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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
US challenged over .xxx decision
Porn magazines
The domain would have created a net home for pornography
The backer of a failed bid to create a net domain for porn is trying to get its application reconsidered.

In early May ICM Registry's plans for a .xxx domain were rejected by the net's organising body Icann.

Now ICM is suing two US government departments for access to documents it claims show how they lobbied for the new net address to be rejected.

It has asked Icann to reconsider its application because it did not have all the facts about ICM's plans.

Hard target

ICM has filed Freedom of Information requests against the US Department of Commerce and Department of State to get uncensored copies of official documents that relate to the creation of the .xxx domain.

In its Freedom of Information filing, ICM said it expected the documents to "shed light on what role the United States government played in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (Icann) consideration of ICM's proposal to create and operate a new .xxx domain".

Members of the board voted against the ICM agreement based on inaccurate information about the written statements of various governments concerning .xxx
ICM Registry letter

ICM claims that the US government bowed to pressure from the religious right for the domain to be dropped.

Icann voted on 10 May to reject ICM's plans following a year of delay over a final decision on the domain.

If the .xxx idea had been approved, it would have sat alongside the more familiar .com and .org but would have been only used by websites offering explicit sexual material.

Porn sites would not be forced to move their sites to a .xxx domain. Instead use of it would be voluntary.

The plan to set .xxx was criticised by some because they feared that corralling porn sites on one domain would make it easier to filter out such things and aid censorship of the net.

Others pointed out the difficulty of deciding what counted as pornography.

ICM said the plan for the domain would make it easier for parents to let their children use the net without worrying about them stumbling across porn sites.

It has asked Icann to rethink its decision to reject the domain plans.

"Members of the board voted against the ICM agreement based on inaccurate information about the written statements of various governments concerning .xxx," said ICM in a letter to Icann.

Handy domain

Monk using mobile, AFP/Getty
Using the net via mobile is not always a good experience
This week also saw the start of the sunrise period for another new domain, .mobi, which is intended for sites that mobile phones can access.

The first limited sunrise phase, which lasts a week, is for members of the world's various mobile phone industry groups to grab a .mobi domain for themselves. Almost 3,000 companies are expected to apply during this phase of the rollout.

The main sunrise period for trademark owners begins on 12 June and runs to 21 August. The landrush phase, in which anyone can apply for a .mobi domain, will begin on 28 August.

Unlike other registries, the organisation behind .mobi, MTLD, is imposing standards on all those operating mobile domains to ensure they can be accessed easily by as many handsets as possible.

Neil Edwards, head of MTLD, said the hope was that by imposing standards on operators of .mobi domains it hoped to make sites easier to access and boost use of the net on mobile phones.

The rights and wrongs of .xxx
22 May 06 |  Technology
Plan for .xxx porn domain dropped
11 May 06 |  Technology
Porn domain faces further delays
02 Dec 05 |  Technology
Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain
16 Aug 05 |  Technology
Mobiles get net home of their own
11 Jul 05 |  Technology
Fast start for European net names
10 Apr 06 |  Technology
Big push for Chinese net domains
03 Mar 06 |  Technology

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