Domain Name Games – Part 3

The California Credit Union Domain Story Unfolds Into The Internet Void.

by Ed Murray

Once again a major Credit Union has failed to secure its name and all aspects of the name, suffering among other things, an invisible assault by the Internet Buccaneers. High weirdness as the trail of the Internet Buccaneers leads to the Hermit Kingdom.

 Los Angeles Teachers Credit Union

California Credit Union began in the mid-1930s as the Los Angeles Teachers Credit Union. Today it has about 70,000 members, 13 branches, and $1.3 billion in assets. The membership is open to public and private, current and retired, educators and school district employees in California. It is also possible to qualify for membership if you or your children attend school in California. It is a strong credit union, but if you look at their all-important internet domain situation, their web marketing strategy comes into question. Although a well-established operation when the internet came along, they missed both the early opportunities and the more recent ones. Most of the best net domain names were snatched away, including the ones of their very own name. Were they sleepwalking through all these recent years as the internet exploded on civilization? Many companies were, much to their own distress later on.


In previous parts to this series, it has been shown that the internet buccaneers cruise the internet ocean looking for opportunities to obtain names that business organizations have failed to get and register for themselves. Sometimes businesses, in this case credit unions, have failed to get even their own names, which others have grabbed. The internet buccaneers will set up “pay-per-click” web pages and actually direct traffic away from the place it would ordinarily go, and making some money along the way. Let’s look at the situation at California Credit Union. Although they have been around since 1933, they must have slept through most of the dot com boom. Their website is They registered this site on November 23, 2000. They also registered, although it is only used to “redirect” traffic to their main web site, At that time, in November 2000, many possibilities existed to protect their name, including domains of their own name: California Credit Union. Why they did not at least protect their full name is a mystery. Maybe they wanted to get the shortest name they could think of, and the heck with the rest? If you have been following this series of articles, you can guess what happened.

The Internet Buccaneers Discover California Credit Union

You remember the Brisbane Blokes? The Aussies from Fortitude Valley (Brisbane area) who took a bite out of the Lockheed Missile FCU that became Star One Credit Union? The Brisbane Blokes found California Credit available and floating on the internet sea untethered on November 22, 2001. This was one full year after the “real” California Credit Union started their website as The blokes got busy and put up a “pay-per-click” page, where there are links on the main page, which go to other links, which continue to other links, an inverse pyramid of hundreds of “click through” links, providing them with a stream of income from anyone clicking on a link. The main page links are distinctly finance related – banking, mortgage, offshore banking, internet banking, and much more. This is all legal, and anyone trying to find California Credit Union by typing that name into a browser with a dot com on the end will be taken to a website set up by the “Brisbane Blokes”, as I call them. Imagine how many folks have tried to find the “real” California Credit Union since 2001, over ten years ago, and been directed elsewhere? We will never know. For California Credit Union, it’s like throwing away money and customers. The main I.P. server is not in the United States, and is holding forth up north, in Burnaby, Canada, at IP, The story, unfortunately doesn’t end there.

California Credit Union Gets A Trademark But UnableTo Protect It With A Domain Name

On June 4, 2007 California Credit Union filed for a Trademark. The logo showed an orange, with the words “California Credit Union.” This was already six years after the Brisbane Blokes had found their domain name unprotected and snagged it, so although they had a trademark filed, they could not use it to acquire the domain, because the trademark was so long after the date of the domain filing. The trademark was finally registered on November 4, 2008 and it does offer some protection, but as far as the domain names, it was too little, too late. They had lost their own name, and unless they want to pony up some substantial cash in the future to buy it from the Brisbane Blokes, they will never get it as cheaply as they could have back before November 22, 2001. A lesson learned? It does not seem so.

Strange Connections Revealed

Five years after the Brisbane Blokes found the unprotected, the other group from the Land of Oz, the ones I call the Nobby Beach Boyz, grabbed This was created on November 17, 2006. The web page on this currently is re-directed to The bewildering network of IP servers, registrants, and hidden ownership continues to look like a larger and larger spider web, impossible to determine who is the actual owner. Consider this: Although was registered to the un-named group or blokes from Nobby Beach, Australia (The Nobby Beach Boyz as I call them), the main server is listed as, in Nassau, Bahamas. This is the same server that the “Panamanians” were using to house The same IP server that houses all the “craigs list” misspellings (see Domain Name Games – Part 2 to follow this). So we have some links, the, (the Nobby Beach Boyz), have redirected their site to, the Brisbane Blokes site, but their stated IP is the same as the “Panamanian’s” IP server. Do the connections mean the owner(s) are the same or are they business partners? Hold on, it gets stranger.

