New .xxx sex domain for porn sites

.xxx could label sites where these women performThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit that administers Internet domain names on behalf of the U.S. government, has approved the creation of a .xxx top-level domain (TLD) for adult websites.

The controversial move, which was announced at the organization's recent meeting in Brussels, culminates a decade-long effort by the private company ICM Registry to win support for the creation a porn-specific domain name. After voting to approve the application, the ICANN board approved a set of next steps, including due diligence, negotiations on a registry agreement, and consultation with ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee.

The .xxx domain has been criticized by pornographers and family values conservatives alike -- the former for what they decry as a form of digital segregation and censorship, and the latter for obvious reasons.

Unsurprisingly, "sex" is the most popular search term on the planet, and accounts for a quarter of all searches, according to a Reuters report, which said more than $3,000 is spent on Internet porn every second. With an estimated 370 million adult sites, the .xxx could rival -- and even surpass -- the number of .com domain names.

ICM celebrated the ICANN vote on its site, and is already inviting online entrepreneurs to "pre-reserve" their .xxx domain names. A statement on the ICM site says the creation of an .xxx domain will alert both users and search engines to the presence of adult content, creating a more effective filter for those who wish to steer their browsers clear of any porn.

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