Cybersquatter has change of heart

Last updated 09:29 07/03/2008

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The internet address OzJet wanted, but would not pay for – www.ozjet.co.nz – is now free for the airline's use, after a dramatic change of heart by reformed cybersquatter Jeff Twigge.

A contrite Mr Twigge, of Palmerston North, said he raised money, which he then donated to charity, by buying and selling domain names.

He has now quit the practice and issued a public apology for causing offence.

In the case of OzJet, Mr Twigge registered www.ozjet.co.nz two days after the Australian airline announced that it would start trans- Tasman flights involving Palmerston North.

Mr Twigge initially asked for $5000, then tried to get OzJet to fly a terminally ill child and his or her family to Dreamworld in Australia, all expenses paid.

He now says the means to achieving the desired end caused upset and he crossed the line in terms of ethics, though the practice is legal.

He also believes he let down the Christian community by saying one thing and doing another.

Mr Twigge said his conscience was pricked when he read a passage in 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, from the Bible (King James version). "Extortioners", listed among various kinds of people who would not inherit the kingdom of God, "leapt off the page".

He had previously justified the practice of buying and selling domain names as modern-day Robin Hood behaviour.

He now realised he had it wrong. "This all blew up last week. I'm a Christian, but I probably haven't walked the walk. I screwed up."

All proceeds went to various charities, he said. He would not name the charities, nor specify how many domain names he had acquired.

OzJet was unavailable to comment.

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- Manawatu Standard

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