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03|06|2008 10:23 pm EDT

E-Mudslinging Seen In Election Domain Name Registrations

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Auction, News

An article on the New York Times politics blog, The Caucus, covers the domain name registrations during this years U.S. Presidential race. The article points out the domain names that the Republican National Committee has registered and points to the difference in strategy that their opponents on the other side of the aisle seem to have.

This e-mudslinging strategy of registering domain names with your opponents name, creating mini-sites (think swift boats), speculating on running mates, etc is really nothing new as far as politics go, but it is interesting to note from this article that the Republican party has registered so many domains, while the Democratic National Committee has registered so few and none of them seem to contain the names of any Republican candidates.

Many of the RNC domains appear to be mocking the Democratic candidates such as, and However, the RNC also speculated on many of the running mates that potential candidates might choose. A majority of the domains do not resolve to a unique site or at all, and most of the domains are hidden under whois privacy (ironically something that Republican Senator Snowe wishes to do away with). Does the RNC have their own in-house domainer now ? Is the DNC not registering similar domains because of their confidence or because they don’t play those games ?

An ICANN accredited registrar wraps up the article weighing in with an “expert opinion” in this irresponsible quote:

The election has triggered an avalanche of cybersquatter activity,? according to NetNames, a domain name management service. Speculators have registered nearly 2,000 domain names related to presidential candidates as of last week. Names related to Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy made up over half of the registrations, followed by Mr. Obama with 635 and Mr. McCain with 269.

Simply registering a domain with a candidates name contained in the domain is not “cybersquatting activity” yet. How could NetNames even pretend to know what all 2,000 domains were being registered for in the first place ? If registering a domain name related to a candidate is now considered cybersquatting, then it looks like the RNC is now squatting on a lot of domain names.

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Larry Seltzer

March 7, 2008 @ 6:16 am EDT

>>A majority of the domains do not resolve to a unique site or at all, and most of the domains are hidden under whois privacy…

If they’re using whois privacy how do they know the RNC registered it?

Adam Strong

March 7, 2008 @ 10:46 am EDT

Hi Larry
The NYT tracked which names used the RNC name servers: “the names were either registered by the R.N.C. last year or showed up on servers the committee uses.”

Ritesh Hassamal

March 7, 2008 @ 6:22 pm EDT

who is going to register

thebest PRESIDENT ?

Dave Zan

March 8, 2008 @ 12:58 am EDT

thebest PRESIDENT ?

Or even theworstprezintheworld? :D

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