little coverage" by U.S. news media.


Wikileaks censorship


Amazon.com removed WikiLeaks from its servers on 1 December 2010 at 19:30 GMT. U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, among the members of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who had questioned Amazon in private communication on the company's hosting of WikiLeaks and the illegally obtained documents, commended Amazon for the action; WikiLeaks, however, responded by stating on its official Twitter page that "WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free—fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe", and later that "If Amazon is so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books".

Official efforts by the U.S. government to limit access to, conversation about, and general spread of the cables leaked by WikiLeaks were revealed by leading media organizations. A 4 December 2010 article by MSNBC, reported that the Obama administration has warned federal government employees and students in educational institutions studying towards careers in public service that they must refrain from downloading or linking to any WikiLeaks documents. However, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley denied ordering students, stating, "We do not control private networks. We have issued no authoritative instructions to people who are not employees of the Department of State." He said the warning was from an "overzealous employee. According to a 3 December 2010 article in The Guardian, access to WikiLeaks has been blocked for federal workers. The U.S. Library of Congress, the U.S. Commerce Department and other government agencies have confirmed that the ban is already in place. Some Department of Homeland Security staff say the ban is hampering their work;"More damage will be done by keeping the federal workforce largely in the dark about what other interested parties worldwide are going to be reading and analysing." One official says that the ban apparently covers personal computers as well.


A spokesman for Columbia University confirmed on 4 December that its Office of Career Services sent an e-mail warning students at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs to refrain from accessing WikiLeaks cables and discussing this subject on the grounds that "discourse about the documents would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information". However, this was quickly retracted on the following day. SIPA Dean John Henry Coatsworth wrote that "Freedom of information and expression is a core value of our institution,  thus, SIPA’s position is that students have a right to discuss and debate any information in the public arena that they deem relevant to their studies or to their roles as global citizens, and to do so without fear of adverse consequences.
The New York Times reported on 14 December that the U.S. Air Force bars its personnel from access to news sites (such as those of The New York Times and The Guardian) that publish leaked cables.
On 18 December, the Bank of America stopped handling payments for WikiLeaks. Bank of America is also blocking access to WikiLeaks from its internal network preventing employees from accessing WikiLeaks.


Free speech zone


Free speech zones (also known as First Amendment Zones, Free speech cages, and Protest zones) are areas set aside in public places for citizens of the United States engaged in political activism to exercise their right of free speech. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The existence of free speech zones is based on court decisions that stipulate the government may regulate the time, place, and manner—but not content—of expression. TPM restrictions, as these are known, are only lawful when:

they treat all speech equally - for example, persons on all sides of an issue must be treated the same;
they are justified by a substantial, bona-fide public interest, such as crowd control;
they do not substantively impede or dilute the speech at hand;
there is no bad faith; there is no overt or ulterior motive by the authorities imposing a TPM restriction to suppress speech in general, or speech that they disagree with, in particular.
All TPM restrictions are subject to judicial review. Unreasonable and unconstitutional TPM restrictions are and have been repeatedly vacated by various courts, and/or subjected to injunction, restraining order, and consent decree. Unconstitutional TPM restrictions allow citizens whose freedom of speech has been violated to personally sue state agents acting under color of law responsible for the violations at hand in their individual capacity, e.g. as private citizens, stripping them of any official capacity defense or defenses of sovereign immunity. TPM restrictions related to core political speech are subject to the highest possible level of Constitutional scrutiny.
Free speech zones have been used at a variety of political gatherings. The stated purpose of free speech zones is to allegedly protect the safety of those attending the political gathering, or allegedly for the safety of the protesters themselves. Critics, however, suggest that such zones are "Orwellian", and that authorities use them in a heavy-handed manner to censor protesters by putting them literally out of sight of the mass media, hence the public, as well as visiting dignitaries. Though authorities generally deny specifically targeting protesters, on a number of occasions, these denials have been contradicted by subsequent court testimony. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a number of lawsuits on the issue.
On September 11, 2005 the American Civil Liberty Union reports:

30,000 National Security Letters Issued Annually Demanding Information about Americans: Patriot Act Removed Need for FBI to Connect Records to Suspected Terrorists
[...] According to the Washington Post, universities and casinos have received these letters and been forced to comply with the demands to turn over private student and customer information. Anyone who receives an NSL is gagged - forever - from telling anyone that the FBI demanded records, even if their identity has already been made public.

In New York and Connecticut, the ACLU has challenged the NSL provision that was dramatically expanded by Section 505 of the Patriot Act. The legislation amended the existing NSL power by permitting the FBI to demand records of people who are not connected to terrorism and who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.
In February 2004 a study from FAIR, the national media watchdog group, found that 76 percent of all 319 news sources appearing in stories about Iraq on the nightly network newscasts (ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News) in the month of October 2003 were current or former government or military officials.
On February 17, 2006 former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated, that "in this war, some of the most critical battles may not be fought in the mountains of Afghanistan or the streets of Iraq, but in the newsrooms in places like New York and London and Cairo and elsewhere.  While the enemy is increasingly skillful at manipulating the media and using the tools of communications to their advantage, it should be noted that we have an advantage as well, and that is, quite simply, that the truth is on our side, and ultimately, in my view, truth wins out. I believe with every bone in my body that free people, exposed to sufficient information, will, over time, find their way to right decisions."

