KITV4 News discovered Monday that many of Hawaii's best known universities and high schools are vulnerable to having their names fall into the hands of the online pornography industry.
Starting last week, domain addresses with the brand-new suffix .xxx became available for pornography sites, in addition to the .edu suffix used for schools, .com used for businesses and .gov used for government agencies.
Many schools on the mainland are buying up potential porn addresses with their names in them to preserve their reputations, but Hawaii schools have not.
KITV 4 News researched the ICM Registry website, where people can purchase .xxx online domain names for roughly $100 a year, and found the URL www.universityofhawaii.xxx was available for purchase as of late Monday morning.
Same thing with www.UHManoa.xxx, meaning someone who runs a pornographic website could use one of these University of Hawaii names to make money.
But then KITV 4 News found something interesting.
A reporter entered ?UHHotties? in the ICM website, and found the domain was not available, and had already been purchased. Same goes for ?UHBabes? and ?UHGirls.?
So KITV 4 News contacted another U.H., the University of Houston in Texas. And a spokesman said that school had blocked more than 50 URLs, explaining why ?UHHotties,? ?UHBabes? and ?UHGirls? were already taken.
"We have spent about $5,000 to avoid the potential of having our image and reputation tarnished and as a defense against pornographers that seek to capitalize on the university's brand," said Richard Bonnin, a spokesman for the University of Houston.
But KITV 4 News still found other potentially questionable names available, such as ?UHJocks? and ?UHNurses.?
Hawaii Pacific University also had at least seven .xxx names available for sale, such as ?HPUbabes? and ?HPUJocks,? as of late Monday morning.
A few hours after a reporter called HPU and asked about the domain names, a spokesman released this statement: ?HPU was proactive and purchased domain names.?
But it appeared the university was actually reactive and purchased the names www.hawaiipacificuniversity.xxx and www.hpu.xxx, because they were available for sale when KITV 4 News checked on them at 11:30 a.m., but had been purchased by 5 p.m., shortly after HPU released its statement.
Chaminade University also had plenty of .xxx suffixes available for purchase.
A Chaminade spokeswoman released a statement saying the school "... is currently researching its options in protecting its good name from being misused in .xxx domains."
KITV 4 News also researched .xxx domain names relating to private schools, such as Punahou School and found they too are available for sale.
Same goes for x-rated names associated with Kamehameha Schools.
And what about Catholic girls' school Sacred Hearts Academy? Yes, www.sacredhearts.xxx and even www.sacredheartshotties.xxx is available as well.
Betty White, Sacred Hearts' principal, said she planned to ask the school's technical personnel about the issue after KITV 4 News called her early Monday afternoon.
KITV 4 News contacted all the Hawaii schools mentioned in this report and all of them said they're looking into the issue, after a reporter notified them about it Monday.
Many mainland universities have already bought up lots of .xxx website names associated with their schools, saying it's just a cost of doing business in the world of the Web.
Indiana University, for instance, has spent about $2,200, purchasing 11 website names, including www.hoosiers.xxx.