Internet / News · January 6, 2007 2

Plans to create a .xxx TLD (Top Level Domain) for Porn sites …

ICANN, the key overseer of the internet is reanalysing a proposal to create a .xxx top level domain that would clearly demarcate pornographic sites from the rest. While the use of the proposed domain would remain voluntary, any site abiding by this new nomenclature will be subjected to a new set of terms set forth recently (last Friday) by ICANN.

With this new domain ICANN hopes to be able to enforce stricter policing of sites and thus prohibit child pornography. This proposal had been reviewed and rejected last May but seems like this time ICANN is pretty much decided on implementing it despite strong opposition from various conservative groups as well as certain pornographic websites.

As of now the proposal is open for public appraisal and no specific time frame of implementation has been announced.

The new proposal does not directly address any potential conflicts in laws, but it calls for the company backing it, ICM Registry Inc. of Jupiter, Fla., to hire independent organizations to monitor porn sites’ compliance with the new rules.

If approved, ICM would be required to help develop mechanisms for promoting child safety and preventing child pornography, “including practices that appeal to pedophiles or suggest the presence of child pornography on the site.”

Porn sites would have to participate in a self-descriptive labeling system, likely one from the Internet Content Rating Association. Under it, Web sites add tags based on such criteria as the presence of nudity and whether it is in an artistic or educational context, such as for sites on breast feeding. Relatively few sites now participate, although major Web browsers have mechanisms for reading the tags.

ICM also would have to develop automated tools to check for compliance and give users ways to report violations.

Source: BusinessWeek

According to ICM Registry, the benefits of the domain will be …

  • For willing adult consumers of adult entertainment, the Best Business Practices incorporated into the .xxx registration agreement will bring a greater degree of confidence and certainty to their online experience.
  • For adult entertainment providers, identifying themselves as compliant with a comprehensive set of Best Business Practices is expected to provide more predictable revenue streams, greater customer retention and fewer complaints as regulators and others will see adult entertainment providers take a proactive and responsible approach to their web presence.
  • For individuals or families wishing to avoid adult content, the machine- readable labels will allow easy and reliable filtering.
  • In addition, the introduction of .xxx creates a credible, self-regulated forum for all stakeholders to discuss and actively respond to concerns about online adult entertainment.

What are your views on this ?