ICANN Considers .XXX

ICANN Considers .XXX
Gretchen Gallen
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Friday its choices for new sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) applications, among them the long-awaited .XXX domain introduced by Jason Hendeles of ICM Registry Inc.

According to ICANN, the new sTLDs are the first stage of ICANN's strategic initiative to expand the domain name system and incorporate a more streamlined, "globalized" process of adopting generic TLDs.

In addition to .XXX, applications were submitted for .asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .mail., .travel, and two separate applications for .tel.

Hendeles has been securing support from leaders in the online adult webmaster community since 2000 with the intention of creating an industry-specific domain that will serve adult entertainment commercially, while at the same time protect the privacy and security of adult consumers and battle child pornography.

"This is the kind of application that has the opportunity to become the framework around which the online adult industry can self-organize and proactively be responsive to the needs and concerns of the broader Internet community," Hendeles told XBiz. "This forum could become the conduit to proactively responding to the global concerns of both consumers and the major online companies, which include the credit card processors, search engines and Internet service providers."

The application for .XXX is sponsored by Canada-based International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR), a nonprofit organization that will manage the sTLD if approved by ICANN.

"IFFOR’s mission includes contributing ongoing annual funding towards programs and tools to make a difference in the ongoing battle against child pornography and to supporting free expression online," Hendeles said.

The sTLD applications under consideration were submitted to ICANN on Dec. 25, 2003. They will be reviewed by an independent evaluation panel beginning in May 2004, ICANN announced.

Hendeles told XBiz that a decision is expected sometime in August.

If approved, VeriSign, Register.com and several hundred other competing registrars would act as resellers for the .XXX domains, which according to Hendeles could potentially further legitimize the adult industry globally.