The Buccaneer Trail Leads To The Hermit Kingdom

Remember that the California Credit Union began as the Los Angeles Teachers Credit Union. And remember Big Jim’s stern instructions to always protect all your names, past and present, with domains. Because you never know. Here’s some interesting things that have happened to the old Los Angeles Teachers Credit Union name over the years. The short version or abbreviation would be LATU, that would be the best name for a dot-com domain. So who got Just a few years ago, May 30, 2005, was registered by an outfit called MediaBlue, a domain registration company in Gwangju, Korea! If you go to you will see a familiar page layout with things to “click” on, in this case a lot of links to getting a PhD, an online Bachelor Degree, Psychology School, an Accounting Associates Degree, and similar online educational opportunities, with links that go to links which go to other links. The listed server is in Nassau, Bahamas, the same IP server that hosts, registered to the “Brisbane Blokes” (see Domain Name Games Part 2). What does this new revelation mean? Is MediaBlue shielding the group that is really behind all these faux sites? Are the Koreans the real owners of the domains registered in Panama, Nobby Beach, Australia, Fortitude Valley (Brisbane), Australia, Burnaby, Canada and other offshore hide-outs? Could it be that it is actually a shadowy group of Korean businessmen, not “Aussies”, or “Panamanians” or “Canadians” behind this web of “credit union” sites? A world-wide net of off-shore IPs housing these hundreds of websites? We may never know. Until now, it is an important clue, a startling link from the Hermit Kingdom of Korea to the IP server in the Bahamas hosting StarOneCreditUnion. Again, as Dave Emory is fond of saying, “Food for thought, and grounds for further investigation.”

LATU names Grabbed Up.

While we are exploring the old LATU name, let’s look at a couple of other extensions. We observe that possibly a mysterious group of Koreans got, but who got .org? The was created on February 5, 2003 and registered to Alliance for Development in North Carolina. It currently hosts Mountain Shepherds, a community owned travel company designed for South Indian tourists and travelers choosing to explore the Garwal Himalayas. Their web page says “North Welcomes South”., the other logical extension that was up for grabs, was created on April 7, 1999. The registrant is Lance Turner of Winter Park, Florida, with the main IP server in Hernden, Virginia. The site is for creative development of web-based modules for ecommerce stores.

More Names Go South and East

Some other names and abbreviations that were not protected include the great abbreviation This was left on the table by the California Credit Union, and was picked up on October 31, 2000 by a Mr. Tim Flannery, and registered in Drums, PA. (The same town where, the Pet Products company is registered. ) is now Colorado Credit Union. This credit union started in 1973, as a small cu for Johns Manville employees. In 2009 they merged with the Brighton, Colorado, Federal Credit Union, and expanded their membership. Their 2010 annual report states assets of $100,978,656. So at least in this instance, another “real” credit union benefited with the great name left by California Credit Union.

But what about This site is possibly for sale, and if you type the name into your browser you will go to a familier looking links page, that lists “checking accounts, loans, credit union online, online map, and credit union credit card” links to click on. More of interest, something I hadn’t noticed on any other “link” sites, some of the links are in other Asian characters, Chinese, Korean, etc. Although I printed out this page, the next time I went to it all the names were in English, and the Asian links had vanished. This site was registered on May 16, 1995. A long time ago in internet terms. The registered owner seems to be a group in Washington, DC, called Telepathy, which states to be the parent of a company called State Ventures, the publishers of website regional guides. They operate such sites as,,, etc. The main IP server is, and is located on a server farm at Nassau, Bahamas. A familiar site. As described in Domain Name Game Part 2, the “Pompano Beach Surfers” were operating from the same IP server in the Bahamas. It is also the same IP server farm housing, the MediaBlue-Korean connection. More connections than a switchboard. The “Pompano Beach Surfers” now connected to Washington DC and the Telepathy group? And did the momentary Asian links on mean a connection back to Korea?

