Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet

NSI Registers Every Domain Checked 668

Posted by kdawson
from the that's-why-they-are-the-front-runner dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a developing story, registrar Network Solutions has been caught front-running domain names. Any domain names searched via NSI's whois are being immediately purchased by the registrar, thereby preventing a registrant from purchasing the domain at any other registrar. There are multiple reports of this practice over at DomainState.com." Update: 01/09 01:58 GMT by KD : shashib writes to let us know that NSI has issued a response to the accusations of front running.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NSI Registers Every Domain Checked

Comments Filter:
  • Any way to... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:33PM (#21958374) Homepage Journal
    ...automate requests with a dictionary? Make them bankrupt themselves purchasing bogus domains?

    • uselessdomain00001.com
      uselessdomain00002.com
      uselessdomain00003.com
      uselessdomain00004.com...
    • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:36PM (#21958430) Journal

      I was just about to post that ;) Best idea ever.... quoting this [domainstate.com] from DomainState.com: someone could totally script this and run there credit through the roof with the registry hahahahaha.

      Assuming it costs them SOMETHING (even pennies) to register a domain with the central registry then I think this is an absolutely awesome idea. I'll run such a script if someone writes it. In fact maybe I'll write one myself, because screwing over NSI sounds like a much better way to spend my afternoon then doing anything productive ;)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:40PM (#21958510)
        In fact maybe I'll write one myself, because screwing over NSI sounds like a much better way to spend my afternoon then doing anything productive ;)

        You must work for the government.
      • by kmac06 (608921) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:51PM (#21958740)
        Screwing over NSI is productive!
      • by Burz (138833)
        ...would probably help: http://www.poemsthatgo.com/gallery/winter2004/jabber/index.htm [poemsthatgo.com]

      • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:11PM (#21959134)

        Assuming it costs them SOMETHING (even pennies) to register a domain with the central registry then I think this is an absolutely awesome idea. I'll run such a script if someone writes it. In fact maybe I'll write one myself, because screwing over NSI sounds like a much better way to spend my afternoon then doing anything productive ;)

        If you can't write that in under three lines in the scripting language of your choice, you officially lose your nerd card. ;)

      • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Informative)

        by djtack (545324) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:13PM (#21959154)
        Here ya go... One thing, I noticed NSI stops registering domains after about 50 or so.

        #!/usr/bin/perl

        $count = $ARGV[0] || 8;
        @charlist = (A .. Z, a .. z, 0 .. 9);

        while (1) {
        my $domain = "";
        foreach $i (1 .. $count) {

        $word = `dd bs=1 count=4 if=/dev/random 2> /dev/null`;

        $number = unpack I1, $word;
        $number = $number / 2**32;
        $number *= scalar @charlist;
        $number = int $number;

        $domain .= $charlist[$number];
        }

        print `whois -h whois.networksolutions.com $domain.com`;
        sleep 2;
        }
        • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:49PM (#21959792)
          Or if you prefer Ruby...

          #!/usr/bin/env ruby -w
          require 'rubygems'
          require "mechanize"
           
          search_form = WWW::Mechanize.new.get("http://www.networksolutions.com/").forms.first
          search_field = search_form.fields.name("domainNames").first
          1.upto 10 do |i|
            puts search_field.value = "netsol-sucks-#{'x'*i}.com"
            search_form.submit
          end
        • Re:Any way to... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:13PM (#21960180) Homepage Journal
          So if you're domain-shopping, the obvious method is to build a loop like this, and tack your real request somewhere at the back end.

          Then when they get wise to that, and start queuing requests, checking the first N and the last N, you need a back-end loop, as well.
        • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:25PM (#21960436)
          Just tried 3 domain names. The 1st and 3rd domain name, I used their website search feature. They snagged those 2 up quick. The second domain I searched, I did a "whois -h whois.networksolutions.com ..." and they did not snatch up that domain name. Apparently, they are only snatching searched made through their website interface.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by HappyDrgn (142428)
        Here ya go...

        for i in `cat somefile.txt`
        do
        wget http://www.nsi.com/whois/results.jsp?domain=$1 [nsi.com]
        done
      • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Informative)

        by wdr1 (31310) * <(moc.xobop) (ta) (1rdw)> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:56PM (#21960958) Homepage Journal
        You both missed a very key point: they're not paying these domains.

        The simply reserve them using a registrar's 5 day grace period & if nobody buys the domain from Network Solution for 5 days, they simply release the reserve. I.e., it's available again to the general public.

