Cybersquatters Using BrettKavanaugh.com to Smear Justice Kavanaugh Likely Doing It Illegally
In recent days, there’s been quite a bit of coverage about the acquisition of BrettKavanaugh.com. According to a WhoIs search on the domain, BrettKavanaugh.com was originally cybersquatted three years ago, on September 10, 2015, but was left unused until recently before finally being turned into a pseudo resource site for survivors of sexual assault, with a large black and white photo of the Supreme Court underneath the heading, "We Believe Survivors."
The domain is owned by Fix The Court, a supposedly “non-partisan grassroots organization” that is seeking to “reform” the Supreme Court, with its most prominent objective being the implementation of term limits.
Here is a statement from Fix The Court executive director Gabe Roth from earlier this month:
Three years ago, I bought a handful of URLs that I thought might be useful in any forthcoming Supreme Court confirmation battles. Included were BrettKavanaugh.com, .org and .net.
Today I am redirecting those three to a landing page with resources for victims of sexual assault.
I believe Dr. Ford. I believe Prof. Hill. I also believe that asking for forgiveness is a sign of maturity and strength, not weakness.
Watching the White House ceremony last night and listening to the President again cast doubt on the veracity of Dr. Ford’s claims, while not hearing a word of contrition from the newest justice, was difficult for many Americans who have experienced sexual misconduct firsthand.
Fix the Court stands with you. We believe you, and we support you. And if you seek additional resources, you can go to BrettKavanaugh.com.
Clearly, Roth gave up all pretenses of his organization being non-partisan by abandoning the ideals of due process and innocent until proven guilty and using his group to perpetuate the falsehood that Brett Kavanaugh committed attempted sexual assault.
Creating a website to provide resources for victims of sexual assault is certainly an admirable thing, but using the name of Brett Kavanaugh, with the undeniable implication that he is a sex offender, is wrong. The contradictions, holes, and lies of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony have been well documented. This site, by using Brett Kavanaugh’s name, is not about helping real victims of sexual assault, but about trying to undermine Brett Kavanaugh’s credibility.
The good news here is that Brett Kavanaugh can legally get the domains back. Domain name disputes have happened in the past, and there are plenty of precedents to support Kavanaugh should he, or someone on his behalf, attempt to take control of those domains back from Gabe Roth and Fix The Court.
There is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) called Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) to resolve disputes regarding internet domain names. According to Harvard University, "To prevail in a domain name dispute under the UDRP, the complainant must prove that the disputed domain name 'has been registered and is being used in bad faith.'"