.god to .xxx - Sex and Religion Domain Names to be Discussed
By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor
Icann conference in Nairobi will decide on new internet address suffixes including .God, .sex, .xxx and .gay
The body that decides on the availability of new web addresses will reconsider the case for allowing .xxx on Friday in Nairobi. Although the suffix, aimed at adult websites, had previously been approved, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), reversed that decision in 2007 after a concerted lobbying campaign from conservative groups in America. Now the matter is being revisited, however, after a subsequent independent review concluded that the decision was unfair.
ICM Registry, a company which sells domain names and is campaigning for .xxx to be made available, has said that it hopes to be offering the suffix for sale by the end of the year. The hope is that adult sites would favour .xxx, but in practice there would be no way to limit them to it.
The .God domain name has also been controversial, and last year the Vatican called on Icann to keep religion and the internet naming systems separate. The Pope was reported to fear that individual organisations might hijack whole domains such as .catholic or .islam. Two organisations are also campaigning for control of the .gay domain name.
The decision on what Icann calls â€œGeneric Top Level Domain Namesâ€, however, is unlikely to be made without consultation among Icann members, which means it could take some months before a final verdict is reached.