Claim: Several domain names related to the
Origins: Much of the developing lore concerning the
CNSNews.com, for example, reported that at least 17 different now-expired domain names related to the World Trade Center attack were registered up to 15 months before
Note, however, that none of these domain names is specific to the events of
Two things did happen immediately after the morning of
- People who already owned domain names which did not specifically refer to the attacks but were related to the day’s events (such as www.2worldtradecenter.com) put them up for auction.
- People rushed to register new domain names related to the attacks (such as NewYorkCarnage.com) in order to make a profit by putting together disaster-related web sites or re-selling the domain names.
In the former case, many auction sites cancelled the listings; in the latter case, many registrars declined to process the registrations and rescinded those that slipped through the cracks. Other Internet auction and domain registration outfits allowed the transactions to proceed, however:
While VeriSign decided to ban some names, Register.com’s Afternic won’t. “Our view is that freedom of expression is unfortunately a freedom to offend,” said Michael Tippett, general manager for Afternic. “To react to this situation by restricting freedom of expression would be playing into the hands of people attacking that freedom.”
Of course, not everyone who obtained disaster-related domain names was seeking to exploit the horrific events for personal gain. Many of the registered names have been used for sites which offer tributes to victims and rescue workers, provide information about resources for victims and survivors, aim to help with relief efforts, or collect poetry, pictures and songs. Some domains were even deliberately registered by people seeking to keep them out of the hands those who might use them to exploit the tragedy. Speculators who sought to register related domain names purely for commercial gain may have overestimated their worth:
Elliot Noss, chief executive of name registration company Tucows Inc., said speculators of attack-related names are misguided about their value. Unlike movies or companies, he said, relief efforts and tributes are generic enough that a determined organization can find a new name for $30. His advice to speculators: “Take your $30 and donate it.”
|Internet Domain Names May Have Warned of Attacks (CNSNews.com)|
Last updated: 8 March 2008