Leo Mirani wrote an article today for Quartz, that profiled a Florida dentist who went out and regged dozens of high profile .democrat domains. USA.democrat might not be a bad one but some of the others not so sure.
On Wednesday (May 21), the .democrat top-level domain (TLD) went on sale to the general public. By the end of the day, Dr Larry Kawa, an orthodontist from Boca Raton, Florida, had bought up dozens of high-profile domains, including obamacare.democrat, medicaid.democrat, and medicare.democrat. He also purchased more general domains, including usa.democrat, vote2016.democrat, america.democrat—and liar.democrat. (You can check who has registered any domain using a WHOIS lookup.)
Kawa is not a Democrat. Outraged by the the Affordable Care Act, the Florida dentist filed a lawsuit (pdf) against the US Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and their respective heads. He also runs a number of activist websites, including theamerican.net and thestateoftheunion.com. But he bought the domains because “the right to purchase sites is emblematic of free speech and I embrace the opportunity to do so,” he told Quartz, adding: “As the left has taken control of the mainstream media, I feel it is interesting that one individual can express themselves on the internet.”
Kawa says he hasn’t counted how many domains he’s purchased, but that whatever the number, it’s not enough. “I’ve bought more today and will continue. I’m just getting started,” he said.
The fine line between domain-squatting and free speech
Top-level domains are the final bit in an internet address, like the .com in qz.com. Until last year, there were only 22 of these, such as .net, .gov and .org. Since January, the web has expanded, with new TLDs released every week. The idea is to broaden and diversify the web with addresses for every niche; from geographic names like .nyc to professions like .plumbing, and from closed corporate addresses like .kpmg to open identity-based ones like .army. (We explained the rise of new TLDs in detail here.) The .democrat domain is sold by Rightside, a company formed to take advantage of new TLDs, and was neither supported nor opposed by the Democratic party. (Neither Rightside not the Democratic National Committee responded to requests for comments.)
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