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XXX Porn Domain Set To Go Live

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The top-level domain .xxx has been approved by ICANN and is set to go live in June or July

The top-level domain (TLD) .xxx, intended for sexually explicit material, is set to go live this summer after it got the green light from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on Friday.

The TLD’s activation drew the support of 16 of ICANN’s board members at the public meeting in San Francisco, which followed a week-long conference on the contentious issue.

‘Red light district of the Internet’

ICANN defended its decision to approve .xxx, which some argue is destined to become “the red light district of the Internet”.

“This decision represents a difficult, careful balance, weighing the extensive community advice both for and against,” ICANN stated.

Conservative governments have criticised the proposed TLD, and it has also divided those in the sexually explicit media industry, with some fearing the domain will make it easier for sites to be censored.

None of the governments participating in ICANN’s policy process supported the plan, but it has proceeded without active opposition from Obama’s administration. The Bush administration had held back .xxx’s approval.

The TLD has been in the wings since 2003 and more than 230,000 .xxx domains have been sold in advance.

Security measures

Under an agreement between ICANN and ICM Registry, the US-based organisation that will sell .xxx addresses, ICM will use a portion of the fees collected to fund efforts designed to keep children away from online pornography.

ICM chief executive Stuart Lawley said the .xxx move would help keep porn out of the hands of those who should not have it.

“For the first time, there will be a clearly defined web address for adult entertainment, further out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or computer viruses,” he said in a statement.

Some had hoped that the San Francisco conference would push ahead with a broader movement towards generic TLDs for other sectors, but that plan continues to face obstacles, including the opposition of some governments.

The ICANN board set an official target of 20 June for resolving the remaining issues around generic TLDs.


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