The most prominent examples are those created by the United States Secret Service for President George W. Bush and other members of his administration. While free speech zones existed in limited forms prior to the Presidency of George W. Bush, it has been during Bush's presidency that their scope has been greatly expanded. Free speech zones are and have been used in the past and in the present by institutions of higher education in the United States, which has led to organizations like the ACLU and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to object to these as infringements of freedom of speech, and of academic freedom.


Censorship in the United States

 In general, censorship in the United States, which involves the suppression of speech or other public communication, raises issues of freedom of speech, which is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
This freedom, though fundamental, has also been accompanied since its enshrinement with contest and controversy. For instance, restraints increased during periods of widespread anti-communist sentiment, as exemplified by the hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. It is also legal to express certain forms of hate speech so long as one does not engage in the acts being or urge others to commit illegal acts. However, more severe forms have led to people or groups such as the Ku Klux Klan being denied certain marching permits or the Westboro Baptist Church being sued, though the initially adverse ruling against the latter was later overturned on appeal in the US Supreme Court. Thus while legal history has defined certain finite limitations, courts have historically held in general that freedom of speech, in order to exist and function, necessarily extends to even the unpopular, offensive, and distasteful.

The First Amendment is against censorship imposed by laws, but does not give protection against corporate censorship, the sanctioning of speech by spokespersons, employees, and business associates by threat of monetary loss, loss of employment, or loss of access to the marketplace. Legal expenses can sometimes be a significant unseen restraint where there may be fear of suit for libel.
Analysts from Reporters Without Borders rank the United States 47th in the world in terms in their Press Freedom Index, falling from 20th just two years earlier partly because of reaction to the Occupy movement. Certain forms of speech, such as obscenity and defamation, are restricted in major media outlets by the government or by the industry on its own.


Censorship of broadcasting in the United States


Censorship of broadcasting is imposed in the United States on the grounds of national security and to prevent offence.
2001 Clear Channel memorandum
Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters
Fairness Doctrine
Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations (2009)
Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations (2012)
Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation
Standards and Practices

FCC fines of The Howard Stern Show


Specific cases


Sit on My Face
201 (South Park)
Censorship on MTV
The Parents Television Council threatened to file indecency complaints with the Federal Communications Commission against any station that played the Britney Spear song "If U Seek Amy" between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Self-censorship was imposed on controversial television series The Book of Daniel by some television stations.


Federal Communications Commission


Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government, created by Congressional statute (see 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154), and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security. The Commission is also in the process of modernizing itself.

The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC's mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions. However, the FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC has an estimated 2011 budget of US$335.8 million which is entirely funded by regulatory fees, and has a proposed budget of $354.2 million for 2012, which will also be fully derived from regulatory fees. It has 1,898 federal employees.



As specified in section one of the Communications Act of 1934 and as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (amendment to 47 U.S.C. §151) it is the FCC's mission to "make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges."[sic] The Act furthermore provides that the FCC was created "for the purpose of the national defense" and "for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications.
Consistent with the objectives of the Act as well as the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the FCC has identified six goals in its 2006-2011 Strategic Plan. These are:
Broadband: "All Americans should have affordable access to robust and reliable broadband products and services. Regulatory policies must promote technological neutrality, competition, investment, and innovation to ensure that broadband service providers have sufficient incentives to develop and offer such products and services."
Competition: "Competition in the provision of communication services, both domestically and overseas, supports the Nation's economy. The competitive framework for communications services should foster innovation and offer consumers reliable, meaningful choice in affordable services."
Spectrum: "Efficient and effective use of non-federal spectrum domestically and internationally promotes the growth and rapid development of innovative and efficient communication technologies and services."


Media: "The Nation's media regulations must promote competition and diversity and facilitate the transition to digital modes of delivery."
Public Safety and Homeland Security: "Communications during emergencies and crisis must be available for public safety, health, defense, and emergency personnel, as well as all consumers in need. The Nation's critical communications infrastructure must be reliable, interoperable, redundant, and rapidly restorable."
Modernize the FCC: "The Commission shall strive to be highly productive, adaptive, and innovative organization that maximizes the benefits to stakeholders, staff, and management from effective systems, processes, resources, and organizational culture."


Organization


The FCC is directed by five commissioners appointed by the U.S. president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for five-year terms, except when filling an unexpired term. The president designates one of the commissioners to serve as chairman. Only three commissioners may be members of the same political party. None of them may have a financial interest in any FCC-related business.