#CyberFLASH: Liberal cabinet minister Dominic LeBlanc loses control of website

dominic-leblanc-website-domain-sale-siteHe’s one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most trusted cabinet ministers, responsible for keeping control of the government’s agenda.

However, Liberal House leader Dominic LeBlanc’s office has been left scrambling after it accidentally lost control of the minister’s own website domain.

LeBlanc’s right to the domain dominicleblanc.ca, which has been his internet showcase for a decade, expired earlier this year after the company he had been dealing with failed to renew its registration.

On July 20, a mystery purchaser bought the rights to LeBlanc’s domain name and promptly put it up for sale.

Googling LeBlanc’s website now brings visitors to a generic site featuring links to ads from keywords like “wrestling,” “government of Canada” and “Stephen Harper.”

Up until Friday morning, when CBC News began to ask questions, the site also included a link to Sedo.com, which listed LeBlanc’s domain name for sale and invited visitors to make an offer.

The anonymous seller, identified only as “Israel” and “active since 2007,” listed a minimum offer of $90 US for the website, which was advertised as getting 117 visitors per month.

While Sedo.com general counsel Jeremiah Johnston said his company’s privacy policies prohibited it from identifying the mystery seller, he said his company removed the offer of sale from its site after it realized the domain name was linked to a prominent Canadian politician.

“We have terms of use that make it very clear the kinds of domains that are appropriate or not for our services, and when you’re getting into people’s names and especially famous politicians, that’s not appropriate for our services.”

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