One Nation responds to Pauline Hanson website redirecting to refugee charity
One Nation says it will do “everything in its power” to stop both “illegal arrivals” entering Australia and people “illegally squatting” on domain names, after discovering a website with Pauline Hanson’s name redirects to the Refugee Council of Australia.
Visitors to the website paulinehanson.com.au are being redirected to the Refugee Council of Australia website, a not-for-profit organisation advocating for the rights of refugees.
“One Nation continues to do everything in its power to stop illegal arrivals entering Australia, we will do everything in our power to stop people illegally squatting on domain names,” a spokesperson for One Nation and the Senator said in a statement to The Feed.
The Refugee Council of Australia says they have no involvement in the purchase of the domain paulinehanson.com.au, which now redirects to their website.
“We had no knowledge of, or involvement with, this change to that web domain,” a spokesperson for the Council said in a statement.
“We assume it’s a prank. However, we welcome the off-chance that Senator Hanson has changed her mind on refugee policy.”
The Refugee Council of Australia has frequently condemned Senator Pauline Hanson for her anti-immigration politics.
Pauline Hanson and her party One Nation have had a history of controversial policies and positions on immigration. In her first speech to the federal parliament in 1996, Pauline Hanson said that Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Asians.” When re-elected in 2016, she said that Australia was then in danger of being “swamped by Muslims.”
One Nation believes Australia should leave the United Nations Refugee Convention, stating it is no longer in Australia’s interests.
The domain name appears to have been updated on the 13th of January, with meme-page Brown Cardigan first pointing out the redirection.
Paulinehanson.com.au was never the politician’s official website. Her official website, senatorhanson.com.au is still operational.
Malcolm Burrows, who specialises in IT and intellectual property law at Dundas Lawyers, explains that Cybersquatting is the practice of registering or using a domain name in bad faith, usually with the aim of profiting from someone else’s trademark.
The registration of domain names in the .com.au namespace is governed by the .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) Rules.
“An aggrieved party could seek to have the registration transferred away from the new registrant by lodging a dispute with the Word Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). One of the grounds upon which that the aggrieved party is able to rely is that the registrant registered the domain name in bad faith.”
Mr Burrows said that domain disputes are common, but few progress to the WIPO.
“[That’s] because of the cost involved in what is essentially an arbitration proceeding.”
Mr Burrows said that Senator Hanson may use the WIPO dispute resolution process to attempt to have the domain name transferred back to the previous registrant, but it may be difficult if her name isn’t a registered trademark.
“Alternatively, if Ms Hanson owns an Australian registered trade mark for the words ‘Pauline Hanson’, there may be an option to explore grounds for trade mark infringement against the new registrant.“
“However, whether or not merely redirecting a domain name to an otherwise unrelated caused-based website is considered use of the words as a trade mark is uncertain, and this may complicate Ms Hanson’s ability to correct the mistake of allowing her registration to lapse.”