10|10|2007 10:34 am EDT
Following the footsteps of New York state, Pennsylvania apparently also sees a need for a state wide cybersquatting legislation. The March move from a Schuylkill County controller candidate to imbibe website addresses of his rival has inspired state legislator Neal P. Goodman to propose a bill â€“ prohibition of so-called cybersquatting, declaring it a crime. The proposal is inspired by candidate, Republican Jason Gherghel’s decision to register various combinations domain names of his opponent, Melinda Kantner, according to Neal P. Goodman, D-Schuylkill.
Users trying to enter the URLs such as melindakantner.com were deflected to Gherghelâ€™s website. According to a report in The Morning Call, Goodman, a cousin of county District Attorney James P. Goodman, led his proposal after learning that authorities had no legal grounds to act against Gherghel, 33, of West Brunswick Township. He feels that the issue needs to be addressed immediately, since internet is an important source of information for younger voters.
Goodman announced the bill, the Pennsylvania Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act, or House Bill 1900, supported by 71 bipartisan legislators, with Kantner, D-Carbon, state Rep. Tim Seip, D-Schuylkill/Berks and House Majority Whip Keith McCall. He further added, ”The proposed legislation would amend the election code to make cybersquatting a first-degree misdemeanor”.
Commenting on the move in a telephonic interview, Gherghel stated â€œjust another desperate attempt by my opponent to hide the fact that she has absolutely no credentials. This was resolved back in April.”
However, Kantner, 44, of North Manheim Township expects the proposed law would ”put an end to the deceitful tactics my opponent chose to use early in this political campaign. In taking my Internet identity, and then attempting to cover up his involvement, my opponent deliberately misleads the voters of this county.”