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[ga] RE: Help with research into domain reregistration - submit examples of unrelated reregistrations

I received a couple questions off-list from folks who wanted to help but
didn't fully understand what I'm after here.  Rather than use the
theoretical language of my prior message, perhaps I can clarify with some

Last week, I found myself in need of a new bicycle for sale in or around
Cambridge, Massachusetts.  A search engine referred me to Bicycle Bill's
bicycle store, <http://www.bicyclebills.com> (warning: sexually-explicit
content).  The "wayback machine" at archive.org reflects that this domain
was previously the web site of a well-regarded retailer in Massachusetts --
but as is clear from visiting the page as it stands now, it's now used to
distribute sexually-explicit content called "Tina's Free Live Cam."

As it turns out, a large number of other domains distribute this same
sexually-explicit content -- <http://www.pbsbusinesschannel.com>,
<http://www.savannah-bbb.org>, <http://www.sacramentomusic.com>,
<http://www.fraudindex.com>, and on and on.  (Warning: each link yields
sexually-explicit content.)  Thanks to some work by my automated systems, I
already have some hundreds of other examples of domains that redirect to
this same "Tina's Free Live Cam" page, and if I leave the systems
operational for an extended period, I'm confident that they'll find hundreds
or thousands of additional domains also pointing to this same page.

But to complete this work -- to make it truly helpful in evaluating the
scope of the reregistration activity here -- I need to quantify not only the
many redirects to Tina's Live Cam but also many redirects to others offering
content in a similar way (i.e. through many domains seemingly obtained after
expiration).  It is for precisely this question that I seek help from this
list -- help in finding other examples, other than Tina, of content
distributed in this way.

If you know of such content, please consider submitting it at
<http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/edelman/renewals/submit/>.  And if
you're still confused, or if you think you have a better way to describe
this phenomenon, feel free to jump in on or off-list!

Thanks again.

Ben Edelman
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard Law School

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ben Edelman [mailto:edelman@law.harvard.edu]
> Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2002 1:37 PM
> To: ga@dnso.org
> Subject: Help with research into domain reregistration - submit examples
> of unrelated reregistrations
> Discussion on this list has occasionally considered the topic of
> domains that, after expiration, are renewed by other registrants
> for the distribution of unrelated content.
> In general, these transfers are a helpful feature of DNS --
> allowing the reallocation of underused portions of the name space
> to those who wish to put those spaces to active use.  But when
> reregistrations use existing domains to offer unrelated content
> (most troublingly, some have suggested, sexually explicit
> content), the practice may come into question.  This problem no
> doubt becomes especially serious in the context of domains that
> expire due to administrative error or oversight rather than the
> conscious decision of existing registrants.
> To date, I believe little hard data has been collected or made
> available regarding the scope of the reregistrations at issue.
> I'm currently attempting to document their scope by preparing a
> comprehensive list of reregistered domains.  With a variety of
> automated means for examining web pages as they stand and as they
> may have been some months or years ago, I hope to produce a list
> of some hundreds of thousands of domains that have been
> reregistered -- but to do so, I first need some examples to
> "prime the pump."
> Hence my request to members of this list: If you know of examples
> of domains that have been reregistered after expiration, and
> subsequently used to distribute content unrelated to the most
> obvious implications of their respective domain name, I'd much
> appreciate your help via submissions to the form at
> <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/edelman/renewals/submit/>.
> You need not be "certain" of the status or history of any given
> domain name in order to helpfully submit it; my subsequent work
> will verify that each domain ultimately reported in my results is
> in fact an example of the behavior at issue.
> When my research is "complete" -- or when I otherwise have
> available a substantial body of results -- I'll certainly share
> it with this list for the benefit of anyone interested.
> Many thanks to those who can help.
> Ben Edelman
> Berkman Center for Internet & Society
> Harvard Law School

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