        It's something a registrar can do, that you & I can't. Basically, a loophole that a few trusted companies in the system are exploiting for profit.

        This came up a big back when a registrar would "try" domains, to see if the type-in traffic made more than the cost of registering. (E.g., by using Google's DomainPark [google.com] for Domain Squatters.)

        The President of GoDaddy wrote about it a little over a year ago:

        http://www.bobparsons.com/DomainKiting.html [bobparsons.com].

        One registrar in particular, DirectNIC, "registered" 8.4 million domains but only permanently registered -- i.e. paid for -- 51,400.

        Overall, I'm with you in spirit of screwing bastards like this over, but it seems the only way to do so is close the loophole in the system.

        -Bill
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rk (6314)

          Yeah, you guys are thinking about this the wrong way. Instead of just costing them money, figure out how you can profit from it:

          whois CHAMP-MITCHELL-OWES-RK-FROM-SLASHDOT-TEN-BILLION-USD.COM

          Champ Mitchell is the CEO of Network Solutions, and according to this domain name which they registered, fair and square, apparently he owes me some money. I'll try to be magnanimous and settle for just one percent.

        • Re:Any way to... (Score:4, Informative)

          by sp3d2orbit (81173) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @06:53AM (#21966610)
          Disclaimer, I worked at a registrar some years ago, not NSI, one of their competitors. As such, I would never advocate anyone scripting lookup information. However, I did have some observations about the approach.

          It may not cost them any money for the domain, but the whole process costs some pennies. There are bandwidth costs, obviously. Not just to the user doing the lookup but between the registrar and their data centers, and the central registry. Harddisk costs for data, logs, analysis, etc.

          A larger cost would be in their database. NS only has ~6.6 million domains under registry. Adding a few hundred thousand domains (even for a few days) could cause some serious indexing and performance issues.

          With all these scripted domains coming in it will mess up any advertising models they have setup. Also, if they haven't been very, very careful, you could trick them into buying the domain by doing a recheck every couple of days. Waiting until the very last second to check the name again may be more than their system is setup to handle.

          Like I've said please don't script them. Knowledge should never be used to maintain the balance of power. Those in authority always have your best interests at heart. When those who love you appear to abuse you it is for your own good. Don't fight the man. Etc, etc, etc.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Z00L00K (682162)
            I would advocate for scripting in client-side javascript on your homepages. The script shall only do a few calls (at most 10) using some random names.

            This will cause a random distributed load and make it very hard to track if the requests are valid or not. Especially if a JavaScript timer is used to allow for a delay between each request, which will cause the request to look like it's an ordinary user doing it.

    • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ergo98 (9391) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:39PM (#21958500) Homepage Journal

      Make them bankrupt themselves purchasing bogus domains?

      I doubt they're making any financial commitment "purchasing" these domains. They're simply putting in a database record, and then removing it within the 5-day grace period (thus removing any liability to any other registrars).
      • by linumax (910946) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:32PM (#21960588)
        Found it here [domainnamewire.com].

        "This is a customer protection measure to protect customers from frontrunners," said Wade. "After four days, we release the domain." According to Wade, Network Solutions instituted this program as a test over the past few weeks. I asked if Network Solutions is actually acting as a frontrunner by doing this and she said there's a distinction. First, they are not monetizing the domains. Second, they have no intention of keeping the domains. All domains are released after the four day period.
        IMHO, bullshit.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mr_mischief (456295)
          Considering that most people check a few then register the one they like best out of those available it's detrimental to business to make those people wait four days, isn't it? The frontrunners would be more likely to script up a batch every day of the results from four days ago than the individuals would be to come back and register something NSI took off the available list.

          It's also poor practice for NSI to keep me from searching on NSI then deciding to register with GoDaddy, Register.com, Dotster, or SRS
          • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @06:41PM (#21961770) Homepage Journal
            Its a lie. if you check Ihaveabigprick.com and its available, 2 days later Joe Schmoe from Poughkeepsie can come along and register it, provided he does it at NetSol. It will show up as unavailable elsewhere, but available at NetSol.

            So, this does nothing to protect you from having your domain registered out from under you provided the other person uses NetSol. The only one it protects is NetSol from having you decide to register it elsewhere with a registrar who doesn't charge NetSol's ripoff price. It's a "feature" solely to benefit NetSol at the EXPENSE of everyone else. Slimy fuckers that they have always been.

        • Lessor of two evils? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rs79 (71822)
          " IMHO, bullshit."

