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National Rifle Association Member Poaches Obama 501c4 Website

Guess all the smart tech people who were on-board during the campaign aren’t on the clock anymore.

(heh)

At the beginning of the year, President Barack Obama’s new 501(c)4 political nonprofit, Organizing For Action, was launched with all the usual bells and whistles. But the tech wizards at OFA forgot one important rule in today’s Internet world: Register all the iterations of your website address before someone else does.

Now Obama’s team is filing complaints against the folks smart enough to get the addresses before he did.

As Obama’s OFA made its debut, no one in his purportedly Internet-savvy campaign had obtained the corresponding .com, .net, .org or .us sites, nor did OFA register other names that are close to its official one, as is the sensible practice. In the case of the .net address, a fellow named Derek Bovard had already registered the .net address by the time Obama’s team took notice.

Bovard has routed his new site to the homepage of the National Rifle Association.

So, whenever anyone goes to www.organizingforaction.net they end up seeing the homepage of the NRA.

Not surprisingly, OFA is pissed and has filed a complaint to the Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers (ICANN) which rules, runs and controls all URLs.

Bovard says he believes he has a solid claim to the domain and has documentation from the U.S. Patent Office to back him up.  Chances are, if he’s forced to give it up, he may well be allowed to be compensated for it.

Time will tell what happens next, but the idea that as sophisticated an Internet operation as OFA got pwned like this is too hilarious to ignore.

UPDATE — Don’t feel too sorry for OFA.  It was reported this weekend that those who raise $500,000 get a private briefing with President Obama along with other high-level members of the administration in an arrangement which makes the selling of the Lincoln Bedroom under Clinton look like child’s play.

The White House had a fun press briefing today trying to avoid explaining what they were doing.

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