Political law attorney Matthew T. Sanderson believes the Internet needs a new .pol top-level domain because of cybersquatters who grab domain names related to politicians. He cites Meg Whitman's difficulty acquiring domains related to her gubernatorial run in California:
Long before she began forming her campaign for governor of California, Meg Whitman got cybersquatted. Media speculation in early 2008 that the billionaire former chief executive of eBay would seek the state's highest office prompted a Santa Monica man to nab rights to several Web sites that evoke Whitman's name, including WhitmanForGovernor.com and MegWhitman2010.com.
Whitman spent much of last year trying to get those sites back. Her early attempts to negotiate failed, and she lost an Internet arbitration because her extensive business and political activities did not make her name "commercial" enough to warrant protection. She then initiated costly and potentially fruitless litigation that, had events run their course, might have concluded after California's gubernatorial election. In the end, though, Whitman's substantial checkbook solved her problem. She settled with the cybersquatter out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Creating a new namespace for the use of politicians, many of whom don't keep their campaign-related domains after a race is over, would make some money for registrars but do little to discourage people from grabbing domain names related to political candidates. The .com namespace is still coveted no matter how many new top-level domains are introduced, so the ownership of BobDole.pol would not reduce the worth of BobDole.Com when Bob Dole decides that Bob Dole should run for president again in 2012.
Sanderson's proposal is premised on the notion that candidates like Whitman must control all variations of their domain name:
Worse, today's preventive and remedial measures are ill-suited to resolve the underlying issue. A candidate cannot buy in advance all possible site-name variations. Negotiation gives cybersquatters exactly what they want -- a chance to receive an exorbitant sum.
I hate to break this to him, but it's impossible to own all possible site-name variations related to a politician. Meg Whitman doesn't need WhitmanForGovernor.Com or MegWhitman2010.Com because she owns MegWhitman.Com, the only domain name related to her candidacy that would get any type-in traffic, and she's already one of the top results for her name in Google. The misguided impulse to acquire all variations has led the Whitman campaign to acquire at least 162 domain names:
Join-meg.biz, Join-meg.com, Join-meg.info, Join-meg.net, Join-meg.org, Join-meg.us, Joinmeg.biz, Joinmeg.com, Joinmeg.info, Joinmeg.net, Joinmeg.org, Joinmeg.us, Joinmeg2010.biz, Joinmeg2010.com, Joinmeg2010.info, Joinmeg2010.net, Joinmeg2010.org, Joinmeg2010.us, Joinmegwhitman.biz, Joinmegwhitman.com, Joinmegwhitman.info, Joinmegwhitman.net, Joinmegwhitman.org, Joinmegwhitman.us, Joinmegwhitman2010.biz, Joinmegwhitman2010.com, Joinmegwhitman2010.info, Joinmegwhitman2010.net, Joinmegwhitman2010.org, Joinmegwhitman2010.us, Margaretwhitman.net, Margaretwhitman.org, Margaretwhitman2010.biz, Margaretwhitman2010.com, Margaretwhitman2010.info, Margaretwhitman2010.net, Margaretwhitman2010.org, Margaretwhitman2010.us, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor.biz, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor.com, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor.info, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor.net, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor.org, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor.us, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor2010.biz, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor2010.com, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor2010.info, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor2010.net, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor2010.org, Margaretwhitmanforgovernor2010.us, Meg2010.biz, Meg2010.com, Meg2010.info, Meg2010.net, Meg2010.org, Meg2010.us, Megforcalifornia.biz, Megforcalifornia.com, Megforcalifornia.info, Megforcalifornia.net, Megforcalifornia.org, Megforcalifornia.us, Megforcalifornia2010.biz, Megforcalifornia2010.com, Megforcalifornia2010.info, Megforcalifornia2010.net, Megforcalifornia2010.org, Megforcalifornia2010.us, Megforgovernor.biz, Megforgovernor.com, Megforgovernor.info, Megforgovernor.net, Megforgovernor.org, Megforgovernor.us, Megforgovernor2010.biz, Megforgovernor2010.com, Megforgovernor2010.info, Megforgovernor2010.net, Megforgovernor2010.org, Megforgovernor2010.us, Megwhitman.com, Megwhitman.info, Megwhitman.net, Megwhitman.org, Megwhitman2010.biz, Megwhitman2010.com, Megwhitman2010.info, Megwhitman2010.net, Megwhitman2010.org, Megwhitman2010.us, Megwhitmanforcalifornia.biz, Megwhitmanforcalifornia.com, Megwhitmanforcalifornia.info, Megwhitmanforcalifornia.net, Megwhitmanforcalifornia.org, Megwhitmanforcalifornia.us, Megwhitmanforcalifornia2010.biz, Megwhitmanforcalifornia2010.com, Megwhitmanforcalifornia2010.info, Megwhitmanforcalifornia2010.net, Megwhitmanforcalifornia2010.org, Megwhitmanforcalifornia2010.us, Megwhitmanforgovernor.biz, Megwhitmanforgovernor.com, Megwhitmanforgovernor.info, Megwhitmanforgovernor.net, Megwhitmanforgovernor.org, Megwhitmanforgovernor.us, Megwhitmanforgovernor2010.biz, Megwhitmanforgovernor2010.com, Megwhitmanforgovernor2010.info, Megwhitmanforgovernor2010.net, Megwhitmanforgovernor2010.org, Megwhitmanforgovernor2010.us, Vote-meg.biz, Vote-meg.com, Vote-meg.info, Vote-meg.net, Vote-meg.org, Vote-meg.us, Votemeg.biz, Votemeg.com, Votemeg.info, Votemeg.net, Votemeg.org, Votemeg.us, Votemeg2010.biz, Votemeg2010.com, Votemeg2010.info, Votemeg2010.net, Votemeg2010.org, Votemeg2010.us, Votemegwhitman.biz, Votemegwhitman.com, Votemegwhitman.info, Votemegwhitman.net, Votemegwhitman.org, Votemegwhitman.us, Votemegwhitman2010.biz, Votemegwhitman2010.com, Votemegwhitman2010.info, Votemegwhitman2010.net, Votemegwhitman2010.org, Votemegwhitman2010.us, Whitman2010.biz, Whitman2010.com, Whitman2010.info, Whitman2010.net, Whitman2010.org, Whitman2010.us, Whitmanforgovernor.biz, Whitmanforgovernor.com, Whitmanforgovernor.info, Whitmanforgovernor.net, Whitmanforgovernor.org, Whitmanforgovernor.us, Whitmanforgovernor2010.biz, Whitmanforgovernor2010.com, Whitmanforgovernor2010.info, Whitmanforgovernor2010.net, Whitmanforgovernor2010.org, Whitmanforgovernor2010.us
Four of these domains were acquired after Whitman failed to get them in a UDRP domain-name arbitration. No matter how many domains she acquires from squatters, there will still be more. When I checked my registrar for Meg Whitman domains today, it helpfully informed me that whitmanforgovernor.mobi, megwhitman.tv and megwhitman2010.me are all still available, among countless others. She's trying to corner the market on an infinite resource.