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Honolulu Lite

CHARLES MEMMINGER

Wednesday, August 8, 2001


Avast, matey!
The mayor is a
cyber-pirate

Mayor Jeremy Harris was doing everything right in his quest for governor until he revealed himself as a cyber punk.

The mayor has gotten pretty good at suppressing his tendency toward geekiness, but there's something about the Internet that causes dormant geek genes to come to life.

We're talking about Harris' shabby pirating of Web site addresses that rightfully belong to his campaign foes, Republican Party head Linda Lingle and Old Boys Club Party head Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono.

As reported by Star-Bulletin writer Tim Ruel this week, a local research firm with ties to the Harris campaign snuck out and registered the Web addresses MazieHirono.com and Lingle2002.com.

(News Alert! We interrupt this column to bring you this news flash: UH President Evan Dobelle proposes university scientists purchase DNA from Tiger Woods and clone an entire university golf team.)

Harris may say that he has nothing to do with his buddies snagging those Web addresses, but that won't wash. If Harris said, "Release those sites, you're making me look bad," the matter would be closed. But the geek gene is a powerful stimulus. Picture a pimply-faced 14-year-old Harris running for class president, urging his computer club pals to sabotage his opponent's Web site.

(News Alert! UH President Evan Dobelle unveils plan to put a space station in geosynchronous orbit over Manoa to move the university "into the forefront of space exploration among institutions of higher learning.")

Harris has been using his mayorship to run for governor, opening parks and speaking to any group that will take him. Hirono, in contrast, has been riding her lieutenant governorship into the political oblivion that office demands. Lingle's been pulling in money if not hand-over-fist, then certainly high-five-over-shaka-sign. But the point is that Harris is in the driver's seat. This isn't a time to be petty and churlish. Becoming a cybersquatter is not only unnecessary, it hints that he feels that he has to resort to dirty tricks to win.

(News Alert! UH President Evan Dobelle says the university will attempt to patent the color blue and copyright the word "the." "Do you have any idea how much money we will bring into our programs when own these intellectual properties?")

I have some experience with cyber piracy, having been accused of it in federal court. A guy in San Francisco tried to take my Web site, nomayo.com, home of the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club. The judge ruled I was not a cyber pirate, because I obtained the Web address first for a legitimate purpose.

Harris might as well pull on an eye patch and perch a parrot on his shoulder because there is no doubt he is a cyber pirate. And everyone knows a pirate always has to go down with his ship.

(News Alert! UH President Evan Dobelle uses library overdue book fund to buy Harvard University to house the Way Way East Manoa Campus.)




Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail cmemminger@starbulletin.com.



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