ICANN Gives Go-Ahead For .XXX Domain

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved the .xxx domain for adult entertainment websites.

The move will allow pornographic websites to officially adopt the web suffix in order to distinguish their websites from others. The approval has not been welcomed by some adult entertainment companies, which complained they would have to re-purchase domain names.

Critics believe that the new domain will create a virtual red-light district on the web. That said, the .xxx domain will be instrumental in making it easier for regulators to classify pornographic websites and to help keep them away from the eyes of young web users more easily.

The proposal to create a special .xxx domain was first filed back in 2003 but was met with resistance by the Bush administration. However, President Obama's office showed no inclination to stop the web domain from being approved.

Stuart Lawley, the chief executive of ICM Registry who will be operating the domain, said in a statement, “ICANN's decision to give .xxx final approval is a landmark moment for the internet. Tens of thousands of adult entertainment website owners recognize the business benefits of .xxx and have already applied to pre-reserve over 200,000 .xxx domains.”

Lawley added that domain names with the .xxx suffix will start to go live by June or July this year.