Plans are being made to introduce new domain names for adult sites.
According to a report on BBC News, members of ICANN, which oversees the net's naming system, will vote on a plan to relax the strict rules on so-called top-level domain names.
If approved, it is likely to mean that X-rated adult sites could soon start to use the name .xxx alongside .com for the first time. The plans are part of a broader overhaul of the internet's address system that could also see the introduction of names such as .bank, .sport and .film.
It claimed that ICANN first voted to introduce an .xxx domain back in 2005 but the idea was never implemented. The decision was reversed in 2006 and again rejected in 2007.
John Carr, a government advisor on internet safety, told BBC News: “Internet safety campaigners support the idea of an .xxx domain name because it makes it easier to track and block pornographic content.
“In the short run I think there are potential problems of confusion, but in the long term, I think all responsible pornography companies will move their domains into the .xxx area. We've never said pornography should not exist on the internet, but it shouldn't be easy for children and young people to get at it or for people who don't want to see it to come across it.”
However Spencer Parker, director of product management at ScanSafe, claimed that there were different factors to consider. He believed that the only people who will register with the .xxx domain name will be the more 'above board' websites; those sites who are playing by the rules anyway and have technologies such as Net Nanny in order to make sure that the under 18s do not get in.
Parker said: “I do not see this as a major issue, the websites who take this on will be the sort of companies who can afford to do it. So from my point of view you will get malicious sites that will register it, for example someone will probably register playboy.xxx, as someone will assume that it is the official site.
“The bigger problem is the lure sites that promise free pornography, that is where you get malware from flash sites. Often there is typosquatting, what we term lure sites where there is traffic.”
Parker further claimed that the internet is running out of .com's, and we are getting to the point where new start-ups are choosing their company name by what address they can get.
“Everyone wants an online presence, an IP address is not memorable but a domain name is as most people will remember it. It is not like we are used to one extension, we have .co.uk, .uk, and I cannot understand what ICANN are concerned about to be honest,” said Parker.