By Neha Arha
India is proposing to block .xxx-registered websites after a global agency governing the web approved the suffix for pornography websites last week, risking confrontation between a fast-liberalising youth and strong traditionalist values.
The government's move followed a decade-long dialogue within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that resulted in the approval for .xxx suffix for pornography websites. Sales of .xxx domains should begin soon in Q2 2011.
Taking a cue from .com, .org, .nic and others, the creation of .xxx would identify adult content and services and could be used by governments for mass censorship of adult content.
Despite continuous efforts by some staunch conservative groups, porn remains easily accessible in India. The move to ban savitabhabhi.com, a popular toon porn site, fell flat when it later resurfaced through a foreign server.
In addition to labelling it immoral under the Indian Penal Code, distribution of adult content is illegal. Distributing such content in the electronic form calls for imprisonment for a maximum term of five years or/and fine which may extend to 100,000 rupees ($2,237).