ICANN clears online red light district with .xxx sites news
19 March 2011

In addition to ".com" ".org", and other suffixes, internet addresses will now come with another set of end letters ".xxx"and no prizes for guessing what sites would be using the new addresses.

On Friday, the board of directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which exercises oversight over the internet's naming system, cleared the creation of an online red-light district for pornographic websites. The clearance comes after a decade-long battle over such a name.

The idea though has seen camps with divergent views come together against the move.

According to religious groups, giving adult websites their own corner of the internet legitimises the content while pornographers say it would ghettoise their sites. Although it is meant to be voluntary, they are concerned governments could try to mandate the domain's use, to allow pornographic content to be more easily blocked.

In a statement, Diane Duke, executive director of the adult entertainment industry's Free Speech Coalition, said ICANN had "disregarded overwhelming outpouring of opposition from the adult entertainment industry - the supposed sponsorship community" and dismissed the "interests of free speech on the internet."

According to the supporters of the move, approval of the domain was in keeping with the principle of openness that has been integral to the internet.

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ICANN clears online red light district with .xxx sites