WASHINGTON (AP) – When Orrin Hatch’s “Exploring Utah” Web page boasted about his state’s natural wonders, he didn’t have in mind the photos of bare-breasted women that constituents saw when they clicked on the page’s Utah-related search engine.

Hatch spokesman Adam Elggren said the senator’s office found out about the errant Web link late Thursday and had it fixed a few hours later.

It appears to be the latest case of “porn-napping” – an increasingly common form of cybersquatting where pornographic Web site operators snatch lapsed domain names from other companies, said Rick Broadhead, who is writing a book about cyberspace screw-ups.

In this case, Hatch’s Web site featured a link to a Utah-related search engine whose registration renewal seems to have slipped through the cracks. So on May 14, the address was snatched up by Tim Bach of New Britain, Conn., according to a search of Internet site registrations.

Bach could not be reached for comment.

For at least a week and possibly more than a month, anyone clicking on the link from Hatch’s site were shown dozens of photos of “Huge natural …”, you know.

“You’ve got to be careful who you’re linking to, especially as a senator, because you’re almost endorsing who you’re linking to,” Broadhead said.

Kevin Cowk, owner of TheGlobalSearch.com, said a Utah resident who had essentially run the search-engine site as a GlobalSearch franchise let it lapse, but he was furious that someone else had swooped in on it.

“I am so ticked off at them personally that if I find them I will throttle their children,” said Cowk, the latest porn-napping victim.

In April, a Michigan United Way affiliate had its Web site taken over by a pornography site operator. A Chicago power company, Florida sheriff’s office and a city in Illinois have all had their old Web sites porn-napped, as well.



On the Net:

Sen. Orrin Hatch’s sanitized site: http://www.senate.gov/(tilde)hatch

AP-ES-06-20-03 1914EDT



Facebook comments