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Serious concerns over .XXX.



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021/06 28 March 2006

Serious Concerns over .XXX

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan today raised serious concerns about plans by the international Internet domain name body - ICANN - to establish a new adult content domain - .xxx.

The .xxx domain would provide dedicated Internet addresses for adult content sites currently spread throughout the .com and other domains.

“This Government takes a strong stand on Internet pornography and we would not support any measure which could lead to an increase in offensive content on the Internet,” Senator Coonan said.

“The Australian Government would be concerned by the creation of an Internet domain specifically for material which is largely illegal under Australian online content laws.”

Representatives from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts have put this view directly to the ICANN board through the Government Advisory Committee meeting this week in Wellington, New Zealand.

Potential benefits that have been discussed for the establishment of the .xxx top level domain, including containing adult content to one domain on the Internet, remain vague and ill-defined.

Other reasons put forward by the supporters of this domain, such as using proceeds to fund filter technology development and child protection initiatives, have not been fully explained.

“I am yet to be convinced that there are any real benefits from the creation of this domain that would outweigh the risk of legitimising this offensive material,” Senator Coonan said.

“At this stage the idea that all offensive websites on the Internet would voluntarily quarantine themselves to a new domain is difficult to believe.”

Australia has asked ICANN to delay its decision on .xxx until it has provided better evidence of its purported benefits.

“If it becomes clear that this domain will simply increase the number of pornographic sites on the Internet and do nothing to protect Australian families from offensive content, then I will not hesitate to register Australia’s strong opposition to the establishment of .xxx,” Senator Coonan said.

Page ID: 38086 Last Modified: 03/28/2006 http://www.minister.dcita.gov.au/media/media_releases/serious_concerns_over_.xxx