Cybersquatting aided by NT Tourism?

After paying $100,000 for three domain names, Liberal MP Dave Tollner accused Tourism NT of "encouraging" cybersquatting.

After paying $100,000 for three domain names, Liberal MP Dave Tollner accused Tourism NT of "encouraging" cybersquatting.

The accusation came during a Northern Territory budget estimates committee yesterday after it was revealed that Tourism NT purchased a shelf company that previously owned tourismnorthernterritory.com.au, tourismnorthernterritory.com and northernterritory.com. The addresses now link to the Tourism NT website and an international version of the website.

Northern Territory Tourism Minister Malarndirri McCarthy said that the internet was a valuable and efficient tool for tourism. "We do not apologise for any of the things we do to try to entice people to the Northern Territory, and to do it in an innovative and creative way," she said.

This is not the first time an Australian government has paid for an aftermarket domain name.

In 2003, the Federal Government paid $201,000 for TourismAustralia.com

In general, the past has shown that people are willing to pay for domain names including popular keywords.

In 2009, SexToys.com.au was purchased for $25,000. Some domain names have even been sold for amounts stretching into millions of dollars.

(Front page image credit: Cashmoney image by Martin Kingsley, CC2.0)

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