The times I took on the government and won. Jan 6, 2021 20:16:51 GMT 10
Post by Wayne Smith on Jan 6, 2021 20:16:51 GMT 10
Here's the kind of thing I get up to for shits and giggles.
High-tech high-jinx as website hijacked
A serial internet squatter who shot to infamy after buying the domain name BindiIrwin.com has been accused of meddling in the upcoming state election by "hijacking" two websites in the names of government ministers to help raise money for the Opposition.
The Liberal-National Party claims net prankster Wayne Smith is behind the www.judyspence.com and www.robertschwarten.com websites, discovered by constituents of the furious Queensland Police Minister earlier today.
The sites link to a copy of the Liberal-National Party's official homepage, featuring a large picture of a smiling Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg, an LNP logo and a call to "Donate now" to the party.
A separate site under the name of the Minister for Housing, www.robertschwarten.com, links to the same LNP webpage.
The LNP denies it is behind the prank and claims it does not own the domain names used.
Instead, a spokesman said investigations pointed to Mr Smith, who was involved in a battle with party chiefs last year when he beat them to the domain name LiberalNationalParty.org and then posted a fake policy supporting the legalisation of marijuana.
"We don't own the domain names, they have nothing to do with us," a spokesman for Mr Springborg said today.
However, the Labor Party's state executive has urged Police minister Judy Spence to seek legal advice amid doubts about the websites' origin.
"It may or may not be true," a spokesman for the minister said of the LNP's cyber-squatter claims.
"It'll be intriguing to see who's really behind it."
Ms Spence earlier accused the Opposition of using dirty tricks against her in the run-up to the polls, calling on Mr Springborg to tear down the site.
New party to probe 'fake' website
Queensland’s new conservative party will investigate a website set up in its name that discusses legalising marijuana as possible policy.
The website, liberalnationalparty.org, claims it is the Liberal National Party of Queensland’s discussion forum, and has a photo of leader Lawrence Springborg and deputy leader Mark McArdle, taken on the day the party was formed.
Topics up for discussion include Invasion Myths – on the subject of whether Japan planned to invade Australia in 1942.
In an area headed LNP Policies, there is a discussion about legalising marijuana, in which website administrator and creator Wayne Smith writes: “All drugs should be legalised in my opinion.
“Drug use should be treated in the same way as alcohol and nicoteine (sic) which are both deadly drugs sold on shopping shelves and taxed to the hilt by every government,” he writes.
Records show Mr Smith, of Dalby in southern Queensland, registered the domain name on July 30. He is being sought for comment but his recorded telephone number is not connected.
Mr Springborg learned of the website only today, and said he would alert party organisation.
“The worldwide web is an interesting beast and it provides great opportunity for information dissemination but also information distortion,” Mr Springborg told reporters in Brisbane.
Mr Springborg said he was concerned by its official look and name, and its discussion on topics such as legalising marijuana.
“That is policy nonsense to suggest we’d be going there,” he said.
“In actual fact, that is the antithesis of what we believe in when it comes to the issue of addressing the scourge of drugs.”
LNP cybersquatter has newcomer in sights
A notorious cybersquatter who's been a thorn in the side of Queensland's Liberal National Party has now taken aim at one of the state's newest political organisations.
Google users who search for the Queensland Party can find the official queenslandparty.com.au website but just below that result is the bogus domain under the title “The Queensland Party”.
The website description states: “The Queensland Party registered as the Queensland Party. [Party founder] Aidan McLindon has no imagination. What's next? The Australian Party?”
The link redirects to a “Liberal National Party” website under the domain liberalnationalparty.webs.com, which includes stories poking fun at politicians including Mr McLindon, Bob Katter and Campbell Newman.
Mr McLindon reckons it's all good fun.
He told brisbanetimes.com.au Mr Smith appeared to be an enterprising cybersquatter with an “innovative approach to business”.
Mr McLindon had a bit of a laugh about the comment that he had no imagination, saying Mr Smith may be trying to add extra incentive for the Queensland Party to buy the domain off him.
“That's one way to try to blackmail someone to buy it off you isn't it,” he said.
Web domain records show Mr Smith, of Dalby in southern Queensland, registered queenslandparty.org on June 5.
In an email to brisbanetimes.com.au, Mr Smith said he had also registered queenslandparty.net but did not have any specific reason for doing so.
“Didn't have any intention,” he replied.
“It [the available domain] had been sitting there for about a year. I could have purchased two bacon egg muffins and an OJ instead.”
Mr Smith said Mr McLindon sounded like he had a sense of humour and that was rare in a politician.
But Mr Smith said he was not technically a cybersquatter because he did not seek to profit from buying up domains.
Mr Smith said he had only purchased the bindiirwin.com domain because he was internet-savvy enough to realise it would become the target of money-hungry cybersquatters. He said he subsequently gave away the domain to Terri Irwin.
Mr Smith has previously caused headaches for the LNP, having registered liberalnationalparty.org four days after the new party was formed.
LNP state director Michael O'Dwyer said today the party had not pursued the matter.
“Our focus is on doing what we're doing, not what he's doing,” he said.
“It's something we keep a close eye on but in the world of cyberspace it's very very difficult to control.”
On the “about us” section of the fake Liberal National Party site, Mr Smith provides an email address for people to send “any additions, corrections, suggestions, comments, spam, bills, lawsuits or hatemail”.
The home page today contained a story suggesting Mr McLindon and Mr Katter were caught stealing Mr Newman's number plates.
It featured a photo of the two maverick politicians standing at the back of a car clutching an “LNP” personalised number plate.
“After a long night of heavy drinking, swapping political yarns and comparing the size of each others parties, comrades in arms Bob Katter and Aidan McLindon decided to end their first cautious talks about a possible joint party merger with some good old fashioned car vandalism,” the light-hearted story said.
Mr McLindon told brisbanetimes.com.au the photo was from last year after he had quit the LNP and was about to sell off his personalised plates.
“At the end of the day Queensland politics is pretty stale so if he [Mr Smith] wants to put a touch of humour to it good luck to him,” he said.
I still own www.LiberalNationalParty.org and it gets quite a bit of traffic due to all the media outlets that have published it. Right now it goes to the Australian Atheists Forums on facebook.
How did I escape legal drama? Working in security I know a bit about the law but it helps to have a good lawyer. Funniest thing is I would have given them the domain if they had only asked nicely. Did so earlier for the coalition. Gave them a dozen top party names such as www.MalcolmTurnbull.com for free. Didn't even ask for the registration fee to be recouped. Actually I had to tell them to try saying please come to think of it. Politicians always seem to miss the obvious option.