High-Tech Theft: KY Governor Seizes Domain Names

governor steve beshear swipes domain names
Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear --gives orders to swipe domain names

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s Office recently seized 141 domain names belonging to Internet gambling sites. Those names have been transferred, by court order, to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The DNS information was ordered to stay the same while the court case was being resolved.

There was an outcry this week in a Press Release I received this week by Jim Waters of BIPPS — the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions:

For Immediate Release
Monday, Oct. 6, 2008

Contact: Jim Waters


High-tech hijacking: Web site domain names seized, Internet freedom threatened

(Frankfort, Kentucky) – The Commonwealth of Kentucky has taken unprecedented legal action by seizing more than 140 Web site domain names belonging to online gambling sites.

Due to the dangerous and far-reaching implications of this high-tech hijacking, the Bluegrass Institute will hold an emergency summit in Frankfort on Monday, Oct. 6. Timing is critical as the next legal hearing on this issue takes place the following morning, Oct. 7, before the Franklin County Circuit Court.

The Bluegrass Institute urges anyone with an interest in protecting Internet freedom to join us in protest against this egregious action. While the primary focus in this legal matter is online poker, the ramifications extend much farther into the entire realm of online commerce.

This radical approach is disturbing for many reasons. Chief among them is the concept that domain names of Internet sites operating legally in their home nations can be seized by other nations for violation of local laws. This should be of concern to all Americans. If Kentucky is successful, a very dangerous precedent will be set.

The Bluegrass Institute will be joined by several other groups who stand in opposition to Kentucky’s actions. They include the Internet Commerce Association; Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association; Americans for Tax Reform; The Poker Players Alliance and many others who continue to join with this cause.

We will convene a panel discussion on a range of topics requiring immediate action. The meeting is open to the public and all participants will be available for media comment.

The summit will take place at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort (405 Wilkinson Blvd, Frankfort, KY 40601) at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, Oct. 6. Please RSVP to Jim Waters of the Bluegrass Institute at 270-782-2140 or jwaters@bipps.org.

Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
400 E. Main Ave. Suite 306
Bowling Green, KY 42102

The court, on October 7th, decided to rule on the case next week, on October 15th. I anxiously await this historic ruling. I can only hope that (as a small Internet business entrepreneur), that my state fails miserably to make this action stick. I’m honestly appalled that they would even try. What a month to be a Kentuckian!

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