Cybersquatters snap up GOP domain names

Aug. 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The domain names of U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls and are available for $50,000 each, the names' owner says.

While the eventual GOP nominee is far from certain and chances are less than 50-50 that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry would be on the same ticket, the auction for the rights to the names shows the presidential race is heating up, The Hill reported.

Niels Jeffreys bought the rights to the domain names earlier this month and advertised them on

Jeffreys, who told The Hill in an e-mail he lives in Thailand, hasn't received any bids yet, but is hoping they sell later in the presidential cycle.

He said he bought other domains previously but hasn't had much success.

"I have lost a bundle actually and they're the worst investment I've ever gotten into," Jeffreys said, adding that it was hard not to yield to the temptation to buy more addresses on the possibility of reaping a big payout.

Perry and Romney aren't the only two GOP politicians cyber-speculators hope appear on the Republican ticket next year; cybersquatters picked up domain names involving U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Sen. Mark Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Josh Boerne, president of the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, told The Hill candidates must claim a strong, predictable domain name for a campaign Web site. While many Web surfers rely on search engines to locate a Web site, some people guess by typing a name into their address bar, Boerne said.

"Consumers are so well programmed, they'll type something in that's like what other candidates have used in the past," Boerne said.

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