Someone is buying up political candidate's "For Sheriff" domain names in Rutherford County

Someone is buying up political candidate's "For Sheriff" domain names in Rutherford County | Mike Fitzhugh, Joe Russell, Murfreesboro news, Rutherford County Sheriff, Sheriff, Murfreesboro, WGNS News, Bill Kennedy

Have you ever heard of “Cybersquatting?” It means that you buy a domain name on the internet in hopes of reselling the website name in the future, knowing that the name or trademark belongs to another person or company.

The only problem with Cybersquatting is that it is illegal in some cases. The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act  was enacted in 1999 and established a cause of action for registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name confusingly similar to, or dilutive of, a trademark or personal name.

Despite the law existing, some have continued to purchase domain names in hopes of selling them for profit to companies that are already in existence.

In August of 2013, a man by the name of Joe Russell in Murfreesboro, purchased multiple domain names that have ties to political candidates running for Sheriff in Rutherford County. Some of the web address include:

  • MikeFitzhughForSheriff.net
  • FitzhughForSheriff.com
  • ElectBillKennedy.org
  • ElectBillKennedySheriff.org

...along with about 40 other configurations of .net, .com and .org address.

On Wednesday afternoon, WGNS’ Scott Walker called the phone number listed on the purchase of the domain names…

 

WGNS then looked to the address on file for Joe Russell who told us he registered the domain names because it was a good investment. The address shows that he lives on Osborne Lane. According to property records in Rutherford County, Joe Russell owns a home in Murfreesboro with his wife, Nichole Lester. Lester is the Election Administrator for Rutherford County, TN. 

So far, no complaints have officially been filed, but WGNS has received multiple emails about the situation. 

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