ICANN puts a stop to .XXX

By Derek Sooman on
Plans for the introduction of a .XXX Internet domain for the usage of the pornography industry have come to nothing. Overseeing organisation ICANN has voted to block the move. The issue over the .XXX registry application has been a very controversial and difficult one, and was even used as a kind of political football in a wider struggle for power within the Internet. The Christian right disliked the idea immensely, and thanks to their influence within the US government, they were able to put pressure on to stop it. It also appears that, despite doing everything asked of it and acting very legitimately, the company behind .XXX, ICM Registry, was being blocked at every turn. The idea in general has proved very unpopular, with hundreds of statements of opposition, despite the fact that a lot of people making their disdain clear had little or no understanding of the .XXX bid.

Most furious today, though, will be the owner of ICM Registry Stuart Lawley who had spent years and millions of pounds pushing the .xxx domain. Only last month, when the .xxx issue was again delayed at ICANN's meeting in New Zealand, he told us he would continue to answer everyone's concerns. But his sense of injustice was clear: "ICANN have gone well outside their previous procedures for the other sTLDs on this one," he told us. "Given the political posturing I guess it is understandable, yet extremely frustrating. The contract was reviewed by the board during their 18 April call and by inference they must be happy with the terms as they did not ask for any amendments."

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