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Perpetrator Eugene Kashpureff called it "a protest." For twenty-four hours on July 14, Internet users attempting to register a domain name (like "" or "") with Net registrar InterNIC found themselves not at "" but at "," the site of Kashpureff's own company.

Why was InterNIC the victim in this daring switcheroo? Some history: InterNIC started passing out such virtual real estate as an exclusive agreement with the National Science Foundation, back when the Net was strictly for academics and government types.

Well, the Internet name game is big money now "" recently sold for $150,000 and a growing cadre of Netizens see InterNIC's monopoly as a rude stomp in the public domain.

Enter Kashpureff and his stunt. After snagging the attendant publicity, AlterNIC's founder fled his Washington state home, went underground, eventually apologizing for the traffic hijacking and settling with NSI, InterNIC's parent corporation.

But that wasn't enough for the FBI's Computer Crime Unit, who wanted Kashpureff on wire fraud and nabbed him in Toronto Monday. He is currently being detained in an airport detention center awaiting a deportation hearing.

Martyr, anyone? The Netly News on the Kashpureff saga