June 14, 2004

Domain name and Minister's name

Expatica reports that Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk is furious against Amsterdam Law students who have registered RitaVerdonk.nl to create a website protesting against her asylum seeker deportation policy. She wants the domain name owner to renounce to it, claiming that it can cause confusion and that the use of her name violates her personal privacy.
Usually, statesmen don't object to the use of their name (i.e. gwbush.com or chirac.org) - it's not illegitimate to use their name to criticize them, that's what politics is about! But in the Netherlands, the Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende won a lawsuit against students who registered his name janpeterbalkenende.nl, in a similar story as Mrs Verdonk's.

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