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Tory leader falls victim to cybersquatters

Tory leader falls victim to cybersquatters

David Cameron has fallen victim to "cybersquatters", and some people trying to access his Internet blog have found themselves entering the world of a little-known Australian poet.

The modernising leader of the Conservative Party launched his blog www.webcameron.org.uk at the weekend in a bid to appeal to younger voters and revamp the image of his party.

But party members did not take the precaution, common in such circumstances, of securing the domains of similar website names including www.webcameron.info and www.webcameron.co.uk.

Since then, supporters of small rival political party UKIP have leapt on to the www.webcameron.info domain and made it their own, posting a satirical video of Cameron on it.

Meanwhile, Internet surfers who have mistakenly accessed www.webcameron.com instead of Cameron's www.webcameron.org.uk have found themselves on the website of a Melbourne-based performance poet called Cameron M. Semmens.

Semmens, who has owned the domain for some time, has been inundated by web visitors since Cameron launched his blog.

"I never thought my name was so fortuitous as it has been in the last couple of days," he said in an email sent to NetNames, a London-based company which manages web domains.

"I feel quite opinionless about his policies -- they are so far removed from my circumstance," he said in the email, seen by Reuters. "I doubt there would be much of a chance me selling on my domain name -- I like it."

Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer of NetNames, said he was amazed the Conservatives had not taken measures to protect Cameron's blog.

"One of the first steps of setting up a new website is checking the availability not only of your desired domain name, but also of alternatives including the .com and .co.uk versions," he said.

The Conservatives said they were taking the apparent oversight in their stride.

"We found this most amusing and welcome the extra publicity it's giving us," a party spokesman said.


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