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Dot-xxx continues to be controversial

23 Mar

It seems that with all my vacation, future predictions and telecom bashing of late, I’ve neglected some of the core subjects of this blog: namely, sex, bombs and burgers. There’s a big sex-related issue in the news, so let’s deal with that today.

You may have heard that over the weekend the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – the folks who govern the use of web addresses – finally gave approval to the long-debated .xxx domain name. This means that porn websites ending in that suffix, rather than .com or whatever else, may soon start springing up.

The issue has been hotly contested for years and just about no one has been happy with the idea. Anti-porn groups objected to the domain name because they felt it would legitimize porn by giving it its very own place on the web. Porn companies themselves didn’t like it because they think it will make it easy for governments or other authorities to ban their websites outright. After all, it’s relatively easy for governments – or parents – to block all websites ending in .xxx.

Porn companies also didn’t like the fact the the company behind the push for .xxx, ICM Registry – a Florida-based domain name registrar – was not of their ilk. They’re not pleased with the fact that a non-industry company will have power over them. Lastly, they don’t like the extra cost that maintaining another domain name will add. It’s no surprise that porn people protested the ICANN vote on the weekend.

In some parts of the world, like North America, the introduction of the .xxx domain may be a non-event. There isn’t, after all, anything forcing porn companies from using it – they can go right ahead and keep on using the .com suffix. In other parts of the world, though, things may get a lot more interesting.

The Australian Sex Party says the new domain could lead to major censorship. “In Australia where we have no 1st Amendment, there is nothing stopping the government from making legislation to require all Australian adult companies to restrict their adult content to the .xxx domains,” said party president Fiona Patten. (That link may not be safe for work.)

One industry insider I communicated with said it will be interesting to see who will be the first – if anyone – to pull the trigger on actually setting up a .xxx domain. I’m sure there’ll be a stampede by companies to register their names, since no one wants to see their rightful domains go to someone else, but I wonder if anyone will actually use it.

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1 Comment

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in internet, sex

 

One response to “Dot-xxx continues to be controversial

  1. Torontoworker

    March 23, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I think they missed the part about ‘www’ somewhere down in OZ. Local Australian based porn sites only need to register in other countries to stay in business. There is no need to have a ‘local’ anything in this world. Typical government thinking on a Mommy and Daddy level. Next thing you’ll hear out of government is that there are people who show themselves naked on webcams!! My God did you guys know this was out there they will ask. Day late and a dollar short mode and all that. Zzzzzz.

     
 
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