And then there is the name of California Credit Union that was turned on its head to become This website was created recently, July 4, 2011. How could that happen, you ask? July 4th is an American holiday. Yep, but not in Panama. That’s right, CreditUnionCalifornia was registered at Fundacion Private Whois in Panama. It’s like the site, also registered in Panama, the unwanted “child” of Premier America Credit Union. My, my, what a tangled web gets weaved when we leave our names floating out on the internet sea. is just like all the other “pay-per-click” sites, with “credit union” links you can click on that take you to hundreds of other links, a forest of links. The main IP server is in Nassau, Bahamas, a familiar address, to be exact. It is the same site that hosts that we explored in Part 2 of this series, and also hosts, owned by the Nobby Beach boyz Buccaneers.

The Strange Case of the Reverse Hijacking.

On April 8, 2010 a somewhat strange complaint was filed with WIPO, which is the World International Property Organization. This is the organization that handles domain name disputes. A company from Tulsa, Oklahoma filed a complaint to obtain a website called “” from the companies that owned it, mediablue of Gwangju, Republic of Korea, and DomainCA of Seoul, Korea, a “Whois Protect Service”. (Remember that mediablue had registered The claim was that the Tulsa company, called Blue Financial Corporation had received a trademark on October 17, 2006 for the name “FreeBird”. They said that the trademark was for providing temporary use of on-line non-downloadable software for use in electronic authorization, processing and management of card present and card not present credit card, debit card, electronic check transactions and payments conducted via global computer networks.

Blue Financial further claimed that the other party had no rights to use the domain name because Blue Financial had a trademark, and that the domain was being used as a pay-per-click website and that it was being held in an effort to resell it. Looking back on this case, one wonders if these guys from Tulsa and their high-end lawyers knew what they were up against. Probably not, or they might not have bothered to waste their time and money. As it turned out, they were facing not just a little internet domain company,, but one of the most powerful forces in the world engaged in internet technology.

The first thing that happened was that the respondents,, joined by a company called DomainCA, asked that the proceedings be in the Korean language, as the original registration for was done in Korean. The Tulsa boys wanted English. The panel allowed the proceedings to be in English, but the respondents could file in Korean. Mediablue and DomainCA further said that the disputed domain name dated back to June 22, 1997, way before the Tulsa group filed their trademark. They said that the complainant was “trying to hijack the Respondent’s domain name.” WIPO found for mediablue and DomainCA, saying that the domain existed six years before the Tulsa group started to use freebird to obtain a trademark. WIPO said that “circumstances warrant a finding of reverse domain name hijacking”. The Koreans were victorious, and the case shows how hard and potentially expensive it is to get names that are registered in foreign lands. remains in the custody of the DomainCA organization to this day.

The View From The 16th Floor Must Be Exhilarating.

Tracking is difficult, it is protected behind high security, but doing so provided some worthwhile information. The registrar of this website, created May 14, 2002, is one of the most powerful internet technology companies in Asia, the Korea Information Certificate Authority (KICA), doing business as The KICA was established in 1999 and is accredited to act as a licensed domain certification authority by the Korean government. Over the last few years it has worked on various electronic and internet projects in Costa Rica, Cameroon, Vietnam, the Philippenes, Mongolia, Indonesia, Iran, and Panama. It is highly involved in such things as Public Key Infrastructure to insure secure electronic transactions in many countries, as well as electronic commerce, banking, and stock trading. It’s major shareholders are some of the largest technology companies in the world: Daoutech, Inc., SK Planet Co., Samsung, LG Electronics, Korea Telecommunications, and others. With its subsidiaries, and, a whois protect service, it occupies the 16th Floor of one of the most unique and futuristic building complexes in all of Asia, and perhaps in the world, at 1605 Sangam Dong, Seoul, Korea. The building complex is a gigantic media center, and is referred to as the Nuritkum Square Building.

Nuritkum Square, in Digital Media City, was designed by an American architect, Paul Davis and his partner Steve Ryder. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Davis divides his time between Los Angeles and Seoul, Korea, which he refers to as “the Paris of Asia.”. His project includes a 500,420 square foot 22 story business tower and a 15 story research and development facility. Contained in this are a production studio and editing suites, a digital pavillion for product exhibition, retail space, a 1,052 stall car parking structure and a central plaza. A bridge spanning between the two towers contains exhibition and meeting spaces. You can “Google” photos and search for Nuritkum Square in Seoul, Korea to see photographs of this stunningly beautiful complex.

