back to article Plan for top-level pornography domain gets reprieve

A plan to create a specific area of the Internet for pornography has been given a reprieve by a distinguished panel of judges. The panelists - who included a former International Court of Justice judge - told Internet overseeing body ICANN in a majority decision that it was wrong to reject an application for the top-level …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    As sayeth the Reg article: "particularly the US government, which had been the focus of a determined campaign by right-wing Christian groups".

    What a bunch of morons. It's way easier to filter porn out if it ALL falls under .xxx rather than what is currently done. Of course, this would require (via law or registrar contract) to force porn to be on .xxx domains only, but in this scenario, everyone wins. Those that don't want accessible porn just block the .xxx domains and those that crave it can easily find what they are looking for.


    1. Anonymous Coward


      I guess the "right-wing Christian groups" want to block access for ALL, including the ones who want to access filthy, degrading, subhuman,perverted, yummy smut.

      1. Dave Bell

        That's the problem

        Put porn in a .xxx TLD and it becomes an easy target for filtering, whether at end-user level (a good thing) or at ISP/National level (not a good thing).

        Some might still recall the Usenet fuss in the mid-nineties of the last century, when the head of the Clubs and Vice Section of the Metropolitan Police sent a letter to the British ISPs, questioning the legality of a list of newsgroups, apparently mainly on a superficial examination of their names. CI Stephen French's action was part of the buildup of threats whiuch led to the formation of the IWF.

        It's not going to protect you against the politicians, not without some pretty aggressive marketing of the opportunities it gives for blocking at the household level.

    2. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      The biggest objection... a dot xxx domain was suprisingly the adult website owners, who foresaw exactly what AC points out above, it would "ghettoize" adult content.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The biggest supporters...

        ... of the xxx domain WERE the adult industry. It was they who first suggested this idea to stave off the creeping idea of censorship on the web - they argued that, as the first comment points out, it is much easier for parental control or otherwise to block porn sites in situations deemed unsuitable than it currently is. It showed a degree of responsibility that the groups attacking them and their industry lacked.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Re: idiots

    Yes, the fundies are morons.

    > ...those that crave it can easily find what they are looking for.

    Are you for real? People that want πορν now can find it easily enough, nothing about .xxx is going to make it easier to find.

    Anyone who thinks that .xxx is anything but another land grab and will somehow make things better is just fooling themselves.

    No doubt we will eventually get legislation to restrict πορν to only .xxx domains -- I expect more so because our fine congress critters just can't not try to legislate morality and common sense. No need to give them any bright ideas though.

  3. Unlimited

    another tld money grab

    .xxx will eventually happen, will be nothing but a money grab for icann, the registry, registrars, and will be of absolutely no use in filtering porn.

  4. Pablo

    Idiots maybe

    But the solution you describe isn't even on the table. It isn't an "everybody wins" result by any means either. What about all the owners of existing porn sites? Do they get kicked out of their old domains, or what? Sure they could go register the same name under .xxx but what about and, would they be forced to share or what? What about What right does ICANN have to tell an (ostensibly) sovereign nation what it can and can't put under its tld? Then there's situation of sites that are not primarily pornographic, but on occasion feature some mature content. Would it sounds like they would be forced to either move their whole site to xxx land, or else split it in two. Neither option sounds very attractive (or fair) to me.

    1. J 3


      Depends on the flexibility of the system and what people are willing to do. Some amateurish ideas follow. :-)

      An easy, if not so pretty, solution would be to append .xxx to the current existing addresses, in a grandfathering system, so to speak. So, in the examples you gave, those sites would become and, but any newly registered site would not need (or be allowed?) to do that. The old addresses could redirect to the new .xxx appended ones for a while, say. After a certain period (a couple years? more?), the old addresses would stop working definitively.

      People *already* don't follow the underlying logic anyway, it seems to me; why is El Reg's URL ended in, while if the site was American it would be .com only? Brazilian sites are and so forth.

      On the other hand, this could create new opportunities for scammers, typosquatters, people like that. But pornland is hardly known for being a safe corner of the interwebs to begin with, so I don't know how much worse it could get...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The modern web didn't just spring up overnight. Much of the "underlying logic" came about well after most of the infrastructure was put into place.

        The grandfathering system you mention would be nice, but relies on every country in the world adding it to their legal systems and then enforcing it. In other words, it's not going to happen.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      this brings up another point

      If they can't tell what they can register,then there shouldnt be any more TLDs, but any country is free to add xxx as a 2nd if i want manga, i go to, if i want thongs i go to, oh, and get rid of .com, .net, .mobi, .gov, .edu, etc.

  5. Juiceman

    Blacklists don't work.

    How about a kid friendly Internet on top of the Internet? .kids or something like that. Have approved websites have a simple DNS redirect. So becomes which seamlessly works when the kiddies type in It would be trivial to make a web filter proxy that only allows only .kids domains.

    Then all the nanny groups can get together and decide what gets let in. All legitimate websites with content aimed at kids would scramble to get "approved".

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: .kids

      "Then all the nanny groups can get together and decide what gets let in."

      We already have that. The nanny groups couldn't agree on *anything*, so there's nothing under .kids.

      Seriously, there is *no* prospect of the entire human race agreeing that *anything* is either suitable or unsuitable for either kids or adults. If you want to use DNS as an indicator of content, then the top-level names need to align with legal jurisdictions. Since we already have a TLD for every sovereign state, ICANN should be making plans to *withdraw* the others, not add to the list.

