X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The first prosecution under a new law designed to prevent the use of misleading Internet addresses to lure children to pornographic sites was announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney James B. Comey. John Zuccarini, 53, was charged with violating a provision of the new Amber Alert legislation because he allegedly used Web addresses that switched or omitted letters of popular teen or children’s sites such as DisneyLand or Teletubbies in order to steer unsuspecting youths to porn sites. The sites are designed to be technically difficult to exit as well, prosecutors said. Speaking at an afternoon news conference, Comey said Zuccarini had created a “cybermaze” designed to prey on children. “Few of us could imagine there was someone out there in cyberspace, essentially reaching out by hand to take children to the seediest corners of the Internet,” he said. Arrested in a Hollywood, Fla., hotel room, Zuccarini was charged with one count of 18 U.S.C. � 2252B, which was passed in April as an amendment to the Truth in Domain Names statute. Subsection (a) of the new law makes it a crime to knowingly use a “misleading domain name on the Internet with the intent to deceive a person into viewing material constituting obscenity.” It calls for a prison sentence of up to two years. Zuccarini was charged under subsection (b) of the new law, which makes it a crime to use “a misleading domain name on the Internet to deceive a minor into viewing material that is harmful to minors on the Internet.” It carries a prison sentence of up to four years. In the complaint filed Wednesday, Robert Fraterrigo, an inspector with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, said Zuccarini registered more than 3,000 misleading domain names. Fraterrigo said a number of Web site operators have brought actions against Zuccarini, and that the Federal Trade Commission informed him that arbitration panels had found against him in at least 98 of more than 100 proceedings. The same has held true in court actions filed to stop Zuccarini from using misleading domain names. In a 2000 deposition in an Eastern District of Pennsylvania case, Shields v. Zuccarini, 2000-CV-00494, Fraterrigo said, Zuccarini essentially admitted that he intentionally used misspelled domain names and was paid between 10 cents and 25 cents for every time a visitor to one of his Web sites accessed a site he was promoting. He also admitted, the agent said, to fixing his sites so that a visitor would be confronted with numerous pop-up screens and could not exit unless they knew a “specific technique” for doing so. The Federal Trade Commission obtained a temporary restraining order against Zuccarini in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2001 that enjoined him from redirecting and obstructing customers on the Web and ordered him to dismantle several Web sites. In all, the agent said, the Federal Trade Commission claims Zuccarini had lost 53 state and federal lawsuits and has been stripped of approximately 200 Web sites. Fraterrigo said he used a computer in the Southern District to access 41 of the Zuccarini-controlled Web sites over two days in May. Sites which advertised a connection to “Bob The Builder,” Britney Spears and others, landed him on sites such as “HANKY-PANKY-COLLEGE.com.” Comey’s office said Zuccarini made as much as $1 million a year from the scheme. “We cannot imagine a better way for this law to be used for the first time,” he said. Zuccarini was arraigned in Florida Wednesday. He is expected to appear again in court Friday for a bail hearing, at which he is expected to be appointed counsel. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.