A brief history of Sex.com: all crime, no sex.A snip from Violet Blue's San Francisco Chronicle column today on the dark history behind one of the web's most infamous domains:
The only thing missing from the Sex.com story is a dead stripper found with a rubber alligator lodged in her throat -- though, by all estimates, to add this to the URL's outrageous legacy wouldn't be a huge shocker. It would only be adding some sex to the mix -- especially considering the Sex.com story includes a fugitive seized by U.S. marshals, hard-luck convicted felons hiding millions in Mexican shrimp farms and strip clubs, the fugitive's daughter caught smuggling over 200 pounds of pot, one multimillionaire dot-com scammer speed fiend with a Stanford MBA, a bizarre bid to buy Caesars Palace and a recent Tijuana gangland-style assassination attempt on a lawyer (nicknamed "The Toad") that left a Mexican cabbie and a 4-year-old boy wounded.Link
Like mobile-home scammers in Florida and billboard plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, URL grifters are part of the sleazy yet entertaining Bay Area tech-industry zoo. And so when a guy like Gary Kremen snags URLs like Match.com and Sex.com and dabbles in brokering far-reaching Web page patents and "Internet consulting" while (according to a 2005 CNN interview) working on a nice speed habit, he just sort of blends in with the rest of the money-grubbing, VC-chasing dot-com herd. Like most startup cowboys, Kremen sat on the Sex.com URL as an undeveloped property -- until a con man named Stephen M. Cohen came along and swindled VeriSign/Network Solutions out of Sex.com with fast talk and forgeries.
Previously on BoingBoing:
• Sex.com: a url worth dying for?
• Sex.com sells for over $14M,"adult social network" to follow
• Sex.com's CEO is suing Yahoo
• Verisign will have to pay for sex.com mistake
• High-tech companies need high-tech lawyers.
• More on sex.com in the BoingBoing archives
posted by Xeni Jardin