Saturday, March 19, 2011

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Int'l body approves .xxx domain for pron sites (A copyrighted property of GMA News Online.)

Online voyeurs may soon have a place on the Internet to call their own, after an international body managing the world's Internet addresses approved this week a new top-level domain for porn sites.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) passed a resolution approving the registry of .xxx as a special top-level domain (sTLD) for adult entertainment.

230,000 URLs reserved so far

"The Board adopts and fully incorporates herein its Rationale for Approving Registry Agreement with ICM for .xxx sTLD ... to support the entering into the proposed registry agreement," the ICANN said in its resolution approving the registry of the .xxx domain.

With the resolution, web addresses ending in .xxx are expected to contain sexually-oriented adult entertainment.

An article on Mashable, the US-based technology news website, said that the new domain names will be registered through the ICM Registry, with over 230,000 URLs already reserved so far.

Advantages of .xxx domain

ICM, the company behind the .xxx registry, will provide management, supporting infrastructure and back-end functionality.

The company listed its arguments for having an .xxx extension:

  • Despite a very large online market for adult entertainment, large sections of society do not wish to come into contact with its products and as such .xxxprovides both willing consumers of adult entertainment and those who wish to avoid it with an easily identifiable mark —the end of the web address.
  • The .xxx "registry" will be a professionally-run outfit that will include Best Business Practices that all registrants of .xxx domains will have to agree to before they can have a .xxx name. The result is greater confidence and certainty for visitors to .xxx domains.
  • Adult entertainment providers identifying themselves as compliant with a comprehensive set of Best Business Practices can provide more predictable revenue streams, greater customer retention and fewer complaints as regulators take notice of adult entertainment providers' proactive and responsible approaches to their web presences.
  • For individuals and families wishing to avoid adult content, the machine-readable labels will allow easy and reliable filtering. There will be need to fiddle with keywords or expensive software.
  • An .xxx extension creates a credible, self-regulated forum for all stakeholders to discuss and actively respond to concerns about online adult entertainment.

Outrage from PHL bishops?

But whether the .xxx domain will be welcomed in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, remains to be seen.

The influential Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has made clear its firm position against pornography, working to put an outright stop to the spread of such materials.

In 2007, the CBCP agreed to work with the government's Optical Media Board to curb the threat to minors and adults of the proliferation of sex-related videos.

An article on the CBCP website said that CBCP media director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III and then OMB head Eduardo Manzano met on the matter.

“We support their fight against pornography and even the anti-piracy campaign, which is another issue," Quitorio said.

The CBCP has also formed an ad-hoc committee to lead an effective campaign against child pornography, with former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa elected to chair the body. — TJD, GMA News

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