A reader who obviously knows ALOT more about computers than I, emails this information about the anonymous registration of mattzabel.com. This registration led some to imply that the Thune staffer was planning a run for office:
The "mattzabel.com" domain name controversy caught my attention and I thought I'd do some research. In looking at the page headers from the rncc.org Web site, I receive:
HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 20:10:01 GMT
When I go to "mattzabel.com", the site quickly redirects to the nrcc.org Web site, but returns these page headers:
HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 20:07:49 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.31 (Unix) mod_pointer/0.8 PHP/4.3.2
X-Redirected-By: mod_pointer - http://stderr.net/mod_pointer/
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
(You can try this yourself at http://www.hashemian.com/tools/browser-simulator.htm)
Notice how mattzabel.com's hosting service uses a Unix/Apache server rncc.org uses a Microsoft server? Kind of odd for the "same" Web site.
Also, I researched "X-Redirected-By: "mod_pointer"" and found that it is (from the author's web site at http://stderr.net/mod_pointer/) "an Apache module for making domain redirects easy - the known service of many hosting providers that lets a domain point to your webpage on another server.
That's precisely what is happening.
Someone registered the name 'mattzabel.com" (anonymously) and redirected people from mattzabel.com to the rncc.org Web site.
Without that knowledge, we're supposed to draw the logical conclusion that "mattzabel.com" was registered by the NRCC for Mr. Zabel.
But, why would Mr. Zabel, possibly running for public office, become shy about having his name listed as the registrant for MATTZABEL.com? Why would the NRCC go to the effort to make the domain registration anonymous, yet point the domain to their Web site for identification? Why sign up for redirection services on GoDaddy.com when the NRCC could have easily set up the domain using their own Web hosting company?
I believe someone found a clever, and nearly-perfect way to "tie up" a candidate's domain name so they're unable to use it, AND imply an association between Mr. Zabel and the RNCC.
I also suspect that posting this information will cause the mattzabel.com link to RNCC will mysteriously "disappear" in the near future.