      1. Jim Morrow

        there is no .kids

        There is no TLD called .kids. Check the IANA TLD database at

    2. The Commenter formally known as Matt


      .com is now recognised internationally as commercial sites, same with .net .gov etc,

      country specific agree with international country codes .us, .br .fr .uk etc

      The interwebs controllers are trying to move away from being english specific therefore .kids would be a backwards step.

  6. Neil Greatorex
    Thumb Up

    We don't want an .xxx tld

    What we really want is an .xxx tld but cunningly named .beer or .football or .widgetcollecting or better still .stufftokeepintheshed

    That would flummox them there women & leave the pr0n browsing secret. What woman, in her right mind, will follow a link to or www.toptotty.widgets


    1. Annihilator


      Yes, but said woman may get a bit confused/alarmed if she sees :-)

      What we want is to make the .xxx tld a reality, and then get those lovely devs over at Mozilla et al to automatically engage Privacy Mode for said domains. Brilliant!

    2. Mr Grumblefish


      .xxxx FTW. Because Aussies can't spell pornography and won't be able to see it if Conroy has his way.

    3. Peter Kay

      Women like porn too

      I know it's a strange concept, but I'm really very certain that many women are also keen on porn...

  7. Yes Me Silver badge
    Paris Hilton


    This is so boring. *Obviously* whatever they decide will make no difference to the amount of smut, or evil smut, on the net and no difference to the ease or difficulty of finding it or filtering it. As others have said, the only real world result will be money in the pockets of registrars, registries, and domain squatters.

    Of course, ICANN laid themselves open to this sort of crap as soon as they agreed to the first useless new gTLD back in whenever. So they deserve what they got, but it's a bit hard on today's ICANN Board members who weren't around when the nonsense started.

    "...It is a question of ‘is ICANN going to do the right thing or not?’”

    I think we know the answer to that one. In a lose-lose situation, whatever you do is the wrong thing.

    Paris, 'cos we're *sure* she wants to be in .xxx soonest.

  8. Poor Coco
    IT Angle

    The domain name landscape's changed the past few years, now anyone can stump up $50K or whatever it is and get their own custom TLD. So why doesn't someone simply register the XXX. TLD and then sell subdomains?

    Seems like a real no-brainer to me.

    1. Unlimited

      approval and rules

      IIRC, its not a free for all, you still need approval and there are rules, e.g. you can't get anything that has 'com' in it.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      the domain name landscape has NOT changed

      > the past few years, now anyone can stump up $50K or whatever it is and get their own custom TLD.

      not true. icann has not approved any new tlds for almost a decade now. they are still discussing a process to create new ones but discussions are likely to go on and on and on and on. anyone hoping this will reach a conclusion some time before the sun turns into a red giant is likely to be very disappointed. oh and the last time icann mentioned fees, they said an application for a new tld would be in the "low six figures". which probably means around $250K. the application fee will be small change compared to all the other start-up costs: service contracts, legal expenses, people, marketing, equipment, travel, etc.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    There's porn on the Internet?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    The comments!?!?

    After reading the first paragraph - and not caring about the details - I turned here for what I figured would be a bunch of smarmy and crude comments. Unfortunately the lot of you held a reasoned discussion. What give????

    1. Flybert


      porn's serious stuff ...

      I don't get why anyone thinks adult sites would be forced on to .xxx , or why there would

      be problems with duplicate names anymore than there is now

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We'll try to do worse next time around. Our bad. Entirely.

  11. John70

    Now only if...

    ...they force ad companies to use dot-ads so we can easily block them out as well.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    "the ICANN Board will now reconsider the dot-xxx application and decision at its meeting in Nairobi next month"

    ...anyone who holds their meetings in Nairobi probably doesn't need to worry about $475,000 - it's just pocket change.

  13. Tarthen

    I suspect will sell for millions.

  14. Jolyon Ralph
    Paris Hilton

    top-level pornography domain

    The article doesn't tell us what domain contains this top-level pornography. I assume it's good stuff.

    Oh wait...

  15. min

    so do..

    ..419 scammers get their own .CON domains too?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Being realistic?

    I suppose a dose of realism is important and I understand that the sector happens to be a multi-billion Euro, ESD, GBP, ... , Yen, ... concern.

    So I suppose it is reasonable to give some sort of acceptance yet at the same time I hope there are means to keep the gangstah-types out.

    And hope even more still that upholding .xxx means I can ever so easily ban stuff from ever appearing on computers I manage.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Who cares what TLDs there are out there?

    it just translates to a number.

    Really - what does it matter what TLDs there are? An experienced user of t'interweb knows that any domain name can mean anything and resolve to any site. The name registered in DNS does not have to bear any resemblence to what the site actually does.

    Would anybody reading this forum be surprised if they typed '' into their browser and ended up looking at a webpage listing local crack houses? Nope. DNS names mean nothing - it is a convenience.

    Give em .xxx, give em whatever they want. Who cares?

  18. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    And what about the grey areas?

    I run a business making leather bondage gear. Whilst my site has adult content (and appropriate warnings, is signed up to Net Nanny, Cyber Sitter et al) and is clearly not suitable for children, it's not "pornography", so should I be forced to dump my old domain (and have to re-do all my advertising and get all the links changed) to make it

    If not, what possible use is a .xxx TLD going to achieve except big commissions for the bidding war that will no doubt ensue for domains like and which will probably sell for millions?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A priest books into a hotel and asks the receptionist...

    "Is the porn channel in my room disabled?"

    "No," she replies, "it's just regular porn you sicko"

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