ICANN drops plan to approve .xxx

Government advisory committee said it needs more time to review .xxx domain proposal.

Attempts to create a domain name to handle adult online content faced an uncertain future on Friday after ICANN abandoned plans to debate the issue.

The proposal to create a .xxx domain was due to get final approval at an ICANN board meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. But ICANN chairman Vint Cerf surprised the meeting on Thursday by announcing that it had been removed from the agenda.

This is the second time that ICANN has pushed back plans to approve .XXX, after a delay in September.

ICANN said on Thursday that its governmental advisory committee needed more time to review a 350-page report into the creation of .xxx. This report was finished back in August, but released only earlier this week.

The proposed creation of .xxx has outraged some conservative groups in the U.S., who have lobbied the U.S. government--which oversees ICANN--to block the proposal.

Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller told Reuters that the U.S. has been lobbying other governments to oppose the plan.

But according to reports from Vancouver, there is speculation that the EU put pressure on ICANN not to approve .xxx. The EU is pushing to reduce the U.S. influence over the Internet. Holding up the .xxx domain could highlight flaws in the current state of Internet governance.

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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