Sunday 4 December 2016

Vatican 'porn' web address snapped up

Shane Richmond

Published 22/12/2011 | 05:00

Photo: Thinkstock
Photo: Thinkstock

An unknown buyer has purchased the web address vatican.xxx, raising the possibility that it could be used by a pornographic website.

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"This domain is not available because it has been acquired by someone else, but not the Vatican," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Vatican radio.



Lombardi denied that the Vatican had bought the domain itself to prevent misuse, according to a report from Reuters.



The .xxx domain extensions went on sale earlier this month and are designed to be used by pornographic websites. However, many organisations have acquired the .xxx extension for their company so as to prevent their brand being associated with adult material.



When ICM registry, the firm selling the new addresses, began accepting expressions of interest earlier this year, it received almost a million. The firm provided a 'sunrise period' in which brands could reserve their own trademarks before they went on general sale.



The sale follows ten years of wrangling at ICANN, the quango that controls the Domain Name System (DNS), the network of computers run by ISPs that convert IP addresses into web addresses. The Bush administration blocked the creation of .xxx after lobbying by conservative Christian groups, but ICM Registry overturned the decision by appealing to an independent panel.



As part of the liberalisation of the DNS, companies will soon be able to create their own top-level domains allowing, for example, the use of suffixes such as .coke or .nike.

Telegraph.co.uk

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