B.C. mayor says chamber of commerce website taken over by porn site

BARRIERE, B.C. - The mayor of a British Columbia town says she's appalled that a pornography website acquired the Internet domain name for the local chamber of commerce.

See Full Article

Virginia Smith said the chamber in Barriere believed the domain name was automatically renewed, but it had expired.

"Their website domain was expected to roll over and it didn't and by the time they discovered it, it had been captured."

The new owners of the domain name are demanding the chamber pay $9,700 before the porn site is taken down, Smith said, calling that extortion.

"It's just one of those horrible tragedies."

Smith said she was stunned to learn about the new site after her staff logged in as usual, only to find the "horrible" content.

"I can see both sides to the story, that yes, perhaps the chamber should have been far more diligent. That unfortunately didn't happen and now we have a situation that has to be dealt with.

"I think it's a horrible situation and I don't think it speaks too well of the chamber or general mankind as such, with that kind of a site."

The Barriere Chamber of Commerce has a new website. No one from the chamber was immediately available for comment.

Smith said the chamber has hired a lawyer, but Hasan Cavusoglu, an associate professor of management information systems at the University of British Columbia, said that may not help.

Cavusoglu, of UBC's Sauder School of Business, said anyone can use a name the moment it expires, meaning there is often no legal recourse.

"It can be used by porn websites and it could be used by malicious websites that are tricking people," he said, adding software is available to track sites and determine when their domain name will expire.

"One can actually create a replica of the original website."

He said the chamber could have protected itself by paying for an extended amount of time to own the domain name because registrars provide such options.

"Since they did not show interest, someone else took the name."

Domain name registrars may email a renewal reminder to whoever registered the name but that's not helpful if an employee has left a company, Cavusoglu said.

"There should be an email that was attached to a department, and not an individual," he said.

"They should have been more careful."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • North Korea apologizes over shooting death of South Korean amid public backlash

    World News CBC News
    North Korea expressed regret on Friday that it shot dead a missing South Korean to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the South's national security adviser said, amid growing political and public backlash. North Korea's United Front Department, in charge of cross-border ties, sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office a day after Seoul officials said North Korean soldiers killed a South Korean before dousing his body in oil and setting it on fire. Source
  • Ottawa prepares to squeeze big U.S. tech firms over loss of revenue for Canadian news outlets

    Canada News CBC News
    Advocates for Canada's news media sector have welcomed the federal government's clearest pledge yet to squeeze web giants for compensation. But there's evidence it will be a long, difficult process. Major U.S.-based tech firms such as Facebook and Google have long been accused of funnelling advertising revenues away from Canada's struggling news organizations while not paying the outlets for their copyrighted content. Source
  • Rising share prices amid COVID-19 a reminder that the stock market is not the economy

    Canada News CBC News
    The economy is in a ditch, and millions of Canadian workers still find themselves unemployed or underemployed compared with where things were before COVID-19. And still the stock market is posting some record gains. You can't blame anyone who throws their hands in the air and asks: Just what on earth is going on? Source
  • COVID-19 school closures have put all students behind, but some are better positioned to catch up

    Canada News CBC News
    You've likely heard of the summer slide: where students might start the school year having lost some numeracy and literacy skills after a two-month break in formal learning. But families, educators and researchers alike are concerned that this year's summer setback compounded by last spring's pandemic school shutdowns could have lasting, detrimental effects on the achievement of Canadian students if not intentionally addressed this school year. Source
  • Top-secret records show New Brunswick, Alberta companies received millions in 'suspicious' transfers

    Canada News CBC News
    Off the coast of Mauritania in northwest Africa, thick black smoke billowed from a massive fishing trawler, trapping the crew on a vessel operated by a Canadian shell company. It was July 19, 2019, and the Ivan Golubets, an imposing vessel comparable to the size of a soccer field, was fishing in the resource-rich waters of the western Sahara — considered a hot zone for illegal fishing by large trawlers — when tragedy struck. Source
  • Black Canadians get sick more from COVID-19. Scientists aim to find out why

    Canada News CBC News
    Race-based data shows that Black Canadians are far more likely to get sick and be hospitalized for COVID-19 than other ethnic groups. A new study looking at antibodies in the blood of Black Canadians aims to understand the reasons in an effort to reduce the impact of the disease on Black communities. Source
  • Fewer violations identified at nursing homes after Ontario cut comprehensive inspections

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario's government knew it was cutting thorough, effective investigations that helped prevent infection control in nursing homes three years before it made cuts in 2018, but did it anyway, a CBC Marketplace investigation has found. And those cuts left nursing homes vulnerable and unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly because they cut infection control oversight, according to experts. Source
  • How right-wing extremists, libertarians and evangelicals built Quebec's movement against COVID-19 restrictions

    Canada News CBC News
    The main event at an demonstration protesting COVID-19 restrictions last weekend north of Montreal was a speech by Steeve L'Artiss Charland, one-time leader of a far-right group that has since faded from view. In a parking lot in Saint-Jovite, Que. Source
  • American voters in Canada could hold the key to our climate future, and many don't even know it

    Canada News CBC News
    This is an opinion column by Grace Nosek, an American citizen who is completing her PhD in Vancouver. For more information about CBC's Opinion section, please see the FAQ. For many British Columbians, smoke from the wildfires in Washington and Oregon states filled our lungs and burned our eyes for several days — a potent reminder of how inextricably linked the U.S. Source
  • Ontario police services board calls Six Nations members halting housing development 'terrorists'

    Canada News CBC News
    A southern Ontario police services board is calling on the Ontario Provincial Police to arrest an NDP MP and take action against what it calls "acts of terrorism" committed by members of Six Nations who halted a housing development in Caledonia, Ont. Source