The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has added the recently approved .xxx sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) to the root nameservers. Some registrars are already taking pre-orders for .xxx domains, but we'll just have to wait and see when the first real sites will go live (a timeline should be made available soon).

The domains xxx.xxx, sex.xxx, and porn.xxx are all live at the time of writing. Don't worry; all are Safe For Work, at least for now. The first is site dedicated to the .xxx TLD, while the other two are just placeholders, according to DomainNameNews.

The .xxx TLD will be a huge cause for controversy in the next few months. Many countries will likely outright ban it (India is the first country to declare its plan to do so). In others, it will be a huge gold rush given the size of the pornography industry and its adoption of the Web.

In order to register a new .xxx domain, porn sites have to pass an application process that's designed to ensure that their site does not engage in fraud, child pornography, nor offer up malware to users. A key reason the porn industry opposes the new TLD is that it adds additional costs: sites have to register and pay for additional .xxx domain names to avoid having their brands hijacked.

In theory, the new TLD enables easier policing by parents and employers. Critics argue that since it's not mandatory pornographic sites aren't being forced to operate exclusively under .xxx censorship will only be easier for the new .xxx sites, but not for graphic content in general.