Northwestern.xxx will soon be a real destination for web browsers, but it won't be a place for peddling porn.
Northwestern University has joined other schools in registering for the adult-oriented domain extension before the names go on sale to the public Tuesday.
"We have no intentions of creating a site that would reside on that domain," said Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage, adding that the purchase is a way of "protecting Northwestern's good name." He declined to say how much the university paid for it.
The University of Chicago, Chicago State and Illinois State are among the institutions that also claimed domain names during an early registration process. One firm that oversees registration of the .xxx domain, ICM Registry LLC, did not immediately respond to requests Monday seeking price ranges.
"We've secured the ones we already have trademarked," said Jeremy Manier, news director at the University of Chicago.
At Chicago State, which has registered csu.xxx and chicagostateuniversity.xxx, spokeswoman Deborah Douglas called the purchase a "defensive maneuver." Douglas said the university pre-registered the domains through the website godaddy.com for $99 each.
"I think you can look at the 'Girls Gone Wild' phenomenon and figure (adult websites) may aim at the college-aged demographic," she said. "We need to protect the integrity of our students and our brand. Porn and parasite, you can put those in the same sentence."
Penn State, which has been embroiled in a child sexual abuse scandal, also made headlines last week when it was reported that it also bought several .xxx domains.