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Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain 680

Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site,, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."


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Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain

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  • Use ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drewzhrodague ( 606182 ) <> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:57AM (#32496852) Homepage Journal
    Y'know, this guy can make back his $90 and then some by putting ads on the site. The PD must have already setup links everywhere, all he has to do it set it up, sit back, and collect a check. What are the chances this guy will be sued?
  • by WilyCoder ( 736280 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:57AM (#32496856)

    Awesome! I tip my hat to this dude, nice one...

  • by Leebert ( 1694 ) * on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:59AM (#32496896)

    It's gonna be a real bummer for him when he gets stopped for speeding, he acts "suspicious", they search his car, and then they just happen to "find" some cocaine in the trunk.

  • Concerns about privacy are serious and stuff, but is this guy just seems like he's throwing a 4-year hissy fit about being scolded by his mommy.

    The guy broke the law (probably) and was observed in a public space doing so. It's not like they put a camera in his residence.
    • Not everyone agrees with current speed laws, he's protesting the way he thinks is best. Personally, I think he's right.

    • by mea37 ( 1201159 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:12PM (#32497096)

      Traffic law enforcement is a complicated issue in my mind. I don't have a lot of sympathy for speeders who don't like paying speeding tickets, but I do think there's a reason that speeding is the only moving violation you really see enforced these days (and I don't think "safety" has much to do with it).

      That aside, there are lots of things wrong with typical camera-enforcement schemes. They tend to be operated by private firms who profit off of the tickets. (This is a bigger problem with red-light cameras, because light timings can be manipulated for revenue-genration purposes, but I digress...)

      Also, they usually don't even try to prove who's driving. For example, here in St. Louis County, a camera-enforced ticket is a non-moving violation. It's like a parking ticket - the ticket is against the vehicle, not the driver. They don't try to prove who's driving and they don't care - the owner of the vehicle gets the ticket. This also means no points on the license; the "enforcement" is purely monitary.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dragooner ( 1808336 )
        It is safety. The faster you go the higher the risk of fatality in an accident.

        The U.S. Department of transportation's Federal Highway Administration review research on traffic speed in 1998.[19] The summary states:

        * That the evidence shows that the risk of having a crash is increased both for vehicles traveling slower than the average speed, and for those traveling above the average speed.
        * That the risk of being injured increases exponentially with speeds much faster than the median spee
        • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:47PM (#32497758) Homepage

          Except that red-light cameras do not have any effect on driver safety, but they do cause a *large* numbers of rear-end collisions. (I've seen claims that they increase the chances of a rear end collision anywhere between 200% and 800%). See this [] for an explanation of how camera proponents lie with statistics.

        • by harl ( 84412 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:22PM (#32498508)

          Your evidence contradicts your premise.

          Your evidence clearly states everyone going really fast is just as safe as everyone going really slow. It also states that not speeding can be dangerous.

          Also your evidence doesn't even address fatalities yet your premise mentions it.

    • by MaerD ( 954222 )
      I find it funny, but do agree. This does smack of being the wrong reaction.
      On the other hand, regarding the speed cameras: Just like the red light cameras most jurisdictions classify it as a "civil" penalty with a much lower burden of proof than a criminal charge. Most times it doesn't even make a visual record of who was driving the car, and if you can't provide who "may have been" driving it, you're stuck with the ticket because they don't have to prove the registered owner of the car was the person dri
  • What a schmuck. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Improv ( 2467 )

    Domain hijacking isn't cute, particularly for something so petty as a parking ticket.

    I wonder why the city had a .com to begin with - it would've been more appropriate to have a .us or .gov

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by B'Trey ( 111263 )

      This isn't domain hijacking. Hijacking is when you impersonate the legitimate owner to have the domain transferred, use some sort of DNS poisoning attack to redirect the traffic to an alternate site or use some other nefarious method to deprive the legitimate owner of the use of the domain. The domain owner allowed the domain to expire. McCrary purchased it legally and legitimately. No high jacking involved.

    • by Jonboy X ( 319895 ) <jonathan DOT oex ... DOT wpi DOT edu> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:30PM (#32497456) Journal

      It's a .com because speed traps are commercial revenue generation schemes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )

      He didn't hijack a domain, he bought one when ii became legitimately availably. He didn't pretend to be the owner and get the details change.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumRiff ( 120817 )

      I think the police department having a commercial domain (.com) is more than telling of their priorities...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I wonder why the city had a .com to begin with - it would've been more appropriate to have a .us or .gov

      Well, since the police became a tool for revenue generation, it would seem that .com is highly appropriate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by 6031769 ( 829845 )

      It isn't hijacking if the previous owners let it lapse, it's just recycling.

  • by Wrexs0ul ( 515885 ) <.moc.eninkcar. .ta. .reiemm.> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:04PM (#32496974) Homepage

    I think that's hilarious and in a true 1980's movie fashion the police would bungle stealing it back, fess-up to getting caught, the commissioner would step-in, and everyone would have a good laugh. ...Or, in 2000's fashion he'll be marked as a terrorist and in the cross hairs of watch-list databases for the next decade.

    Don't screw with the cops man, at best it's a College frat gone bad. However technically right you may be this is playing with fire while surrounded by dynamite.


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Feyshtey ( 1523799 )
      It might be playing with fire, but it's worth it to point out that we rely on people putting their own ass on the line to ensure we dont all end up in the fire.

      I'm not suggesting that this particular case is the best example. However, if the cops are overstepping their authority and infringing on the rights of citizens, I damn well hope there's a Mr. McCrary willing to nut up and talk about it.
  • This guy spent $80 on the domain name and website after his $90 ticket...
  • Police, Inc.? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:18PM (#32497226) Homepage

    Is the Police Department now a commercial entity? Why do they buy and privately operate a .com name?

    The police is a branch of the government. For security and trust alone, they should have a .gov in order to avoid being impersonated. And this couldn't have happened either.

  • I used to hate the idea of speed cameras until I saw how they were slowing traffic on a major street near my home. Now I wish they'd install them on my street. Maybe I could walk across the street without taking my life in my hands. Don't want a ticket? Then slow the f*ck down!

  • In addition to this story, I also read about another "somewhat related" story where another municipality had a 20+% decline in ticket revenues from the previous year. They are blaming some new software installed on their police network indicating that it is so slow and cumbersome that it decreases the number of tickets that can be issued by a single officer in a day.

    While this story might give further cause to grin or giggle, I have to take issue with the use of the word "revenue" in conjunction with the p

  • NMA (Score:4, Informative)

    by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:38PM (#32497580) Journal

    Make driving laws about safety and engineering, not revenue creation.

    Join the NMA [].

  • Step 2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:54PM (#32497918)
    Buy all sorts of iterations of Bluff City PD to make it veritably impossible to get their web presensce back. This is actually a funny, passive aggressive prank and it will teach the police a lesson about responsibility. Citizens still have some freedoms and Brian McCrary did absolutely nothing wrong!
  • by Odinson ( 4523 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:32PM (#32498688) Homepage Journal
    Kinda like testing a banking program for buffer overflows by sequentially adding incremental sums. Doesn't reflect real life risk. Want actual safety? Real simple. Send a bug report in for every single crash. Every crash earns someone a point ticket (or several). There are no accidents, only errors and oversights. Either equipment failed or somebody overestimated. Ticket! Use bad judgment AND break a rule? Two tickets. Know yourself and your vehicle, or pay the price.

Keep up the good work! But please don't ask me to help.