Built for, and owned by the Korean Information Technology Industry Promotion Agency, the complex is designed for up-and-coming information technology businesses and provides a space for industry collaboration and interaction with the public. From their perch on the 16th floor of this magnificent structure, the KICA lads surely must have an exhilarating view of the surrounding area, and some of the windows must be able to see the beautiful Hangang River Front, a short distance away.

The Four Clues

What in the world does the reverse domain-name hijacking case, the KICA, mediablue, and have to do with all this? How are they all connected to the orphaned credit union names and how do they tie into the Internet Buccaneers? Throughout this trek, four interesting clues appeared:

1. A clue, a faint one, appeared on the web page of The site that advertises the Micro Bikinis. The English on the page is just not 100%. It’s like a very well-educated foreigner would write things that are almost perfect, but just a little off. When I listed the link categories that appeared on the page, I copied them exactly. Here’s one: “Women Fashion”. Not quite right, it should have been “Women’s Fashion”. Another example was “Bikini String”, which should read “String Bikini”. And then there is “Employment Jobs” wedged between McDonalds Jobs and Walmart Jobs. What kind of a “job” would it be if it were not “employment”?

2. The next clue is from the website, the abandoned abbreviation from California Credit Union that was picked up by Telepathy in Washington, DC. The first time I visited the page, half the links were in Korean script. The next visit, which was a day later, it had all reverted to English. The curtain parted for a second, and who was visible behind it? You don’t have to be psychic to guess.

3. Clue #3 is, which was listed as the owner or operator of MediaBlue had its IP server in Gwangju, Korea, but as the reverse-hijacking complaint showed, was tied into KICA and its dba, operating out of the 16th Floor of the Nuritkum Square IT Complex in Seoul, Korea. A Whois search led to the fact that DomainCA is the registrant (owner) of and its parent are the very powerful Korean internet technology companies.

4. The last clue is also from the reverse-hijacking case. The dot com that was the center of the fight was called This was at the time owned by, a defendant (respondent) in the case. is now claimed openly by A visit to the website reveals some interesting things. First, it claims that it is “the Leading Free Bird Site on the Net.” This would be hard to argue. The website page is the all-too-familiar pay-per-click links, half of them for Tablets, PC Tablets, Tablets dorid (sp) and Airline, the other links are for Bird Net, Bird Photos, Bird Sitting, and Oriole Bird. Note the similar “stilted”, not quite right names, Bird Net should be Bird Netting; Oriole Bird should be Oriole Birds; Tablets dorid should be Droid Tablets, etc.. There is no mystery as to the owner of this site, it is the mighty Korean technology company. It is hosted on an IP that is well known by now to the readers of this series,, the server farm in the Bahamas that is also hosting,,,, and It’s where the DC Telepaths, the Pompano Beach Surfers, the Brisbane Blokes, and the Mediablues all rub elbows. What a coincidence!

The Vanished Galleons of the Internet Buccaneers.

The Internet Buccaneers. Imagine them dropping anchor in the Bahamas, at the old port of Nassau. They troop into the town, settling into a sleazy pub. The Brisbane Blokes, the boyz from Pompano Beach, the Panamanians, the Nobby Beach bunch, they all sailed the Internet Spanish Main, attacking the big Galleons. In the pub, they’re drinking and wenching, swapping tales of the domain treasures they’ve wrangled from galleons like Star One, Premier America, California.

But these are just imaginations. The dreams of today with the trappings of yesteryear, the romantic times of old on the Spanish Main and other places where the waters of the seven seas lap up against distant lands. The dreams fade as the morning of a new day comes. As the dew on the grass gives way to the morning sun; the laughter in that old pub in Nassau slowly goes silent. The mighty galleons of the Buccaneers become fuzzy, the image starts to dissolve, then fade in the new day.

The stark new day.

Should Credit Unions Read The Good Book?

