The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) published a report today concluding that 27% of congressional members’ domain names are used in identity squatting.
I don’t know what the difference is between cybersquatting and identity squatting other than trying to label the same conduct in a new fashion which makes it sound worse.
As In, Oh last year we had cybersquatting and now look we have identity squatting.
Anyway first to the report:
“Overall, CADNA found that members of Congress own only 31% of the domain names examined in this report.
“CADNA measured the extent to which identity squatting – the practice by which individuals register domain names, containing the names of famous persons, in bad faith – occurs among the most intuitive .COM and .ORG domain names related to the current 535 members of the U.S. Congress. ”
“These websites are typically used for campaigning and providing access to personal stories, since all members of Congress are allowed to use a .GOV domain as their official government site.”
“The 27 % of domain names that are owned by third parties can damage a politician’s reputation and cause confusion for Internet users,” CADNA President Josh Bourne explained. “Cybersquatting can be hugely detrimental for businesses, resulting in lost sales, fewer impressions, and tainted reputations, and identity squatting can prove similarly costly for members of Congress, whose reputations can suffer because of misinformation and confusion among constituents.”
“We looked at six domain names corresponding to each member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, a total of 3,210 domains, and analyzed the results.
- On average, all members of Congress only own 1.86 of the six domain names examined in this report, and a surprising 95 (22 Senators and 73 Representatives) do not own a single one.
- Only 15 members of Congress, two senators and 13 representatives, own all six of the domain names that we examined in this report.
- 49 percent of senators and 57 percent of representatives own their FullName.com domain names; 29 percent of senators and 29 percent of representatives own their FullName.org domain names.
- 49 percent of senators’ FullName.com domain names and 64 percent of their FullName.org domain names are owned by third parties.
- 39 percent of representatives’ FullName.com domain names and 32 percent their FullName.org domain names are owned by third parties.
- 65 percent of senators’ FullNameForSenate.com and 71 percent of their FullNameForSenate.org domains are available.
- 59 percent of representatives’ FullNameForCongress.com and 77 percent of their FullNameForCongress.org domains are available.
- 18 percent of senators own their LastNameForSenate.com domains, and only 14 percent own their LastNameForSenate.org domains.
- 29 percent of representatives own their LastNameForCongress.com domains, and only 15 percent own their LastNameForCongress.org domains.
- Members of Congress under the age of 40 own an average of 2.2 domains, significantly higher than the overall average of 1.86. Each member of Congress under the age of 40 owns at least one of the domains in the report.
- There is no average difference in domain ownership between Democrats and Republicans; members of both parties own an average of 1.8 domain names and 1.9 of their domain names are owned by third parties.
Now to my comment
A lot of crap this report is as, Yoda would say
In typical CADNA fashion, the report seemed to puts no responsibility on the Congressman or Senators for not owning the domain names they should have registered or bought years ago.
Also not considered in the report is how many Senators or Congressman have common names.
For Example one of the two Senators from Florida where we live is named Bill Nelson, a pretty common name by all accounts, that pulls up over almost 2.5 million search results on Google.
Now in the current election cycle Senator Bill Nelson has raised over $13 Million dollars and has over $8 Million left in reserve.
So excuse me if I don’t cry a river over the fact that Our Senator doesn’t own his domain BillNelson.com.
I’m sure he could squeeze .000000001 of the funds he collected over the years to buy his matching domain name.
Common as it can get is our Senators name and of course he is not alone.
There is no doubt their is squatting in the political world and a lot of it is done by opponents, parties, PAC’s and Super PAC’s.
So if you have political aspirations you better secure your matching domain before your opponent does.
Back in 2008 we wrote about parents registering their newborn’s domain name upon the birth of their child, that’s 4 years ago.
I doubt many new parents have $8 Million sitting in the bank (just from this election cycle), so our message to CADNA is if you going to issue a “report”, lets do so in a fair fashion next time.