The formation of the new .xxx domain name for sexually explicit and pornographic material was approved on March 18 by the organization governing domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). After the announcement, an executive stated, "ICANN's decision to give .xxx final approval is a landmark moment for the Internet."

While claiming to have the best interest of the Internet at heart, it appears the real interest is the revenue to be generated by selling domain names to porn distributors. According to ICMRegistry, the company authorized to oversee the .xxx domain, 528,335 websites have submitted domain name reservations as of March 28. At the anticipated cost of $60 per website, a whopping $31,700,100 in revenue is anticipated, and the numbers are growing.

It is unfortunate that so often pecuniary gain for the one controls the collective conscience of humanity more than decency and good judgment.

We have seen an interesting phenomenon with the Internet. As the supply of porn has increased, there has been a corresponding increase in the demand for such material. Yet policymakers continue to make decisions that effectively increase porn's supply to those who are harmed the most by such content: children, individuals and families.

Social experts increasingly recognize that forming positive loving relationships, both in and out of the home, and seeing individuals as more than mere objects to be acted on are severely compromised when one uses porn.

Additionally, science has now concluded that porn is addicting, like gambling and overeating, and can diminish a person's ability to make rational, healthy decisions. The effects of porn are devastating. And like other addicting substances, the secondary effects — to children, spouses, loved ones and even other innocent members of society — are also devastating.

Ecclesiastical leaders and professionals who counsel users of porn and those experiencing secondary effects will unequivocally testify to the devastation, heartache and unhappiness.

Some may attempt to diminish the mounting evidence by arguing that "the data can't be conclusive because I am not experiencing any negative effects by viewing porn." This ignores reality and is akin to arguing that "I have not experienced any harmful effects from drinking. So harmful effects of alcohol consumption don't exist."

The social science data on the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, including health problems, traffic accidents, spousal and child abuse, etc., are irrefutable. In fact, these effects are so accepted that there are laws to govern the supply of alcohol. Most would agree that such laws are beneficial.

But we have taken a hands-off approach to controlling the supply and distribution of porn. Two examples are: During the administrations of the current and previous U.S. presidents, very few, if any, decisions have been made to prosecute producers and distributors of illegal porn under existing federal laws; and the recent ICANN decision to create the .xxx domain.

Some have argued that the .xxx domain will encourage filtering. Interestingly, at least publicly the adult entertainment lobby has opposed the .xxx domain's creation on those grounds. Others have argued that having porn on the .xxx domain will make such content easier to filter, resulting in making the Internet safer for minors and children. However, these arguments are irrelevant because they ignore one critical fact: Registering a website on the .xxx domain is voluntary.

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With entry costs so low, it is likely that porn providers will double their coverage — by registering a .xxx domain and maintaining the .com domain. From a business standpoint, this is a no-brainer — a miniscule cost for a significant potential benefit to the bottom line.

And so we are duped again into lackadaisically allowing policy-makers to increase the supply of porn uninhibited by controls.

How long can this laissez-faire attitude go on before we realize that there are things more important to protect than the bottom line? How long before we decide to stand against things that threaten the foundation of a stable society — the well being of children, individuals and families — without which society could not exist, at least not for long?

Nathan Andersen is a Gilbert, Ariz., attorney and executive board member of Arizona Family Council, azfamilycouncil.org, a nonprofit organization working to educate families about the dangers of pornography. Email: nathanwandersen@gmail.com