RealTime IT News

.xxx Domain Gets ICANN Nod

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will begin technical and commercial negotiations with ICM Registry to launch .xxx, officials announced Wednesday.

ICM Registry claims the Internet community as a whole would be better off with a specified area for the adult industry, making it easier for parents and organizations to filter porn while giving members of the adult entertainment industry a venue for their wares.

The overall effect of a .xxx top-level domain is up for debate.

While the domain extension will give the adult industry a "safe zone" to conduct its business relatively, it's a voluntary effort. Adult sites are not required to pack up their .com or .net Web site and sign up to the .xxx domain extension.

More than 10 percent of all online traffic and 25 percent of Internet searches are oriented towards adult content, officials from the registry company stated on their Web site, with more than 100,000 adult webmasters worldwide and 1 million adult domains.

While ICM Registry is the company that has moved the .xxx sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) through the ICANN process and will take care of the technical maintenance of the TLD, an organization called the International Foundation for Online Responsibility will call the shots.

The Canadian not-for-profit group will set policy for the .xxx domain extension and include child-safety, free-speech and adult entertainment industry representatives on its board of directors.

This is the second time around for the registry company, which originally submitted .xxx as a TLD only to be rejected by the Internet governing body in November 2000.

Cultural conservatives were in favor of the measure, saying it would make the Internet a safer place for children to surf with all adult content in a roped-off area.

ICANN, in its report rejecting the initial .xxx bid, stated adult content was readily available on the Internet, and there is no mechanism in place to require adult content to migrate from its current domain address to an .xxx TLD.