          Well... hang on and think about it for a second. In a perfect world if you look up a domain it remains available. But this is not a perfect world, we have ICANN instead.

          My first reaction when reading TFA was "no way. they can't be".

          But I see their point. With over a hundred registrars, many of them just squatters who want to get domains for the wholesale price of $6, it does appear ot be true that if you look up a domain at NSI you are still able to purchase it.

          Compare this to some other
    • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by glpierce (731733) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:47PM (#21958652) Homepage
      They won't lose any money (that's the whole point of "tasting", isn't it?), but that doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt them. If someone made a script that would search for every possible domain (up to say, 50 characters in length), no other registrar would be able to sell anything. There are enough competitors with enough money and enough at stake to pressure ICANN to take action if that happened. They could also theoretically sue NSI for attempting to create a monopoly (I assume there's some law it would break). Of course, that assumes that NSI doesn't pull the plug quickly enough.
    • by suso (153703) * on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:03PM (#21958956) Homepage Journal
      Here, use this:

      http://support.suso.org/dns/saferdomainlookup.php [suso.org]

      I wrote it a few months ago after these types of issues started coming up. I provide some transparency so that you can have confidence in trusting it. Of course, you can always use command line whois or DNS tools.
    • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:12PM (#21959142) Homepage Journal
      Make them bankrupt themselves in court. Instead of random names, use a dictionary of trademarks, politician's names, law firm names, etc. Get Network Solutions to register authenticdisneymerchandise.com, applemultimediacomputers.com, deweycheathamandhowelimited.com, advicefrommichaelmukasey.org, etc. Then write a letter of appreciation to Disney, about how grateful you are that they're selling Mickey Mouse porn so cheaply.
      • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:14PM (#21959186) Homepage Journal
        I can't believe I forgot the best one. Don't forget Scientology. religioustechnologycenterlicensing.com is a great domain name. Network Solutions should snatch it up at once.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Sloppy (14984)
          Dammit. Network Solutions says religioustechnologycenterlicensing.com is available, but godaddy says it's taken. Oh well. I guess I should write the Religious Technology Center and ask them if they'd like a bid on the website that they are apparently about to launch.
    • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LithiumX (717017) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:17PM (#21959254)
      I was thinking more along the lines of trademark infringement. Something that would never go to court, but would result in a pretty quick C&D letter from a number of companies who are uncomfortable with their name being auto-registered on a whim.

      I did verify that you have to initiate a purchase before they auto-register. If you simply do a search, they don't do anything (that I can see), but if you click on "Add Domains to Order", it shows up on a general whois a few seconds later, allocated for a year.

      My question is... how long do they keep it? If they were to drop it after say, a few hours... even a few days... I'd consider it a dangerously abuseable practice but little worse. If they keep it any longer than that, it's a few steps shy of a domain hijack.

      Seriously, I think it's just meant to be a service, but I don't see how it offers any kind of service if they allow others to waltz in and register these names themselves (which it sounds like they do, judging from posts on DomainState).
    • Re:Any way to... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UsualDosage (922364) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:28PM (#21959440) Homepage

      I think the rationale behind this isn't entirely malicious. Consider the fact that domains are valuable property. If you were in the process of buying a domain, and had to take the time to fill our user information, credit card information and all of the textboxes that they make you fill out (particularly if you are a first time user), there is a good chance that someone from another registrar could snatch the domain out from under you simply because they were a faster typer, or had previously registered. In this way, if you do a WHOIS search with NSI, the name is locked for a short time to allow you to complete your transaction, and to disallow anyone else who may be following in your tracks to buy you your name before you can.

      It makes sense, and I'm frankly surprised that no one hasn't noticed this before. I for one am glad that someone peeking over my shoulder can buy a domain from their iPhone before I can finish clicking "buy".

  • Assuming this costs them money, I suggest everyone go there and start searching for completely random domains.

