Sunday, December 23, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Cybersquatting

Pigs seem to be a recurring theme here.

I have my doubts about the big, bad wolf. But I have seen evidence of an annoying little Chihuahua.

It has come to our attention that someone has engaged in malicious activity against The Daily Profiler blog site, and created several deceptive misdirects of The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency Web site to false web pages with the title, “Criminal Profiling Agency: Criminal Profiler Pat Brown” in an attempt to interfere with Google search results and Web site traffic.


An enigmatic screen name and intrusive software do not shield the violator from identification. The events have been fully documented and reported to the proper authorities. Further investigation is underway to determine if there have been intrusion attempts into the personal computers of staff members or associates of The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency. Not only is this a violation of ISP and Google terms of service agreements, it is a violation of Federal law.

Possible relevant sections of the U.S. Code include, but are not limited to:

Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

15 U.S.C. § 1125(D)

Sec. 1125. - False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden

(a) Civil action

(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which -

(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or

(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person's goods, services, or commercial activities,
shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

(d) Cyberpiracy prevention

(1) (A) A person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person -

(i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and

(ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that -

(B) (i) In determining whether a person has a bad faith intent described under sub paragraph (A), a court may consider factors such as, but not limited to –

(V) the person's intent to divert consumers from the mark owner's online location to a site accessible under the domain name that could harm the goodwill represented by the mark, either for commercial gain or with the intent to tarnish or disparage the mark, by creating a likelihood of confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the site;

If these activities persist, expect criminal action. We will also pursue civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law, regardless the cybersquatter's employment status or lack thereof.

We know there’s a Chihuahua in our machine. What the Chihuahua needs to understand is that a Great Dane is watching, and it’s not Pat Brown. Word to the wise: Wrong is wrong and right is right. The government does not see in shades of gray—it’s only black or white.

Donna Weaver


Levi said...

Looks like someone doesn't want people to read the content on the site. Wonder why?

preraphazon said...

Should this activity recur, you should also find protection under your state's stalking law, which typically covers a pattern of harassing electronic communications.

Investigator Donna Weaver said...

I was wondering the same thing Levi.

Investigator Donna Weaver said...

Thanks for the tip, raph- good advice.