Sarah Palin's legal team doesn't understand DNS

A reader writes, "The person who owned the domain set it up to redirect to Sarah Palin's website on the Alaska state site. No one used the site, but apparently someone got upset: Palin's lawyers sent a cease & desist, claiming that it was misuse of the Alaskan seal and copyright infringement. Note, that CrackHo didn't copy anything or use any of the content. It was just a simple redirect to the Alaska website." Sarah Palin's New Legal Foe


  1. I love it when people get their undies in a bunch over things they neither understand or are able to prevent. As near as I can tell no laws were broken, and no copyright infringement exists here.

  2. DNS? The A record of wasn’t set to the same as, it was an HTML meta refresh, not even a 30x from the web server.

    Changing the A Record for would have worked, been more effective (since the URL bar would say instead of and more likely to generate a C&D.

    Normally a site should check the Host header it is being sent and only return the page when it matches what is expected, but not in this case, so people, feel free to change your A records and see if you get a C&D.

  3. Well I’m sure that Al Gore could help her with that. After all, he invented it all.

  4. What is she doing, just piling them up in the back yard? Oh, wait, you must have meant the *other* kind of DNS. Sorry; my bad.

  5. This is the same person who was wailing about her email account being “hacked” when actually she’d put an incredibly obvious password clue on the account (which she was illegally using to conduct state business on in the first place). Color me shocked.

  6. All of you don’t understand DNS.

    The fundamental fact of DNS is that ordinary people don’t know (or care) how it works. So all they see is that the URL points to Sarah Palin’s site. If someone were to forward that URL to, say, my mother, what would she think?


    a) Sarah Palin decided to do this to herself. Not likely.

    b) Sarah Palin’s site has somehow been hacked or cracked or something. Bad for Sarah Palin’s image.

    And b) is the key factor here. Whatever you geeks think is unimportant. Geeks don’t matter in this instance. Ordinary people matter.

    (And no, I don’t like Sarah Palin either)

  7. Maybe she thinks that ISP stands for I, Sarah Palin..?

    But the empress is wearing new clothes (bought by the Republican party and conveniently “lost” when it was time to give them back. But maybe she just didn’t like the idea of redistributing them.)

    New domains only cost about $10/yr. The legal mess of pursuing each one must cost much much more. How many more domains can we point that way?

  8. I think you’re wrong Cory.

    The issue regarding alleged misuse of domain names is centered on whether the domain name was registered or used in bad faith.

    Bad faith can include “(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”

    The UDRP regulations are listed here

    Precedents of the UDRP have generally found in favour of the complainant. I’m no expert, but it looks like Palin has at least a prima facie case.

  9. Sarah Palin’s lawyers need to visit GWB’s Law Library and read up on how the internets work.

  10. I think I see how this went – silly state attorney general’s office didn’t understand DNS technology, and since the state attorney general office in question represents Alaska, that means we can slam Sarah Palin, since she is personally responsible for every act by every state employee.

    Is the Alaskan Attorney General really Sarah Palin’s legal team, or the Alaskan People’s legal team? (I think she has her own lawyers, since she has a legal defense fund – you know, to pay her own lawyers)

    Is a client really responsible for the things the attorney does and does not know?

    Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome strikes again!

  11. Somebody call the ACLU–her First Amendment rights are being taken away by teh far left!

  12. Timothy Hutton may have a correct point here. We have no evidence that Palin herself asked for this intervention or is even aware of it.

    That said, the rest of the claim is nonsense. There’s no such thing as “Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome.” The woman is an incompetent, anti-science, anti-intellectual idiot. The evidence for that is overwhelming. (Fruit flies anyone?)

  13. Funny shit happens…

    Somehow the last offering on a Google search of my nom de plume links to a porn catalog that seemingly includes illegal teeny teenie stuff. I think it’s because of an otherwise innocuous word in the title of one of my works.

    Not so funny.

  14. I am completely unsurprised at any sentence starting with “Sarah Palin” that also includes “doesn’t understand”

  15. Timothy Hutton’s totally right. It’s likely Palin had nothing to do with this, because it’s not like she has a history of using state employees to pursue personal vendettas.

