Icann finally approves .xxx for adult sites

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Icann finally approves .xxx for adult sites

Six-year battle.

A dedicated internet domain for adult web sites has finally been approved after a six-year battle.

ICM Registry, the operator behind .xxx registration, announced today that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has approved the domain.

The news follows an independent review which declared that the Icann board's previous decision to deny .xxx was wrong.

ICM expects to go live with .xxx domains at the start of 2011, once Icann has completed due diligence on ICM's technical and financial qualifications, and finalised its contract to run the domain.

Icann initially approved ICM's application for the .xxx domain in 2005, but reversed its decision in March 2007.

An independent review panel called to investigate the u-turn found that Icann had been under pressure from the US government to deny the application.

The panel concluded that Icann's change of heart was a violation of its own bylaws and international law, but it did not have the power to compel the corporation to grant the registration.

The creation of the .xxx domain has met with opposition from church groups, which argue that it would create a "worldwide red-light district for the internet".

ICM, on the other hand, believes that the new domain provides "effective labelling of content" and "will allow for simple and effective filtering" of porn sites, making it easier for parents and businesses to block them.

However, the domain is only voluntary, meaning that porn sites can continue to use alternatives such as .com if they wish to do so.

"It's been a long time coming, but I'm excited about the fact that .xxx will soon become a reality. This is great news," said ICM chairman Stuart Lawley.

ICM already has 110,000 pre-reservations and expects this to increase following its application approval.

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