Maybe the Credit Unions should read the good book once in a while. Especially Ephesians 6:12. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers….” The flesh and blood Buccaneers are one thing. They are nothing now but a dream, and in their place could be something far more ominous. A powerful corporation, world-wide in scope, with intimate ties to a major government, owned at least in part by some of the largest and most powerful technology companies on earth. Partnered with smart techies from the finest foreign universities. A network that reaches far beyond the Spanish Main, to Africa, Asia, America, and to places not universally known by the average member of our credit unions. In spite of the strength of the credit unions and their several billions in assets, very powerful corporations, focused on the Domain Name Game, can play an international chess game second to none with the credit unions. The buccaneer fleet has vanished and in its place we may have glimpsed a new fleet, a modern navy, so to speak, backed by a large modern State, with virtually unlimited assets and information knowledge. Is it possible that behind the matrix of names and domains, grabbing the unwanted “children” of the Credit Unions, who so foolishly cast them out, is a far bigger player than anyone has imagined? A power that itself is involved in registering domains and issuing certification? A power that has a web that spans the globe, running information technology even to some State Intelligence Agencies? Food for thought, especially for the marketing departments of the credit unions and the executives who have ignored this situation for decades. The domain name game is getting serious.


On shore, I could see the glow of the great camp-fire

burning warmly through the shore-side trees. Someone was

singing, a dull, old, droning sailor’s song, with a droop

and a quaver at the end of every verse, and seemingly no

end to it at all but the patience of the singer. I had

heard it on the voyage more than once and remembered these


“But one man of her crew alive, What put to sea with


Shiver My Timbers, shiver My Soul/Yo Ho He Ho/There are men

whos hearts as black as coal

And they sailed there ship across the ocean blue/A Blood

thirsty captain and a cut throat crew./Its a darker tale as

was ever told/Of a lust for treasure and a love of gold…/


—-Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island


Domain Name Games – Part 2

 Hacking Through The Web of Mysterious Faux Web Sites That Plague the Credit Unions

By Ed Murray

Part 2

The Nobby Beach Boyz Take a Bite Out of Star One

I call them the Nobby Beach Boyz because their domain is in Nobby Beach, the heart of Australia’s Gold Coast. Way down in the land of Oz, nowhere near the Northern California headquarters of Star One Credit Union, is the hidden lair of a domain name that was unprotected by Star, and has fallen into the hands of “someone” in Nobby Beach, hiding behind a wall of privacy. The Nobby Beach Boyz own the How the real Star One left this unprotected is baffling. But on 23 November, 2008 they snagged the name, and what they have done should be a lesson learned to any company. By the way, of Australia is the shield now around the real owner or owners of And don’t bother to write, as “all postal mails rejected”.

Nobby Beach sounds like a great place to vacation, wedged between Mermaid Beach and Miami Beach on the famous “Gold Coast”. Nice places to stay for families, picnic areas, BBQ pits, theme parks like Sea World, Wildlife Sanctuary, Outback Spectacular, Warner Bros Movie World, cycling, swimming, bushwalking and much more. Not a bad place to operate a world-wide buccaneering operation.

So what happens when you type in Firstly, for some reason, the Nobby Beach Boyz don’t want to use this real name, even though, as we have seen, the real StarOne failed to get the Trademark for it. Be that as it is, the web site is some kind of a static page, which redirects to another page. This page looks like the actual page, but the name is actually miss-spelled, on purpose. The web address you are taken to is Notice that the name is “cedit”, not “credit”

When you hit the front page a series of links appear: Names like Credit Services, Loan Application, Pay Bills Online, Online Banking, Small Business Loans, Wealth Management, Credit Counseling, Business Lending, and more. A click on the very top link, Credit Services, takes you right to a link to Talk about sending your potential customers to the enemy! This credit service click-through page lists 10 linked “ads”, including Discover Card, other credit card companies and finance companies. The front page list of links goes to other pages of links, which go to other links, search engines, banks like Wells Fargo, Chase, credit card and finance companies, on and on, an inverse pyramid that opens wide to the sky. Most of the links seem to be “ads”, probably paid for on a “click through” basis, as most are these days. In the forest of links they have even thrown in links to the “real” Star One Credit Union, but it is not that easy to find. is mainly directing customers to the big banks and finance companies. Their pages of links could be providing the Nobby Beach crowd quite a revenue stream. All thanks to the fact that “Lockheed’s” did not protect their name.

