Cybersquatter's unsuccessful dig for miners' names

Australian domain name regulator, auDA, has deleted two domain names that were suspected of cashing in on the Beaconsfield mine rescue.

The two Web sites, www.brantwebb.com.au and www.toddrussell.com.au, were registered on May 9, the same day that miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell were freed after spending 14 days trapped underground.

The domain names aroused suspicion after auDA issued a "please explain" notice to the registrant and gave them 24 hours to respond. No satisfactory explanation of eligibility was forthcoming though.

Chris Disspain, auDA CEO, said that while it was possible the registrations were legitimate, "our immediate reaction was that it was more likely to be an attempt by the registrant to 'cash in' on the news story".

He added that com.au and net.au names are reserved for registered Australian businesses.