Rand Paul reportedly had to pay $100,000 for his campaign website

RTR4WK36Reuters/Joel PageSen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

A domain name company reportedly scored a big payout from Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) presidential campaign, potentially for the rights to Paul’s official website.

According to the National Journal, the Kentucky senator shelled out over $US100,000 for a “domain name” several days before his official website, RandPaul.com was launched. Federal Election Committee receipts reportedly show that Paul’s Senate reelection campaign paid $US100,980 to the hosting website Escrow.com in the days before his official announcement.

According to the National Journal report, RandPaul.com was previously home to a fan site dedicated to Paul as late as March, but had been put up for sale in late 2014 for $US125,000.

The practice of scooping up domain names for important figures and businesses has become commonplace. “Cyber-squatters” often scoop up domain names before candidates themselves can, later charging candidates exorbitant prices for the right to buy the name back. Buying a domain name specifically for the case of profiting is technically illegal, though cybersquatters can easily skirt existing laws, according to Slate.

Domain name squatting has also become a prime place for high-profile trolling of presidential candidates. On Tuesday, Carly Fiorina attempted to make light of CarlyFiorina.org, a site that criticises for former Hewlett-Packard CEO for thousands of layoffs during her tenure.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) online launch was also marred by TedCruz.com, which urges visitors to support President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Cruz has passionately argued against Obama’s immigration policies.

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