ICANN Holds Off on .XXX Decision

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By Kevin P. Donovan, Christian Post Reporter
March 12, 2010|11:41 pm

The board of the international body that manages Web addresses will not decide until June whether or not to approve the latest proposal for a “.xxx” top-level domain.

On Friday, the last day of its 37th International Meeting in Nairobi, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) board initiated a 70-day process of consultations on the top-level domain, which opponents say will increase the amount of pornography on the internet.

Though browsers or filters could be easily configured to automatically block sites designated as .xxx, Web experts have expressed concerns over the false sense of security that the top-level domain could give parents, who would still have to worry about pornography on .com sites as the addition of the .xxx domain would simply provide another platform for adult sites and not result in an exodus from .com domains.

Similar proposals for the .xxx domain in 2000, 2006, and 2007 were rejected by ICANN and had drawn strong opposition from conservatives groups such as the Family Research Council, which argued that "pornographers will be given even more opportunities to flood our homes, libraries, and society with pornography through the .xxx domain."

"The .XXX domain will increase not decrease porn on the Internet," FRC President Tony Perkins had noted.

When asked about the board’s decision Friday, ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom said, “There’s different ways this issue might move to the next step.”

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“The Board has tasked the General Council – [ICANN General Counsel and Secretary] John Jeffrey and myself – to lay out and define those formally for the Board and to publish those for public comments within 14 business days,” he added.

Following Jeffrey and Beckstrom’s report of possible process options, ICANN will open a 45-day period for public comment before making a decision on whether to move forward with the plan in June.

In June, ICANN will be meeting in the Belgian capital of Brussels for its 38t international public meeting.

The meeting will be held June 20-25.

 

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