24 May 2006

The Web
Business Today

Porn domain ruling challenged

The backer of a failed bid to create a net domain for porn is trying to get its application reconsidered.
In early May ICM Registry's plans for a .xxx domain were rejected by the net's organising body Icann.
Now ICM is suing two US government departments for access to documents it claims show how they lobbied for the new net address to be rejected.
It has asked Icann to reconsider its application because it did not have all the facts about ICM's plans.
ICM has filed Freedom of Information requests against the US Department of Commerce and Department of State to get uncensored copies of official documents that relate to the creation of the .xxx domain.
In its Freedom of Information filing, ICM said it expected the documents to "shed light on what role the United States government played in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (Icann) consideration of ICM's proposal to create and operate a new .xxx domain".
ICM claims that the US government bowed to pressure from the religious right for the domain to be dropped.
Icann voted on 10 May to reject ICM's plans following a year of delay over a final decision on the domain.
If the .xxx idea had been approved, it would have sat alongside the more familiar .com and .org but would have been only used by websites offering explicit sexual material.
Porn sites would not be forced to move their sites to a .xxx domain. Instead use of it would be voluntary.
The plan to set .xxx was criticised by some because they feared that corralling porn sites on one domain would make it easier to filter out such things and aid censorship of the net.
Others pointed out the difficulty of deciding what counted as pornography.
ICM said the plan for the domain would make it easier for parents to let their children use the net without worrying about them stumbling across porn sites.
It has asked Icann to rethink its decision to reject the domain plans.
"Members of the board voted against the ICM agreement based on inaccurate information about the written statements of various governments concerning .xxx," said ICM in a letter to Icann.

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