    Besides, don’t people realize that these sorts of wild accusations distract her from keeping an eye out for Putin’s rearin’ head?

  16. GRIMC – This isn’t a personal vendetta, the AG of Alaska is enforcing state law.

    Her name is pre-printed on the letterhead, that’s it.

    Honestly, this charge is being levelled on behalf of every citizen of the state of Alaska, to enforce a law enacted by their elected representatives. The law likely pre-dates her, and I doubt the C & D letter required approval by anyone outside the AG’s office.

  17. Timothy Hutton: Then why have we never seen it’s like? Can you name another example of any governing body going after someone for a domain redirect? Your argument that this has nothing to do with the subject of the site’s content wears increasingly thin, despite steps taken to make it appear so.

  18. @T Hutton

    By that reasoning, going after Wooten wasn’t personal, either. But then I’m going to bet that that’s what you believe, anyway.

  19. >I’m no expert, but it looks like Palin has at least a prima facie case.

    Um, where’s the “commercial gain?” Without that, your definition of “bad faith” doesn’t apply.

  20. PHIKUS – Why are we seeing this one?

    No one says Palin ordered the enforcement of Alaska state law, not even Huffington Post (where Cory’s link points to). The Alaska AG’s office isn’t her personal legal team. The Alaska AG decides what to pursue and what to ignore I imagine…

    GRIMC – As I recall the Wooten issue is the state trooper issue, right? The difference is that there were emails and phone calls to establish a link between the Palin family and the personnel efforts in that case. There exist no such links on this matter (yet, AFAIK), and that’s my point.

  21. I willingly admit that I don’t really understand DNS. (Okay, better than most people, but still.)

    But I do know laughable absurdity when I see it. If I tell someone to read a book, should I get a cease & desist for pointing them to it? Damn.

    Somehow I doubt they’d be making a stink if the referring domain was something inoffensive…

  22. Dwittsf: Thanks for providing my reply to Timothy Hutton (if that is your real name.) Y’all have a nice weekend. =D

    -Bat Guano

  23. DWittSFsaid:

    in fact, the previous Alaska AG, Talis Colberg, resigned in the wake of findings that he ignored his AG duties in favor of Palin.

    So wait, the sins of the predecessor fall on the successor? So since Obama followed Bush, does that mean I can accuse Obama of everything Bush did that I didn’t like because:

    (Therefore,) it is not so outlandish indeed to suspect that the new AG might also be following the same direction.

    Of course, substituting “President” for “AG”

    Evidence of prior acts by another AG doesn’t equal evidence against this AG.

  24. The president is nominally in charge. The AG is not. Its more like accusing one Bush appointee of acting like his predecessor.

  25. @HUTTON Bad analogy: Bush did not appoint Obama. Palin appointed both Colberg and his successor. Nice try, though.

  26. From

    So here’s the deal. A while back during the election I created a new front page for I redirected traffic to the Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin’s website. I never had the official seal or anything from her site on my server. It was a simple redirect using the meta refresh tag. I didn’t think anyone would notice. Ooops. [emphasis added]

    First off, why wouldn’t anyone notice? I’m sure he told a few friends, and they told a few friends, etc. of his “master plan”, and as they checked on his comedic efforts, the re-direct would have started to show up on server logs at the Alaska State webserver – and maybe a spike in re-directs from a site called “CrackHo” raised the interest of a few state workers…

    I do chuckle that the website is now, in a futile attempt to raise funds from this “mistake” has added google ads to the page, when I visited the site the main ad was from SarahPac, a Sarah Palin associated PAC. (Hey, until there are more ads tageted at crack whores, her name on the web site is the only one that matches anything in the Ad Sense database I’m sure. Except for Alaska fishing trips and other such “Alaska” keywords.)

  27. I guess Palin´s mentor, the crook Stevens, will have to explain the internet to Sarah…you know how it´s a just a series of tubes and all that….

    Sarah Palin-Tonya Harding 2012!

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