Idea of '.xxx' is Revisited (News)

Posted on November 7, 2011, in Internet, Internet Safety, News, Pornography Laws

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NAIROBI, Kenya • A global Internet oversight agency is reopening discussions about whether to create a “.xxx” domain name as an online red-light district where porn sites can set up shop away from the wandering eyes of children and teenagers.

Parents would be able to use the system to help block access to porn sites, though because its use would be voluntary, the “.xxx” suffix wouldn’t keep such content entirely away from minors. Religious and other anti-porn groups worry that “.xxx” would legitimize porn sites, and the proposal has already been rejected three times since 2000.

But the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the allocation of Internet addresses, may revive ICM Registry LLC’s bid yet again as ICANN meets this week in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Last month, responding to complaints from ICM, an outside panel questioned ICANN’s grounds for the latest rejection in 2007. As a result, board members have been weighing the matter ahead of formal consideration of the “.xxx” bid on Friday, ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom said.

Beckstrom said he was not able to give details of those discussions for legal reasons, and he could not say when ICANN might reach a decision.

Stuart Lawley, ICM’s chief executive, said he had been the victim of a process that he considered far from open and nondiscriminatory.

ICM, which planned to charge $60 for a site to register a “.xxx” name, first proposed “.xxx” in 2000 as a way to help the online porn industry clean up its act. Those using the domain would have to abide by yet-to-be-written rules designed to bar such trickery as spamming. And parents could set up software to block any site ending in “.xxx.”

Given its voluntary nature, however, “.xxx” would be unlikely to have much effect on parents’ ability to block porn sites. And because a domain name serves as an easy-to-remember moniker for a site’s actual numeric Internet address, even if its use is required, a child could simply punch in the numeric address of any blocked “.xxx” name.

Anti-porn activists, meanwhile, worry that the creation of a virtual red-light district would serve as an endorsement of the adult-entertainment industry, as “.xxx” would be sitting alongside “.com” and “.edu.”

Skeptics note that porn sites would probably keep their “.com” storefronts, even as they set up shop in the new “.xxx” domain name, thereby expanding the number of porn sites on the Internet.
Find article here: http://www.stltoday.com/business/idea-of-xxx-is-revisited/article_c56a4e7e-0e15-5e77-aa0d-630de141ec04.html#ixzz1d2FqlLK9

 

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