Saudi Arabia opposes 'immoral' top-level domains

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Saudi Arabia opposes 'immoral' top-level domains

Argues against .gay, .bible, .wine.

The Saudi Arabian government has urged international domain name regulator ICANN to block the introduction of several new generic top-level domain names, including .wine, .gay and .porn.

According to a report in Computerworld UK, Saudi Arabia's communications and information technology commission (CITC) objected to a range of domains that had been proposed under ICANN's gTLD program.

ICANN documents indicated that some 160 comments were made by "Abdulmijd", who claimed to be affiliated with the Saudi CITC.

According to Abdulmijd, CITC objected to the .gay gTLD because "many societies and cultures consider homosexuality to be contrary to their culture, morality or religion". 

"The creation of a gTLD string which promotes homosexuality will be offensive to these societies and cultures," it wrote.

The CITC objected to  .wine, .porn, .sexy, .bible, .bar, .sucks and .baby.

It considered the latter two domains risky, if they could be used in the same way as .xxx by pornographic websites.

Such domains would increase the prevalance of offensive language on the web and expose people and children in particular to profanities, it said.

Religion-related gTLDs such as .shia should be presented to the community behind it for evaluation before an application is processed, the CITC asserted.

If that could not be accomplished, such domains should be restricted completely from being used, it said.

The CITC objected to the .catholic string, arguing that the Catholic Church should not control the gTLD.

The gTLD expansion currently underway was set in motion by ICANN last year. As of June this year, ICANN said it had received 1,930 applications for new gTLDs, 911 of which are from North America and 675 from Europe.

ICANN has extended the period of consultation and commenting on the new proposed gTLDs until September 26 this year.

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