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Pornography Gets Its Own Top-Level Domain

Friday the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said that pornography will now have its own top-level domain (TLD) called dot-XXX. The decision came after a six-year-long push by ICM Registry to move all adult entertainment into one realm. ICM Registry, which initially proposed the dot-XXX domain all those years ago, claims it's not associated--currently or historically--with the adult entertainment industry.

The new domain was proposed under ICANN's rules for "sponsored" TLDs. Typically these are domains created by interest groups such as the cooperative movement (dot-coop) and the aeronautical industry (dot-aero). However ICANN board member Rita Rodin Johnston isn't convinced that there's a real sponsored community for supporting the proposed pornography domain. Still, she voted in favor of dot-XXX anyway.

"It really doesn't matter what I think," she said in the board-meeting debate for fore the votes were cast. "What's important is that ICANN has a process that it set up and the process came back and said that sponsorship criterion was met, and that this board has the courage to follow that criterion."

Although the new dox-XXX domain has received a green light (or red light in this case), it may be a while before websites can take advantage of the new realm. First the ICANN must review ICM Registry's business plan for the domain. The board must then review the contract proposal for the operation of the domain.

"There is a potential that this is a prolonged process," said board member Bruce Tonkin.

Is moving pornography over to the dot-XXX domain a smart idea? It seems that adult entertainment could be easier to find when housed under one roof. Then again, it may also be easier to block said content by merely adding the new domain to Internet filters.