Pauline Hanson’s One Nation may lose website names registered ahead of Indigenous Voice referendum campaign

A pre-emptive strike by One Nation to register dozens of website addresses that could be used in the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum campaign has backfired, with several of the party’s new acquisitions set to be suspended.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson declared last Friday her party would become the face of the “no” vote in a referendum that could give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people greater constitutional representation.

She said her campaign snatched up 46 website domains, including five that closely match ulurustatement.org, a website address already used by First Nations Australians and supporters of a constitutionally recognised First Nations Voice.

“The ‘yes’ campaign is ill-defined and ill-prepared, not even having the foresight to register the domain names we will use to good effect,” Ms Hanson said.

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Some of these websites, registered in bulk by Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and One Nation’s Queensland division, included voicetoparliament.org.au and ulurustatement.com.au.

The practice of registering multiple domain names is known as cyber-squatting and can be used to help maximise search engine traffic.

However, One Nation’s endeavour has fallen foul of the entity responsible for licensing Australian domains, the .au Domain Administration (auDA).

The domain licence administrator, which was made aware of the websites after the ABC uncovered 37 domains that appeared to be registered to One Nation, will suspend several of One Nation’s domains containing a .au address.

It is unclear how many domains will be taken down but auDA policy stipulates entities must typically have a “close and substantial connection” to their registered .au domain name. For example, the domain must match the name they are known by or a service they offer.

“The rules contain strict criteria that registrants must meet to hold their domain name,” an auDA spokesperson said.

“Where registrants are found not to have met the requirements of the .au licensing rules, a .au domain name may be suspended or cancelled by auDA.”

The ABC was able to locate 23 domains linked to One Nation’s opposition to a Voice to Parliament with a .au address.

It found another 14 that had their ownership details redacted, but domain records showed they were registered by a Queensland entity at almost the exact same time as the others on August 2 and shared similar website address names.

None of the domains had active websites.

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