    The naughtier the better. Flood them with searches for obscene/stupid domains and let them pick up the tab on it. :-P

    Cheers
    • by anotherone (132088) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:37PM (#21958474)
      RTFA. If the user doesn't buy in a few days, they delete the domain- doesn't cost them anything.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ajs (35943)
        Probably the best way to do this search so that it actually consumes the most interesting space first, is to build random domain names, weighted based on existing names. For example, you could build names by taking the most common 2 and 3 letter sub-strings:

        foo.com
        bar.com
        foobar.com

        foo: frequency 2
        bar: frequency 2
        oob: frequency 1
        oba: frequency 1
        fo: frequency 2
        oo: frequency 2
        ba: frequency 2
        ar: frequency 2
        ob: frequency 1

        Now, just pick random length, say 5, and generate random strings with the weights to the ra
  • by flaming error (1041742) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:35PM (#21958426) Journal
    I'm working on a program to perform millions of random whois searches via NSI.
  • by Evro (18923) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .namffohdnave.> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:37PM (#21958458) Homepage Journal
    They control a big database and know when someone's about to buy something from one of their competitors, so they instantly buy it so the person has to buy it from them for any fee they want to charge. This is historically one of the most unethical companies around, I always assumed they did this, I'm just glad I got my domain ~10 years ago when it was actually possible.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:52PM (#21958760) Journal
      Eleven years ago when I first started working for an ISP, they were called Network Hell, and they had richly earned the moniker then, but their deeds over the last five years makes me think they want to earn some sort of record as the most unethical company in history.

      ICANN didn't have the balls to kill the contract a few years ago, maybe they will finally do the right thing and rid the Internet of this vile vile monster.
  • Time for it to go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:37PM (#21958480) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but its simply time for free domain tasting to go. It costs something like $6 at the back end to register a domain for one year and its a hardship on no legitimate use if they have to pay another $6 to correct a typo.
  • I could swear I saw something about this http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/28/1458247">somewhere before... [slashdot.org].

    It wasn't in the firehose this morning, now where could I have seen it...
  • by Malevolent Tester (1201209) * on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:38PM (#21958492) Journal
    network-solutions-hates-non-whites.com
    our-ceo-jacks-off-to-goatse.com
    batman-touched-my-junk-liberally.com
  • by Deadplant (212273) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:43PM (#21958546)
    The domain name registrars and the ssl certificate services are all run by crooks.
    It is appalling that so much of our security infrastructure relies on this pack of thieves.

    What should be we do to correct this problem?

    Perhaps a consortium of the major Internet providers could start up a new DNS system.
    I'm not talking about Comcast/verizon/aol, I'm talking about Level3, Cogent, Teleglobe etc..

    thoughts?

  • Don't use WHOIS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Antibozo (410516) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:44PM (#21958576) Homepage

    Whether it's NSI or some other registrar doing it, this has been a known issue for a long time. The solution is not to use WHOIS. Instead follow DNS from the root and see if it goes anywhere. E.g.:

    dig the-domain-you-want.com. +trace
    • Re:Don't use WHOIS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Deadplant (212273) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:51PM (#21958744)

      The solution is not to use WHOIS. Instead follow DNS from the root and see if it goes anywhere.


      Nah, that's a workaround.
      The solution is to revoke their corporate charter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IBBoard (1128019)
      Except that you might get a lack of response when a domain is registered because someone has registered it but not put any DNS records behind it. That plus your ISP can still sniff that request anyway (which apparently some of them do).

      On the main topic: as if it isn't bad enough having to beat the general domain squatters to a domain before they "squat" all over it, now you've got to beat the registrar to it as well?
  • by EllynGeek (824747) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:44PM (#21958588)
    Don't worry, ICANN will fix everything and make it right!

    I slay me.
  • by T-Kir (597145) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:44PM (#21958596) Homepage
    Just tried that search (my subject line) on the Network Solutions site and all domains for it were available, yet I searched using Easily.co.uk immediately after and f***younetworksolutions.com was registered by them immediately:

    Record expires on 08-Jan-2009.
    Record created on 08-Jan-2008.
    Database last updated on 8-Jan-2008 14:38:53 EST.

    Yup, I did that 4 mins ago.

    I wonder how much it is costing them per domain :-D
  • by Raisey-raison (850922) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:55PM (#21958818)
    I never understand why given that this is blatantly anti competitive, companies aren't immediately prosecuted under anti trust laws with their directors going to prison. And don't forget about some nasty fines and civil penalties. So if we find a college kid who copies a movie we prosecute the f*ck out of them and financially squeeze them until they are thoroughly screwed over. But if you are a big company and you screw over millions of people, you get off scot-free. Apart from the fact that the rule of law is a joke if the powerful are not investigated it would be better for the economy and everyone's standard of living if anti trust laws were enforced. How many extra thousands of dollars every year do we spend on things because they are more expensive than they would naturally be if companies were not violating anti trust laws.
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:27PM (#21959418)
    ...about domains being tasted by spammers etc. that then would try to sell them to you at inflated costs?

