ICANN expected to allow XXX websites

ICANN expected to allow XXX websites

Sex industry unhappy with the move and warns of censorship

Porn on the Internet is set to get much easier to find and censor thanks to a decision to allow websites with a .xxx suffix.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organisation that coordinates Internet addresses with member companies globally.

According to media reports, its board meeting in Brussels is set to allow the format despite rejecting the idea for several years.

"If expedited due diligence results are successful, then staff will proceed into contract negotiations with ICM [over .xxx]," ICANN's general counsel, John Jeffrey, reportedly told delegates.

ICM is a registry operator, which aims to manage and support the new .xxx set of websites. It is sponsored by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility, which will be funded by a US$10 fee from each .xxx domain.

Although advocates argue it would provide a centralised location for seekers of sexual content, those opposed say it will make the censorship of pornography much easier.

Groups such as the Eros Association, which represents Australia’s national adult entertainment and retail organisations, and the Sex Party of Australia have rallied supporters to fight the creation of .xxx sites and argued it lacks support from Governments and the sex industry.

“The debate about this proposal has been going on since 2005. In 2007 we thought it was all over when ICANN formally rejected the application by the company ICM,” EROS Association CEO, Fiona Patten, wrote in a posting on the Sex Party’s website.

“.xxx is in no one's benefit except the sponsoring company ICM. It will not protect children, nor stop child pornography nor advance the adult industry.”

ICANN is expected to formally announce the decision on Friday.

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Tags censorshipInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).xxxICM

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