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Britain has half a million porn sites

Technology

London - Britain hosts the third biggest volume of internet pornography in the world and is home to more than half a million sites, according to a shocking survey.

There are more than 52 million pages of pornographic content in the country, including rape websites registered under the national domain name which ends co.uk.

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The revelation that Britain is one of the most popular worldwide locations to host adult websites will intensify pressure on the British government to provide an opt-out system for online porn.

There are no restrictions on pornographers registering their sites under Britain’s domain name, for which a private company called Nominet UK is responsible.

John Carr, a government adviser on child internet safety, called on Nominet to ban websites containing certain words like rape and said the “free for all” should end. He said that all porn sites should be under the domain name .xxx and declared: “The UK should not provide succour and comfort to porn merchants.”

The policy of unrestricted access means that websites including Asian-rape.co.uk and Incestrape.neuken.co.uk are paying to use Britain’s domain name.

One of the available web addresses is rapeher.co.uk - which is being sold by commercial agent GoDaddy for £2.99 a year.

The entry on its website reads: “Snap it up before someone else does.” GoDaddy said: “We are withdrawing the name while we carry out a review. We have not done this before.”

Ed Vaizey, the communications minister, is now writing to Nominet to ask what its plans are to prevent “abusive behaviour”.

He added that he took Mr Carr’s complaint “extremely seriously”.

Mr Carr questioned on his blog whether it was appropriate for a not-for-profit company to oversee more than ten million co.uk domain names.

He added: “Ministers and parliament must be satisfied they are entirely happy with the way that Nominet discharges its responsibilities.

“Nominet should have a policy that websites registered under the national domain name do not contain depraved or disgusting words. People should not be able to register websites that bring disgrace to this country under the national domain name.”

In other countries, the government controls the national domain name.

The evidence that Britain hosts more pornography than any other country apart from the US and Holland will be presented by a web analysis company called MetaCert this week.

Paul Walsh, the chief executive of the California-based organisation, said Britain hosted six times as many porn web pages as Germany in fourth place and ten times as many as France in fifth place.

The US is home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s pornography. The company claims its analysis is more reliable than other studies as it also checks websites which don’t advertise that they host porn.

Nominet said it had referred two of the rape websites to the Internet Watch Foundation and was reviewing its policy on registration.

The company also pledged to check its database of .uk names against the IWF’s list of key words associated with illegal content.

But it admitted that pornographers could exploit a UK loophole by registering for a UK domain under one name, and later adding a sexual word before the first dot in the address. - Daily Mail

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