Frankly the Vatican should have already purchased the new domain vatican.xxx to prevent abuse

I’ve been reading reports that the domain name vatican.xxx has been purchased by an ‘anonymous’ buyer.

Frankly, if true, then this is very incompetent on the part of the Vatican as many other organisations have been preemptively acquiring and registering versions of the new .xxx domain to prevent abuse, but now it may be too late for the Catholic Church.

We know who is holding the domain (ICM Registry), but not who purchased it.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Vatican radio:

“This domain is not available because it has been acquired by someone else, but not the Vatican.”

We can hope for the best, but this is a potential disaster. What manner of nastiness this could be used for is anybody’s guess.

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14 Responses to “Frankly the Vatican should have already purchased the new domain vatican.xxx to prevent abuse”

  1. Scout Says:

    Maybe it was purchased by a conscientious Catholic who wants to prevent it from being used for un-Catholic activities.

  2. webmaster Says:

    That could well be the case Scout; fingers crossed!

  3. Caral Says:

    Scout, that is my hope and prayer also.

  4. Goy Says:

    Did this not happen in the early days of the internet with domain names then being given back to individuals and organisations most connected to the domain names.

  5. webmaster Says:

    It’s only speculation at the moment, but it appears the Vatican may have made a move to purchase the domain only to find they’d been beaten to the punch.

    There’s not much info out there at the moment, but it doesn’t look good so far.

  6. Roger Pearse Says:

    I thought that these days cyber-squatting was treated as an offence in law, since it basically amounts to passing yourself off as someone else, and then trying to shake-down the real owner of the name for money?

  7. Gordon Says:

    The rules for .xxx are different to other top level domains. Anyone can register one but it won’t resolve to a web site until the owner has been manually verified as part of the ” adult community”. The issue of protecting names is difficult. The Red Cross and Olympics get automatic protection, but if the list was extended where would it end? What about languages other than English? The words would need protected in all languages e.g pope and all its derivatives.

  8. Simian Says:

    Why would the Vatican want a Vatican.xxx suffix anyway? And why would a pornogrphic website want it either? If someone wanted to discredit the Vatican by posting lewd or defamatory articles on such a site would people really be taken in by the ruse? Or am I being naive?

  9. Caral Says:

    Hi Simian,

    As the OP says the Vatican needed to secure the domain name – vatican.xxx to prevent abuse of the term ‘vatican’. If you think about ‘vatican’ in relation to search terms, it’s huge, and a big hitter.

  10. Andrew Says:

    ICM Registry is the official registry of the .XXX domain. When any domain address lands on the “Reserved from Registration” site, that indicates that the registry has removed that particular name from circulation on its own initiative. This is what happened with “vatican.xxx” — the site was NEVER available for registration by anybody. Here are an article about the issue:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/22/vatican_xxx_buyer/;

    And here is a link to the “WhoIs” lookup that shows the site is still held by ICM Registry:
    http://whois.domaintools.com/vatican.xxx

    ICM Registry has taken a very responsible approach to the protection of names associated with important religious, political and cultural organizations — as well as taking a pretty aggressive stance against “cybersquatters” who attempt to exploit their .xxx registration of domain names associated with the intellectual property of others.

    Hope this calms people’s fears! Best wishes to you all for a joyous Christmas holiday and a happy and healthy new year!

  11. Randy Says:

    I am with Simian. Let people who want to attack the church do their worst. Jesus lets His enemies do their worst to Him. Just be holy. People will respond. Both positive and negative responses will go to extremes. That is the nature of man and God.

  12. Andrew Says:

    CNN.com has another good piece. You read it here first, folks! Even a JESUIT can make a mistake!
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/22/vatican-xxx-not-a-porn-site-holy-see-happy-to-find/

  13. Roger Pearse Says:

    Apparently the story is based on a misunderstanding: the domain has not been sold, but was marked as unavailable by the top-level registrar back in September. Country names aren’t allowed as a domain, or so the register says.

  14. webmaster Says:

    I must say this is all great news. One of those rare times when I’ll be happy to be wrong…..

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