ICANN Rejects .xxx Yet Again

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The Internet’s governing non-profit corporation has rejected proposals to implement a special “.xxx” domain for pornographic websites for a third time.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) met in Lisbon for its regular public meeting to review the proposal, which was initially approved in 2005, but was re-examined and twice rejected after public criticism and multiple revisions.

Religious groups criticized the domain name because of fears it would legitimize the porn industry online. Pornography groups criticized the domain name because of fears that using the domain, while voluntary, would pigeonhole them and make their sites easier to filter.

“This decision was the result of very careful scrutiny and consideration of all the arguments. That consideration has led a majority of the Board to believe that the proposal should be rejected,” said ICANN chairman Dr. Vint Cerf in a statement.

According to the ICANN board, the revised .xxx proposal raised too many management and law enforcement problems due to the diverse laws and practices of different countries. In one scenario, legislation could make migration to the .xxx domain mandatory and lead to conflicts over free speech laws. The board voted 9-5 against .xxx.

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