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First smut site erected on .xxx address

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Application security programs and practises

The first porn site to use a .xxx web address has gone live, and domain manager ICM Registry has announced another way to make internet perving a "safer" experience.

Casting.xxx (NSFW, incredibly) started doing its bit to feed the world's appetite for "adult entertainment" last night.

While ICM has had a corporate site online at about.xxx for a few months, casting.xxx is the first actual porn site to use a .xxx domain name.

The domain is registered to a company called Really Useful, based in the Turks and Caicos Islands. According to ICM, it has been given several .xxx addresses under its so-called Founders Program.

This program is a pre-launch marketing initiative aimed at drumming up interest in the new extension, which has attracted a great deal of criticism from the porn industry in the last few years.

Roughly 1,500 .xxx domains have been allocated to 35 porn companies, and many could go live ahead of the extension's official general launch, which is scheduled for early December.

"It's actually a perfect example of a Founders site," ICM president Stuart Lawley said of casting.xxx. "It's a generic name... but with a special niche in the .xxx world."

The company also recently announced the second of three initiatives aimed at building up the .xxx brand as a "safe" place to get your jollies – or not – on the web.

ICM has inked a multimillion dollar deal with San Francisco upstart MetaCert, a web-content classification service, to give surfers blocking options if they don't want to stumble onto porn.

MetaCert makes a free browser plug-in that can block sites and insert mouseover warnings into search engine results, based on its hosted database of known porn sites.

Under its deal with ICM, every .xxx site will be automatically labelled as adults-only in this database.

MetaCert chief executive Paul Walsh said the system uses the W3C labelling standard POWDER, which replaced PICS, an earlier standard which Walsh said is "completely broken".

The company, which is chaired by Salesforce.com chief scientist JP Rangaswami, plans to make money in part by selling privacy policy certificates to site owners inside and outside the porn business for half the price of TRUSTe, Walsh said.

The announcement follows a deal ICM inked with Intel-owned McAfee in June, under which all .xxx websites are automatically scanned daily for malware and other threats.

ICM has come in for a lot of criticism for the high price of .xxx domains – at least $75 a year at the checkout – and hopes its range of free extra services may make the cost seem less extortionate.

This is unlikely to persuade ICM's main opponent, the California porn trade group Free Speech Coalition, of the extension's value, however. The FSC has called for a boycott of .xxx domains, using the slogan ".XXX is bullshit!".

Larry Flynt's Hustler publishing empire has also reportedly written to ICM demanding that it take action to specifically protect Hustler's trademarks in the .xxx space, accusing the company of a "shakedown". ®

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