    In some ways this is a lot better, so if I have an idea for a domain, go register it at NSI, get sidetracked, go back the next day, the domain would still be available and not stolen by somebody sniffing the whois traffic etc.

    As long as network solutions is upfront with this practice I think it could definitely be spun as a positive vs a negative (check a domain here and you can be sure that you'll be able to register it for up to 5 days after, instead of risking it being stolen or held for ransom).
    • by quantaman (517394) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @06:41PM (#21961756)

      ...about domains being tasted by spammers etc. that then would try to sell them to you at inflated costs?

      In some ways this is a lot better, so if I have an idea for a domain, go register it at NSI, get sidetracked, go back the next day, the domain would still be available and not stolen by somebody sniffing the whois traffic etc.

      As long as network solutions is upfront with this practise I think it could definitely be spun as a positive vs a negative (check a domain here and you can be sure that you'll be able to register it for up to 5 days after, instead of risking it being stolen or held for ransom).
      Except if that is their intentions they're not doing it properly. After you perform the search they have a button "Add Domains To Order", that would signify the intention to purchase the domain, but NSI has already purchased it at that point. Or if they're actually concerned about sniffing packets they could taste it for only an hour or so until the user progresses further.

      Here's a test, try searching for a domain from one IP, then try going through the purchase process from another IP. How much do you wanna bet that NSI is more than happy to sell the domain to the different IP? Heck if two different people both have accounts have them search a domain name with one then step through the purchase with another, even with two conclusively different entities I'm sure they'll be happy to take the sale. Note there's no reason a spammer couldn't sniff the domain you searched for, then purchase it from NSI. If NSI doesn't restrict the purchase to the person who made the search they've done absolutely nothing to stop sniffers from stealing domains.
  • by dskoll (99328) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:31PM (#21959524)
    Look at the domains Network Solutions now owns!

    the-real-microsoft.com
    the-real-ibm.com
    the-real-dell.com
    the-real-walmart.com
    the-real-esso.com
    the-real-general-motors.com
    the-real-ford.com
    the-real-chrysler.com
  • NSI vs RIAA (Score:3, Funny)

    by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:33PM (#21959548)
    Is there some way we can get RIAA mad at them? Register a bunch of domains using the names of songs, artists, lyrics, etc? I think if we could get a NSI vs RIAA fight going the sheer awesomeness of it would be brain melting.
  • Only dot com space (Score:3, Informative)

    by griffjon (14945) <`GriffJon' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:35PM (#21959574) Homepage Journal
    I just searched netsolatemydomainsearch.{everything they offered} and then checked it on godaddy. The dot com version was taken, but the other TLDs were left alone.

    e.g. netsol screenshot of me searching for a few sites:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/griffjon/2178156179/ [flickr.com]

    GoDaddy saying the dot com version is taken:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/griffjon/2178156285/in/photostream/ [flickr.com]

    Even more disgusting, the whois record has a freaking advert in it from netsol:

    Registrant:
    This Domain is available at NetworkSolutions.com
    13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
    HERNDON, VA 20171
    US

    Domain Name: NETSOLATEMYDOMAINSEARCH.COM

    This Domain is Available - Register it Now!
    600,000 domain names are registered daily! Don't delay; there's no guarantee
    that a domain name you see today will still be here tomorrow!
    Register it Now at www.NetworkSolutions.com.

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
    Network Solutions, LLC domainsupport@networksolutions.com
    13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
    HERNDON, VA 20171
    US
    1-888-642-9675 fax: 571-434-4620

    Record expires on 08-Jan-2009.
    Record created on 08-Jan-2008.
    Database last updated on 8-Jan-2008 15:33:32 EST.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:35PM (#21959576) Homepage

    Just looked up Network-solutions-antitrust-violation-demo.com [network-so...n-demo.com]. and Network Solutions registered it.

    Time for ICANN to issue a policy under the registrar agreement [icann.org] to enforce section 3.7.9: "Registrar shall abide by any ICANN adopted specifications or policies prohibiting or restricting warehousing of or speculation in domain names by registrars."

  • PR response from NSI (Score:5, Informative)

    by vmxeo (173325) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:58PM (#21959930) Homepage Journal

    Domain Name Wire [domainnamewire.com] has posted a response from NSI's PR department. Here's the relevent quote from NSI:

    I just got off the phone with Susan Wade, who heads PR for Network Solutions. "This is a customer protection measure to protect customers from frontrunners," said Wade. "After four days, we release the domain." According to Wade, Network Solutions instituted this program as a test over the past few weeks. I asked if Network Solutions is actually acting as a frontrunner by doing this and she said there's a distinction. First, they are not monetizing the domains. Second, they have no intention of keeping the domains. All domains are released after the four day period.

