XXXtortion? Inferring registration intent in the .XXX TLD

Tristan Halvorson, Kirill Levchenko, Stefan Savage, Geoffrey M. Voelker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

After a decade-long approval process, multiple rejections, and an independent review, ICANN approved the xxx TLD for inclusion in the Domain Name System, to begin general availability on December 6, 2011. Its sponsoring registry proposed it as an expansion of the name space, as well as a way to separate adult from childappropriate content. Many independent groups, including trademark holders, political groups, and the adult entertainment industry itself, were concerned that it would primarily generate value through defensive and speculative registrations, without actually serving a real need. This paper measures the validity of these concerns using data gathered from ICANN, whois, and Web requests. We use this information to characterize each xxx domain and infer the registrant's most likely intent. We find that at most 3.8% of xxx domains host or redirect to potentially legitimate Web content, with the rest generally serving either defensive or speculative purposes. Indeed, registrants spent roughly $13M up front to defend existing brands and trademarks within the xxx TLD, and an additional $11M over the course of the first year. Additional evidence suggests that over 80% of annual domain registrations are for purely defensive purposes and do not even resolve. Copyright is held by the International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWWW 2014 - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages901-911
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450327442
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 7 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2014 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Apr 7 2014Apr 11 2014

Publication series

NameWWW 2014 - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web

Other

Other23rd International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2014
CountryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period4/7/144/11/14

Keywords

  • Abuse
  • DNS
  • Internet economics
  • Registration intent
  • TLDs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Halvorson, T., Levchenko, K., Savage, S., & Voelker, G. M. (2014). XXXtortion? Inferring registration intent in the .XXX TLD. In WWW 2014 - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 901-911). (WWW 2014 - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2566486.2567995