Friday, June 25, 2010

Icann Approves of XXX

Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, finally approved the top-level .XXX domain, which should "fast-track" the domain into existence. The .xxx domain was long ago suggested for adult -- specifically pornographic -- sites, but it has been an uphill battle to get the domain approved. Icann admitted that denying the domain approval before now was a mistake, inconsistent with "the application of neutral, objective, and fair documented policy."

To even be considered, new top-level domains must be sponsored -- in .xxx' case, by the adult industry. Icann said the next step is talks with the ICM Registry, which made the push for the domain, to ensure there is sufficient backing from the adult industry. ICM claims to have over 110,000 reservations for .xxx domains.

The .xxx domain was approved in 2005, but the approval was rescinded following protests by the Religious Right. Some Icann board members admitted to being "personally uncomfortable" with the .xxx domain, but were unable to block it, because ICM had followed all of the rules in getting it approved. Icann also worried that it would be asked to police content, which it was not setup to do.

A panel of judges ruled against Icann back in February, finding that the board had erred in denying approval of the .xxx domain. Icann accepted the ruling. ICM says it expects the first .xxx websites to go live early next year.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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