.xxx domain approved by internet regulators

Regulators have approved the .xxx top-level domain for the adult entertainment industry.

Regulators have approved the .xxx top-level domain for the adult entertainment industry.

On Friday the domain name regulator, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), said at a public meeting in San Francisco, it would allow the domain to be overseen by ICM Registry.

"This decision represents a difficult, careful balance, weighing the extensive community advice both for and against the registry agreement, as well as maintaining adherence to proper and documented process," Icann wrote in its executive summary (PDF) of the decision.

Icann's decision was made in the face of multiple advisories from its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) that the introduction of the domain could be problematic.

On 16 March the GAC sent a letter to the Icann board, informing it "that an introduction of a .xxx [top-level domain] into the root might lead to steps taken by some governments to prohibit access to this TLD."

Icann did not follow the advice, as "while we agree that blocking of TLDs is generally undesirable, if some blocking of the .xxx [sponsored top-level domain] does occur there's no evidence the result will be different from the blocking that already occurs."

The .xxx domain name, first submitted to Icann in 2004, has had a troubled, controversial lifespan, having had its applications for consideration by Icann rejected on multiple occasions.