One thing is clear: the Nobby Beach Boyz are well protected, hiding behind a phalanx of security. They are good, very good at what they do. The main server they are operating from is in Ashburn, VA, an amazon server. Under this IP server is a group of websites, including a porn site that is hosted in Nassau, Bahamas, another sex site hosted down in Dallas, Texas, a nominal “health” site with click-through ads, and a site for sale that is hosted in the UK. One of their sites is registered in Panama. This web of servers totally shields the real owners, we don’t know anything about them, and the Nobby Beach Boyz, as I originally called them, could simply be one guy. Where is he? Nassau? Nobby Beach? Panama? Houston? Living near in Virginia? It would sure be enlightening to sit down with whoever the main bloke is, and chat about all this. I’m sure he would have some funny stories about buccaneering on the world-wide web.

The Brisbane Blokes also take a bite of Star One.

As if it wasn’t enough to throw away, the “real” also somehow managed to lose So who has this? The registration filed for the .org is also in Australia, not that far from the Gold Coast and the .com. This is in Fortitude Valley, near Brisbane. I’ll call these guys The Brisbane Blokes, another fun loving bunch of internet operators, who claim to be “The Leading Star One Credit Union Site on The Net.”  As opposed to any other “buccaneer” Star One sites!  When you visit you see a very similar page to the dot com page:  Credit Union Savings Accounts, Star One Credit Union, Credit Union Online Banking, Loans, more and more. Clicking on the first link takes you to more links, in this case bank sites like Barclays, and some credit union sites that are listed under “sponsored listings”, which means in English that they are paid ads.

These blokes do have a sense of humor. One link, Starone Credit Union takes you to a page packed with links in New Jersey! So folks looking to get to the “real” Star One in Santa Clara are directed to banks, job searches, credit unions and more, about as far away from Sunnyvale as you can get. And this includes sites that offer rapid STD testing! The New Jersey page links say “ads by Google”, so it looks like the cash flow is moving here too. Are the many credit unions listed on some of these links paying for these ads? It appears so. Ironic, isn’t it, that the “real” Star One, would have to pay for an ad on a site using its original name, now owned by someone else. Big Jim is right again, always protect your name! Right now, the Brisbane Blokes are raking in a pile of dough because they were wide awake and moved fast to get a great name very cheaply from a dithering credit union. What was Star One thinking? And how does this look to someone trying to contact the “real” Star One in Sunneyvale to open an account?

Once again, tracking down the location of the main ISP is enlightening. The address for is a server farm in the Bahamas. Here, we find a multitude of websites being run off one IP. Many of their other websites are for sale. They are mostly “links” sites, organized by product categories with links to other sites. A few examples:

** – adult links, gay dating, xxxdating, etc.

** – adult dating links, nude girls, lesbian chat, adult online dating sites

** – girls hot, nude girls, hot sex, plumpes sex, sex dildos

**banat6 – arabix video, xxl video, Egypt Girl, Arabic Girls, Arab Six (Arabic for Sex?)

** – title tells all

** – links to spy software, password software, gold assay

** – a domain name for sale, and a really good one at that! I can’t believe they have had this since Nov. 2000. Great names like this are few and far between.

In theory, at least, the Brisbane Blokes should be taking in a lot of money from the click-throughs. The similarity of the and .org sites, although on different servers in the Bahamas might indicate a connection. Could the Brisbane Bloke be the same as the Nobby Beach Bloke? Or are these just some fun loving internet buccaneers who move in the same circles? There’s no telling, because they are hidden from view. They only come out of the fog briefly, just long enough to snag another good name, then retreat from sight behind walls of security.

The Premier America Credit Union – Another Domain Name Debacle

Premier America Credit Union was born out of the old 1950’s Litton Employees Federal Credit Union. This great credit union has 64,000 members and over 1 Billion in assets. It is a worthy place to put your money, as is Star One and Lockheed, and we urge you to support all these institutions with your money. If you want to strike a blow against the big banks, move your money now, then you can laugh when you see Jamie Dimon squirming in front of a Congressional Hearing. But Premier also has also felt the sting of the internet buccaneers, or maybe they haven’t noticed all the name follies going on around them for the last 12 years.

