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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    .org For Hits and Giggles: What a difference .ORG can make.
    posted by michael on Wednesday October 30 2002, @05:48AM

    alx writes "This past monday a memo came accross my desk titled rather bluntly, "DNC Links to Porn." While I wasn't terribly shocked by this allegation after what we'd seen in the Clinton years, I was still curious how this could have happened. Were they hacked? Was someone playing a rather serious practical joke? Was someone about to lose their job? By the time I got to it yesterday, the error had been corrected, but not before it drew attention from organizations such as the Catholic League, which sent out a nationwide fax about the horrible liberals and their immoral ways.

    In what is probably a case of a porn site picking up an expired domain name, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had been linking users in search of the Willie Velasquez Institute (www.wcvi.net) which is apparently a Latino voter education site, to Free Live Amateur Teen Anal Hardcore Picture Site(www.wcvi.org). Who knew? Probably not the DNC which apparently has been [accidentally] linking to the porn site since September 24,2002 when the Canadian company NetIncome Ventures Inc. appears to have taken over the domain name. The rest of the political, government, and other Latino sites however, continue to link to the porn site under poor Willy Velasquez's name. A google search of www.wcvi.org will show that such erroneous porn-links appear at the Mexican American Political Association, the Hispanic Churches in American Life, and even at the Census Bureau."

    So how did this happen?

    My guess is either that all of the linking site (DNC included) simply assumed that the Willie Velasquez Institute would be a .ORG site because of the nature of the site, or the Willie Velasquez Institute owned all of the various wcvi.??? URLs until September 24, 2002, when someone failed to renew the .org, and some enterprising Canadian fellows decided pick up the name because it would probably get a lot of hits. I'm willing to bet the latter, but WOW!, what a difference 3 letters can make! As was discussed on here back in September(?), porn sites are staking out domain names that are about to expire and taking over while the search engine descriptions remain the same and unsuspecting referral sites continue to link. The question is, what can be done about this? I suggest ICANN push for a "holding period" where a domain name remains listed as "occupied" for a certain time after its registration has expired. While I hate AOL, I must give credit where it is due, for they have this sort of "holding period" on screen names. If you decide to cancel your AOL account, your screen name remains reserved for a set period of time (90 days?) where you can re-claim it if you so choose. If you don't renew your account or reclaim the screen name, it goes back into the pool of elegible screen names for other users. If registrars instituted a similar policy of "holding" domains after expiration, maybe less name squatting would take place. If nothing else, it would give a lazy Administrator or IT Department some extra time to get their act together before they are made to look completely inadequate. I mean come on, how difficult is it to click the link that says "renew"? If you're in charge of the site, you have to know what's going on with it, which necessarily entails knowing when the domain name expires. If you can't figure out how to do that, then perhaps a career change is in order.

    On a related note, I am curious if anyone knows whether the Willie Velasquez Institute has a cause of action against either the registrar (Network Solutions for the .NET site and Domainpeople, Inc. for the .ORG site) or the porn site. OR better yet, should they have such an action? I can see it being argued both ways, but I was wondering whether there is any official ICANN ruling on it, or if there have been any court cases.

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  • Catholic League
  • a nationwide fax about the horrible liberals and their immoral ways
  • Democratic National Committee
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  • Free Live Amateur Teen Anal Hardcore Picture Site
  • Mexican American Political Association
  • Hispanic Churches in American Life
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    For Hits and Giggles: What a difference .ORG can make. | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 6 comments | Search Discussion
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    Other examples of expired domain names becoming po
    by BenEdelman on Wednesday October 30 2002, @02:32PM (#9884)
    User #3219 Info | http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/edelman
    On the topic of expired domain names becoming porn sites, see also my May 2002 "Domains Reregistered for Distribution of Unrelated Content: A Case Study of "Tina's Free Live Webcam."

    Note that www.wcvi.org now says just "Directory Listing Denied" (no sexually-explicit content). But if anyone reading this happens to know of even a single domain registered by these by the NetIncome Ventures Inc. and still displaying pornography, please bring that to my attention (either via email or on this board). Such a domain name is the necessary first step towards my finding some hundreds, thousands, or more of domains registered by this registrant.

    Ben Edelman
    Berkman Center for Internet & Society
    Harvard Law School

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Sorry To Rain On Ben's Parade
    by jberryhill on Sunday November 03 2002, @05:56PM (#9972)
    User #3013 Info

    ...but it would be useful for Ben and others to do some basic fact-checking before making unwarranted assumptions.

    As has already been pointed out, Netincome Ventures does indeed have a list of domain names posted on their website, which would have been fairly simple for someone to look at, instead of implying that Netincome Ventures runs "thousands" of pornographic websites.

    One might also consider, again by simply checking with the source, that Netincome Ventures provides services to various customers, and does not monitor what all of their customers are doing. The fact that this particular account was disabled as soon as the ICANNWATCH article was brought to their attention, is not at all surprising.

    It is also not at all surprising, if one puts out the Herculean effort involved in the several seconds that it takes to perform a Google search, that a Canadian entity just might be interested in obtaining a domain name that corresponds to the common geographic acronym for one of western Canada's prominent sport fishing areas, which also happens to be located off the coast of British Columbia.

    We now return to the regularly scheduled uninformed theorizing....

    Just how does one get a grant from the Berkman Center to study pornography, Ben?

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Re: For Hits and Giggles: What a difference .ORG c
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Wednesday October 30 2002, @10:54AM (#9880)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    Actually, I think we deleted one or two more along the way...
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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