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Vatican.xxx Domain Mystery Buyer Revealed: Site Not Porn After All

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The domain Vatican.xxx has not been registered by pornographers as the Vatican feared but was in fact removed from the registry of available names before the public launch of the dot-triple-X domain earlier this month, a representative for ICM Registry has revealed.

"Vatican.xxx is a name that is on the permanent reserve list, so it was pulled out of the registry before the launch. No one is able to purchase that name," said Jocelyn Johnson, a representative for ICM registry, the company operating the controversial domain.

A Vatican spokesman's comments this week suggesting that the Holy See had failed to register Vatican.xxx fueled speculation that the domain had been purchased by pornographers looking to capitalize on the world-famous name, CNN reported. In fact, the domain was part a lengthy list of socially sensitive names that countries from around the world submitted to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, as suggestions for its reserve list of not-for-sale domains.

Dot triple-X domain names were made available for public registration on Dec. 6 after a series of "sunrise phases," where pornographers and companies holding trademarks- including universities- were able to pre-register domain names before others had a chance to grab them.

Following in the footsteps of the University of Kansas and a host of other colleges, The University of Colorado recently spent about $200 each on 27 domain names related to the university, including Universityofcolorado.xxx, CU.xxx, Buffs.xx and GoldenBuffaloes.xxx, in an effort to protect the school's name.

Such "defensive registrations" may actually outnumber registrations made by actual pornographers, reports have suggested. According to the popular domain registration company 123-reg, a full '48% of registrations weren't from those in the porn industry at all, but regular businesses hoping to protecting their brand and reputation," The Domains reported. Another company estimated that number of .XXX domains registered out of defense at 83 percent.

Unfortunately the sheer number of domain names available for registration means that it's virtually impossible for companies, universities, and anyone else to fully protect their name. Speaking about the Vatican situation, Rev. Tom Reese, a Jesuit at Georgetown University, told CNN:

There are too many possible domain names. Vatican girls.xxx, Vatican sluts.xxx, it's almost infinite - to say nothing of all the obscene words you can put together and all the words not only after but before Vatican. It's just an impossible task to defend yourself from this kind of stuff.

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