Premier decided to use the name for their credit union. This was in early internet days, December 18, 1995. Maybe they would have been better off keeping the name Litton, and using that with some other name that they could have connected to internet domains. From the get-go, Premier was stymied. The greatest of the names, was taken in the dim mists of the internet beginnings, March 1, 1993. This was grabbed by Premier Pet Products, and they are still using it today, 19 years later. “Your Pets, Our Passion” say these nice folks in Drums, Pennsylvannia. So the “real” Premier took, and figured that was all they needed. Just think about how many folks, in the last 19 years, typed in and ended up looking at pet products instead of a credit union? We’ll never know. Whooof, whooof. Meow, meow.

But as the years went by, the names they left behind started to get noticed. Well, most of them. Some are still floating out there, unbelievably not attached to a bouy. I found that is still available, 17 years after they created Also still hanging around is Hey, it’s a big ocean out there, even the buccaneer fleet can’t patrol everywhere. But the Internet Buccaneers did come sailing in near the shores of Fort, scooping out the rich clam beds right in front of them.

Oh, You Were Looking For a Credit Union? How About a String Bikini Instead?

In February 2004, some fun loving bunch, hidden behind a wall of security in downtown Los Angeles, California, discovered one of Premier’s unwanted step children, this called It is certainly puzzling that even though Premier has trademarked that very name, they forgot to get the domain. No worries, it’s being put to good use in the fashion business. Hit the website and you’ll find a lot of cool links. How about a job at McDonalds? Or Walmart? Or hey, Micro Bikini See Thru and Bikini String, Sheer Bikini, Mode Fashion, Women Fashion, and more. As their slogan at the top of the site says: “What you need, when you need it.”

Did The Internet Buccaneers Cut Their Teeth on Premier? The Panamanians Find A Treasure Floating on the Internet Ocean.

I call them the Panamanians because I don’t know who “they” are. They are hiding behind the walls of Fundacion Private Whois in Panama. Back in August of 2000, while patrolling the Internet Seas, they stumbled on to a treasure chest just floating out there. Opening it up, they discovered something valuable: This was one of the unprotected domain names from Premier America Credit Union. This might have been the lab they used for the credit union web page template. With a slight twist.

When you go to you are re-directed to Look at that carefully, Premier is misspelled as “Prmier” Why? Possibly because the “real” Premier America has trademarks: Premier America TM filed in August of 2001, and Premier America Credit Union TM filed in March, 2000, five months before the Panamanians snagged Maybe it was wiser to just use this as a holding page, and re-direct traffic to a similarly named site that is intentionally misspelled, and has a .com behind it. This site is also hosted in the Bahamas on a server farm.

The same brilliant website design page that is seen on all these morphing sites is here. An index page full of bank, credit union, and financial links. Click on these and you go to more links: more banks, search engines, finance and credit card sites. Go almost anywhere except where you might have intended to go in the first place. The “real” Premier America is having its potential customers directed elsewhere, all because they left their name unprotected and set adrift on the choppy, dangerous seas of the internet. All legal, you snooze and you looze, as they say on the street. If you were savvy, you could actually find Premier America Credit Union through those sites, if nothing else by using search engines that you can get to through the forest of links. But how many average folks are savvy? And so what, when you click on anything on the buccaneer’s websites, it’s “ka-ching, ka-ching” baby! They make their money on clicks, even yours. And even mine, come to think of it. How much did I put in their pockets while researching this article? Lordy, lordy…..

The Pompano Beach Internet Surfers Find a Treasure Chest, Too!

I’m calling them the Pompano Beach Surfers because I don’t know who they really are, so that’s as good a name as any. Imagine the surprise these boyz had, sailing and surfing the Internet Seas of the Spanish Main back in June of 2002, when they also discovered a treasure chest, just barely floating on the surface of the shallow waters. Something the Panamanians had missed on their patrol two years before. Opening the chest, they peered inside to find another unattached web site, don’t have to call these guys twice to the barbeque pit. They moved into the web space and set up shop. You see the same type of design as we have seen on the others, an index page with a lot of banking and finance links to click on, and clicking on these takes you to other pages packed with links that click-through to even more links. A blizzard of links, and the clicking sounds you hear might be sending a torrent of ad revenue to the Pompano Beach Internet Surfers, wherever they are, maybe into off-shore bank accounts. Although the registration was in Pompano Beach, Florida, the hosting is a server farm in the Bahamas.

