Police Web site briefly redirects traffic to porn page

Police Web site briefly redirects traffic to porn page

A municipal police department in central Massachusetts yesterday halted the automatic redirection of its Web site visitors to a pornography site.

The forwarding from the online home of the Gardner, Mass., police department, www.gardnerpolice.org, to 'Tina's Free Live Cam' started April 5 and ended when Rock A. Barrieau, Gardner deputy police chief, asked the domain name's current owner to stop the redirection.

Gardner police lost their rights to the domain name when they were not asked to pay a renewal fee.

Rights to the domain went to Domain Strategies Inc. of Quebec, which registered it with OnlineNIC.com of San Francisco, Barrieau said.

Barrieau credited a Massachusetts law enforcement group called the Regional Electronic and Computer Crime Taskforce with tracing the new owner of the domain.

Yesterday, Barrieau said he phoned Domain Strategies' owner and 'appealed to his sense of decency.' The company stopped the redirection, and visitors to www.gardnerpolice.org now get a placeholder page.

Gardner police had received many complaints about the webcam site, Barrieau said.

A Florida man was negotiating to acquire the rights to the gardnerpolice.org domain and planned to donate them to the city, Barrieau said. The department's webmaster has a backup copy of the original site and expects to have the police content restored within a week.


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