    Translation: So if anyone else does it, it's bad, because they're domain front-running. But when we do it's it's ok, because, uh, we say so. No, really!

  • Call for more info (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:07PM (#21960072) Homepage Journal
    I checked an obscure domain name through them in the last several days and it was available. Lo and behold, it is now registered. I will be calling their support line at 1.888.642.9675, and / or their technical support line at 1.866.391.HELP to figure out what is going on.

    I sure hope I don't take up too much of their time, because 1-800 minutes aren't cheap for them, neither is tying up their support personnel. However, if you're curious about these practices, you might want to speak with them yourself - it's your right after all.
  • by vmxeo (173325) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @06:25PM (#21961484) Homepage Journal

    Just found this in the ICANN Front-running paper [icann.org]. Note the contact email at the end...

    For each instance of suspected domain name front running, the type of information that would be most useful in studying the case includes but is not limited to:

    Method used to check domain name availability (e.g., web browser, application).

    Local access ISP.

    Provider or operator of the availability checking service.

    Dates and times when domain name availability checks were performed.

    Copy of the information returned (e.g., WHOIS query response) in the response to the availability check.

    Whether the domain name was reported as previously registered or never before registered in the response returned from the availability check.

    Copy of the information returned (e.g., WHOIS query response) indicating the name had been registered.

    Copies of any correspondence sent to or received from the registrant perceived to be a front runner.

    Correspondence with the registrar or availability checking service.

    Any information indicating a potential relationship between the availability checking service and the registrant that grabbed the name.

    Please submit incidents to the SSAC Fellow at SSAC-DNFR@ICANN.org [mailto].

  • by shashib (1167725) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @07:14PM (#21962206) Homepage
    Hi my name is Shashi Bellamkonda and I work for Network Solutions. Aprreciate the opportunity to clarify. Here is a response on Circleid http://www.circleid.com/posts/81082_network_solutions_front_running/ [circleid.com]. Network Solutions is not front running. We've implemented a customer protection measure to help defend our customers against the actions of "front runners" or those persons who register domain names known to have been searched, for the purpose of monetizing them and then selling them at inflated prices either directly to the customer who searched for the domain or through aftermarket channels. The protection measure holds the searched domains at Network Solutions for up to 4 days so customers can take the time to decide whether registration of the domain name will help them build and protect their brand. Network Solutions is not registering these names at the end of the reservation period with the hope of selling them in the secondary market. Likewise, we're not placing any advertisements on these domains to monetize their traffic while they are in the reservation period.
    • by Antibozo (410516) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @07:25PM (#21962326) Homepage

      On the contrary, Network Solutions is effectively monetizing the domains by forcing buyers to purchase them at Network Solutions' inflated prices.

      Furthermore, this concept of protection would only make sense if you thought consumers were searching for a domain both on Network Solutions' lookup system and on that of an another unethical competitor. But why would consumers do that? One lookup is sufficient, and by definition, you know that one lookup occurred on your site, so it's already unlikely that a competitor will have the opportunity. The notion that you're protecting anyone doesn't wash.

  • by kindbud (90044) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @09:24PM (#21963622) Homepage
    Oh brother! Another wildcard DNS server (not even RFC compliant, it returns a CNAME for every query, with no glue and no SOA, even when asked explicitly). These domains are parked on ns1. and ns2.reserveddomainname.com. All a spammer needs to do is search NSI for a domain, and it begins to resolve and can be used to spam.

    The following domains are installed on my anti-spam relays' caching nameservers as empty stub zones. It prevents my anti-spam relays from resolving any domains hosted on nameservers that live in these zones. It accounts for a very large percentage of blocked spam on my systems, and I recommend mail admins start blocking domains hosted on wildcard DNS servers. It's quick, easy, painless, and your content filter will thank you for easing its workload (if it could talk and had emotions, that is).

    cheap-dns-host.com
    domainservice.com
    fastpark.net
    namesdiscount24.net
    name-services.com
    names-service.com
    parked.com
    parkingsave.net
    reserveddomainname.com
    versans1.com
    versans2.com
    versans3.com
    versans4.com
    versans.com
                                                                             

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

Working...