New .xxx top-level domains go on sale today

PR Newswire

PR Newswire

(CBS) - Porn kings will now have their own top-level domain to rule over.

Today, .xxx sites go live at 11 a.m. EST. The long-awaited domains offered by the ICM Registry is finally done with preliminary sales periods and will now be available for the general population.

While, it sounds dodgy to peddle .xxx domains, it will be easier for parents to filter and block adult content. According the ICM Registry, "over 250 million pages of adult oriented content have already been labeled using the MetaCert technology including the .XXX domain pages." MetaCert is a web browser add-on that helps parents filter content and block sites.

"The .xxx extension has been controversial, but I think the consumer reception has been positive," Stuart Lawley, chief executive officer of the ICM Registry, told me over the phone. The new domain makes it easier to classify adult content for consumers, providers and avoiders.

"We see it as a win-win-win," said Lawley.

ICM Registry is paying attention the concern over malware spread via porn sites. "McAfee scans each .xxx site daily for malware protecting both website operators and consumers of .xxx domains," the ICM Registry said in a statement today. Ironically, .xxx sites will be the safest on the Internet.

The ICM Registry submitted a request with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to get the .xxx domain approved Oct. 2000, but was denied. After several revisions, the ICANN board finally approved the top-level in June 2010.

Sex sells because Buy.xxx, which lists all of the registrars, already receives nearly a million visitors per day. To date, over 100,000 domains have already been sold during the preliminary Sunrise and Landrush sales periods. Those numbers will no doubt explode when the domain goes public today.

"The process has been a marathon, not a sprint. It's 10-years in the making and today is the starting pistol," Lawley said. "In a few years, we think it will be the top-level domain of choice."

As expected, there is opposition against the new top-level domain.

"The establishment of a .xxx domain would increase, not decrease, the spread of pornography on the Internet, causing even more harm to children, families and communities," said Patrick Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media, when ICANN was voting to approve the top-level domain in March.

Love it or hate it, .xxx has arrived.

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