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india Updated: Jul 23, 2006 01:43 IST

The IT Ministry is embroiled in a different kind of sex scandal. It finds that a large number of .in domain names containing the word sex have been allotted to users. URLs with .in are India-specific domain names, that the government began disbursing in January 2005. The ministry somehow overlooked the fact that some domain names would be used for pornographic purposes. Though it is tightlipped about the actual number of such URLs, it is now withdrawing the names one at a time. The first was — a domain bought by a German on February 16, 2005.

“It’s an embarrassment, though no damage has been done as none of the names were actualised into websites,” said a senior ministry official. An informal probe into how this happened is underway, and heads may roll. Others in the government were critical. “We are talking technology here,” said an IT official. “The domain names the ministry did not wish to give should have been screened through the system.”