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Internet body rejects .XXX adult-only sites

LISBON (Reuters) - The U.S.-based Internet governing body rejected a proposal on Friday to create an adults-only zone on the internet, or a .XXX domain.

A keyboard is seen in a file photo. The U.S.-based Internet governing body rejected a proposal on Friday to create an adults-only zone on the internet, or a .XXX domain. REUTERS/Catherine Benson

Supporters of an .XXX domain argued it would make it easier to confine sex sites and filter them out. Opponents argued it would make pornography on the Internet easier to find.

The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages the Internet’s domain-name address system, decided to reject the application for .XXX sites at a meeting in Portugal.

“This decision was the result of very careful scrutiny and consideration of all the arguments,” Dr Vinton Cerf, chairman of ICANN, said in a statement on the group’s Web site.

“That consideration had led a majority of the board to believe that the proposal should be rejected.”

The anticipated rejection of the .XXX domain had prompted the European Union to accuse the United States of political interference in the Web’s governance because ICANN currently reports to the U.S. Commerce Department.

“One of our board members said today in our meeting, and I’ll quote him, that this decision wasn’t a behind-the-scenes government move,” Serf told journalists in Lisbon.

“This issue had an enormously long debate, it’s been on the table since 2000 and today we decided to reject it. I personally voted against the proposal.”

The ICANN also announced tests on the next version of the internet protocol (IP) manager, IPv6, had gone well and should allow the version to come on stream soon.

“The current address space, under version IPv4, has about 4.3 billion terminations -- it will run out eventually. The IPv6 is much larger and should have enough IP addresses for a long time”, Dr Vinton Cerf said.

ICANN assigns domains to Internet sites, such as the .com and .org abbreviations used for websites.

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