The Pompano Beach Surfers snagged way back in 2002. Looking back at the name games at StarOne, we find that is fairly recent, created in April 2010 by the Brisbane Blokes. And looking even further back in archives, the Nobby Beach Boyz created back in November of 2008. So is one of the early creations, although the “senior” treasure here, possibly used as the template, so to speak, for more recent activities, was, created in August of 2000. A large part of this is speculation on my part, of course, because everyone involved is hiding behind walls of security around the world, and they probably aren’t eager to give any interviews.

So You Failed at Spelling? The Buccaneers Make Money Off That, Too!

You say you can’t spell? That’s OK, the internet buccaneers make money off that too! Looking through the web sites stashed on one of the Bahama I.P.s which hosts (which re-directs you to, the miss-spelled web name),I stumbled across a stash of website names that were miss-spelled. This is the secret port where the Panamanians dock, in the middle of the Caribbean. Sure, we could write this off to a foreigner’s ignorance of English. The dummies can’t even spell. You would be wrong about this, though. Firstly, although the .org is registered in Panama, it doesn’t mean that these guys are Panamanians, they might be blokes from the Land of Oz. Second, the miss-spellings are a deliberate ruse to direct those of us mortals who try to type in web sites although we didn’t graduate from grammar school.

Take a look at some of these gems, just a few: you all know about, right? The site with the great job ads, personal ads, and stuff for sale, all free? Well how about Or Clever, eh? One of these is a re-direct, actually taking you to the real craigslist. Is this paid for? Or just a public service from the Panamanian amigos? Then there’s for all you gmail lovers. And for those looking for their humble beginnings. Other things are hidden here, a hip hop stars site and, just to mention two. So keep being a bozo when you type in that website name, the internet buccaneers are making money from your mistakes.

What Would Edgar Allan Poe Say?

If you go to one of my favorite sites,, and look up the words “Ignes Fatui” you will find something that describes what you have just read. Poe was famous for using a lot of obscure words, and this Poe website has a dictionary of words and phrases to help you out. His expression in this case, fits perfectly the situation with the domain name games. Ignes Fatui means foolish light. This old term refers to the strange lights sometimes seen in swamps and marshes, caused when seeping methane gas self-ignites, creating flickering lights. To travelers, these lights could act as a dangerous lure, tricking them off the safe path and on to treacherous ground. As in old times, still true today. These faux credit union websites are like the strange lights in the swamp, luring the internet surfers who are looking for the path to a specific credit union site, beckoning them off the path into a swamp of links and confusing weeds, from which they may never come back to the sound road.

The Ultimate Question: Who Are These Guys? One Mastermind or a Gang of Fun-Loving Internet Buccaneers? The Criss-Cross of Clues.

I’ve asked around. Big Jim says I should contact the NSA, maybe they know who these mysterious guys are. The Brisbane Blokes, The Panamanians, the Nobby Beach Boyz, The Pompano Florida Surfers. Are they a group of fun-loving buccaneers, businessmen who may or may not know each other? Or is this entire matrix of domains shown in this article (and I may have only scratched the surface), the work of one true mastermind. A shadowy Mr. X, who travels between his digs in the Australian Gold Coast to the Bahamas to check on his server farms and maybe his off-shore accounts where the click-through ad revenue pours in? Then it’s on to the States, stop by to look things over, then maybe scoot down to Pompano Beach or Miami for a few days of sunshine, before jetting off to the UK. As one famous radio personality, Dave Emory, says often, this is all food for thought and grounds for further investigation. One tantalizing thing did pop up though. The IP address in the Bahamas,, which houses, is the same one for The battery of web sites housed are the same, just one big happy family. And residing there is the old web site that takes you to Although now holding forth in Luxembourg, is an old site, created way back in 1998 and was registered years ago by an Australian company, Could Mr. X be from the Land of Oz? A fun-loving, but hard bitten Aussie businessman like Rupert Murdoch, operating around the world in Luxembourg, Panama, Los Angeles, Pompano Beach, The Bahamas, Virginia, Brisbane and our favorite, Nobby Beach? Hiding behind walls of security and internet I.P.s world-wide, a true modern-day internet buccaneer? We may never find out.

These often wild internet name games at times seem not only incomprehensible, but totally incredible. I can only say that if you don’t believe me about all this, these complicated tales of the domain name games, you could ask Big Jim about it.

If he were talking.

Which he ain’t.