Caught in the Web

IT was a minor plot point in a recent edition of "Law & Order," but it seemed worth checking out, particularly if you were watching with one eye on the screen and the other on your laptop. A lawyer gone bad had created a Web site called covertcops.com ...

Type, type. Did the site really exist?

Bing! Something came up. But instead of some sort of lame tag to the NBC show, it promised naked pictures of what appeared to be very young Ukrainian women. Nothing to do with "Law & Order," although I'm pretty sure the law could get involved if I ordered something from the site.

Backspace. Rather quickly. There are kids in the house.

The next day, I checked into the domain name registrations at the big Internet database called WHOIS. It seems that the domain name had been registered before 11 p.m. on the East Coast - that is, within an hour of its airing. Quick action, and quick thinking. Somebody is closely monitoring the airwaves, and it isn't the guardians of public decency. Rather, it's the panderers to prurience.

There's a buck to be made off of such quick response time, maybe enough bucks to elevate the hustlers of Ukrainian teens into presidential tax-break levels.

More to the point, whenever a TV show creates a false Web site, they should register it themselves. It can be done cleverly as a spoof, or straight, as an advertisement for the show it's linked to. It's a marketing asset. Or it can simply be registered and kept off the market.

Otherwise, it's free advertising for people with whom the TV show's producers would never want to be associated.

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