ICANN to approve .XXX domain today

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbering is set to approve the .xxx top level domain for adult web sites – a decade after it was first proposed.

The move is reckoned to make it easier to separate porn from mainstream web sites.

At a public meeting in Brussels yesterday, ICANN general counsel John Jeffrey said the .xxx domain is likely be approved today.

We revealed how a legal victory paved the way for the porn domain after ICANN was deemed to have broken its own rules when it denied would-be porn peddler ICM Registry the chance to sell .xxx domains.

ICM has been trying to launch .xxx since 2000. It came close to approval in 2005, but its proposal was put on ice after far-right religious groups spammed the US Department of Commerce with protests.

ICM Registry is still breathing down ICANN's neck and expects a deal today.

Jeffrey said: "One, that the board of ICANN in adopting its resolutions of June 1, 2005, found that the application of the ICM registry of the XXX sTLD met the required sponsorship criteria. And, two, the board's reconsideration of that finding was not consistent with the application of neutral, objective, and fair documented policy.

As a result, "The board proposes to direct staff to conduct an expedited due diligence to ensure that the ICM application is, "A," still current, and, "B," that there have been no changes in conditions.

If "expedited due diligence is successful, then staff will proceed into contract negotiations with ICM," Jeffrey said.

According to ICM, "The .xxx extension will be one of a very small number of sponsored Internet extensions and members of the sponsoring community will be able to register domains with the new ending,” the outfit said in a statement. "While most Internet extensions are used for just about everything you can imagine, .xxx will be focused on providing an online home for those members of the adult industry who wish to self-identify and responsibly self-regulate.

"The idea was to create an easily identifiable area of the Internet so users know what to expect when they see a .xxx address," ICM Registry reckons.