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Pornography given its own .xxx online domaincomment (0)

March 31, 2011

San Francisco — Pornography now has its own online domain, to the chagrin of pro-family advocates.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the creation of Web addresses, approved the establishment of the .xxx domain for sexually explicit material in a 9–3 vote at the March 18 meeting of its board in San Francisco.

The decision does not mean all pornographic sites will be limited to the .xxx domain, however. Porn businesses still will be able to use .com and other domains.

Pro-family leaders decried ICANN’s action.

“The addition of this new domain will just make the Internet even more of a moral minefield,” said Dwayne Hastings, vice president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “Anything that further legitimizes pornography as a morally neutral endeavor is not good.

“Pornography is not a victimless crime,” he added. “It contributes to prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual assaults. It destroys lives and tears families apart.

“Most of us live lives insulated from this destructive filth, and that’s good,” Hastings said. “The problem is that a growing number of people, including children, are being exposed and exploited by pornography and those who make billions off its production and sale.” The profits from pornography in the United States are staggering, according to statistics cited by Hastings: $13 billion in revenue from porn in a year and $3 billion from child porn, which is illegal.

“We are disappointed that ICANN ignored the clear advice of governments worldwide, including the United States,” said Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Department of Commerce and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. “This decision goes against the global public interest, and it will open the door to more Internet blocking by governments and undermine the stability and security of the Internet.”

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