ICANN Crosses Out .xxx Domain

I could see why adult-oriented business might have been a little annoyed with the notion of being forced to move their online smut huts to an .xxx domain (for reasons I mentioned a couple of months ago), but I’d have thought conservative groups would have championed the idea as an easier way to censor such content from the curious eyes of American youth. Anyway, Anick Jesdanun of the Associated Press (via Chron.com) writes:

Faced with opposition from conservative groups and some pornography Web sites, the Internet’s key oversight agency voted Wednesday to reject a proposal to create a red-light district on the Internet.

The decision from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers reverses its preliminary approval last June to create a “.xxx” domain name for voluntary use by the adult entertainment industry.

ICANN had postponed making a final decision in August after the U.S. government stepped in just days before a scheduled meeting to underscore objections it had received, an intervention that had led some ICANN critics to question the organization’s independence.

“The board was certainly very conscious of that (the controversy)… but the heart of the decision today was not driven by a political consideration,” ICANN Chief Executive Paul Twomey said in an interview that followed more than an hour of discussion in a closed teleconference meeting.

Twomey said the decision largely came down to whether the creation of “xxx” might put ICANN in a difficult position of having to enforce all of the world’s laws governing pornography, including ones that might require porn sites to use the domain. Speech-related laws, he noted, often conflict with one another

[tags]censorship,icann,pornography,.xxx,paul twomey,free speech[/tags]

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