.xxx domains get ICANN approval

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has given its final approval to create an Internet top-level domain specifically dedicated to pornography.

According to the BBC, the decision ends 10 years of wrangling and means that the new “.xxx” based domains will now get the go ahead. Thousands of porn webmasters have already pre-reserved various .xxx domains despite not knowing when approval for them would be given.

The move towards .xxx domains has had various protests ever since initial approval was given over 6 years ago, with a recent protest taking place earlier this month in San Francisco. In a strange turn of events, porn stars decided to side with religious groups amongst others who were against the proposed .xxx top-level domain, believing that it would create more censorship rather than keeping pornography domains open, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the ICANN from giving the go-ahead.

Meanwhile supporters have said that going with .xxx top-level domains will make it easier for people/companies to filter out inappropriate content. In making their decision, the ICCAN said “The Icann community has engaged in extensive debate as well, with this single issue generating higher volumes of community comment than nearly any other issue ever faced within Icann."

In an article on Wired, both the adult industry and free speech advocates have said that they are not happy with the ruling, with Free Speech Coalition (FSC) Executive Director Diane Duke saying, “Of course we are disappointed but we are not surprised by the ICANN Board’s decision. As voiced in concerns by speakers at this very conference, the ICANN Board has dangerously undervalued the input from governments worldwide,”

Stuart Lawley, the Chief Executive for the ICM who will be overseeing the switch said “ICANN's decision to give .XXX final approval is a landmark moment for the internet.” Adult websites will now have to repurchase domain names, while .xxx domains are set to sell for $70, with over 200,000 URL’s already reserved.

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