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A domain sniper is someone who takes advantage of a lapsed domain name registration to essentially hold the domain name hostage, and get payment from the party that originally registered it. This practice is built upon the philosophy that those who initially registered a domain name to build a site will still find that domain name valuable after it has expired.
Many consider domain sniping a very unethical practice. In many cases, the new domain holder has watched the site for expiration in order to quickly acquire it. He or she may demand a lot more money than the average registrar would, or more than the domain name may be worth. Another egregious practice by domain snipers is to link a domain name to pornography or objectionable content, in order to induce the original domain name holder to buy it back. Whether the domain name served as a site for personal or business purposes, new visitors are led to whatever the domain name sniper put on the site, and this can have a bad impact on the original registrant’s reputation. Advocacy groups are trying to get the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to impose additional hold times on domain names, in order to stop domain sniping from occurring.