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Online smut still homeless as .xxx is delayed again

But .cat is approved

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ICANN has delayed again the approval of the .xxx top level domain (TLD) until an unspecified "future date".

The establishment of the domain was originally agreed by ICANN in June, but has been mired in political debate after conservative groups in the US raised concerns about having a TLD specifically for porn. President Bush stepping into the fray with his own worries about a virtual red-light district last month has only slowed the process even further.

At a meeting on Thursday, ICANN's board of directors told staff that ICM Registry, the company that will operate the .xxx domain, will have to agree to further contractual provisions before the adult-entertainment TLD gets the green light.

However, the hordes of feline lovers that surf the web - and what else could explain why "pussy" is such a popular search term? - need not despair. The .cat domain, intended to promote the Catalan language and culture, has been given the go ahead, and is expected to go live next year. ®

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