ICANN rejects .xxx domain

Anti-porn, industry groups complained that the domain would legitimize, target online porn.

ICANN rejected the .xxx top-level domain yesterday under pressure from conservative groups and the Internet porn industry, AP reports.

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 ICANN was concerned it would wind up being the world's porn policeman, including potential laws that require porn sites to use the .xxx domain.

ICM, the registry proposed the domain, said .xxx would help clean up online pornography. XXX sites would be barred from using pop-up and re-routing scripts.

Conservative groups didn't want ICANN to legitimize porn with its own domain and allow the companies both .com and .xxx names. And porn sites figured governments and ISPs could too easily block them out by simply filtering the .xxx domain.

ICANN did, however, approve the .tel domain.

As envisioned, Internet users could buy a ".tel" name and set up a Web site with their latest digits _ home, cell and work phone numbers, home and work e-mail addresses, instant messaging handles and perhaps even a MySpace profile.

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