School district considers lawsuit against cybersquatter

Web surfers were surprised to open up recently and find graphic pictures of aborted fetuses. So was the Minneapolis Public School District.

District officials were notified of the site June 30 when a resident surfing online for school information came across it and contacted school board members. The anti-abortion site has no affiliation with the district, officials said, and they are considering legal action to get the name of the site changed.

“While this may seem to be a clever way to get more people to inadvertently read their material, we are disturbed that families who are looking for information on our school district may somehow associate Minneapolis Public Schools with the material and opinions presented on this site,” said David Jennings, the district’s chief operating officer.

Thomas Fitch is director of the organization He said his group does not own the domain name and does not know who does, even though the site directs viewers to his web site. He said it’s not uncommon for some of the group’s supporters to buy domain names and point them to the site.

“We’re not going to do anything to stop it from happening,” Fitch said. “It’s great for us—more traffic, more exposure. It’s not hurting us.”

Fitch said he is not worried about young children who are looking for school information happening upon his site. Children are already bombarded with immorality and sexual information from television, magazines, and billboards, he said.

“So if a child sees our site—good!” he said. “Let them get a taste of the truth. Like a drop of honey in a bucket of manure.”

The legitimate web address for Minneapolis schools is

Fitch’s site has run into legal trouble in the past. Since it began in 1998, has been the target of about 16 lawsuits. Planned Parenthood and the Brookings Institution have sued the group for using their titles in domain names, a practice knows as “cybersquatting.” In those lawsuits, the group gave up the domain names before it reached court.

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