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XXX Domain Proposal Has Limp Reception

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-08-16

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The "virtual red light district," as the proposed .xxx domain for adult content has been dubbed, hit a snag just one month before final approval. A sudden influx of opposing voices has caused the US government to reexamine the ups and downs of the issue.

Michael D. Gallagher, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to delay approval of the new domain after "unprecedented" opposition. Gallagher said the move was to "ensure the best interests of the Internet community as a whole are fully considered."

"The volume of correspondence opposed to creation of a .xxx TLD (domain name) is unprecedented," Gallagher said, referring to nearly 6,000 letters received by the Commerce Department on the matter.

The bulk of concern centers around a domain set aside for pornography, a realm that some family activists would prefer to be non-existent. Other conservative voices contend that the creation of the "virtual red light district" would legitimize pornographers.

The domain was proposed five years ago by Florida-based ICM Registry, Inc., but has not received much attention until ICANN preliminarily approved it two months ago. Official approval for the suffix creation was scheduled as early as today.

ICM chairman Stuart Lawley is confused about the timing of the objections.

"This matter has been before ICANN for five years, and very actively and publicly debated for the past 18 months," he said. "We are, to say the very least, disappointed that concerns that should have been raised and addressed weeks and months ago are being raised in the final days."

Others that have opposed the domain creation have argued that porn sites set up sites on in the new .xxx domain while maintaining their original .com sites for double the traffic and reducing the effectiveness of software designed to block .xxx names.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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