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Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-pass-go dept.
First time accepted submitter EpicMaxGuy writes ICANN has suspended Domain Registry of America aka Brandon Gray Internet Services aka NameJuice. The registrar is forbidden from registering any new domain names or accepting any inbound transfers until 17 October 2014. The announcement was posted on the ICANN website and will probably be welcomed in many circles."
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Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

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  • From TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by morethanapapercert (749527) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @01:07PM (#47494991)
    What happened exactly?

    ICANN posted two letters regarding Brandon Gray today. One is the suspension notice, while the other is a detailed breach notice which explains it all.

    Essentially Brandon Gray got finally caught out by a couple of clauses in the 2013 registrar contract with ICANN (RAA):

    Brandon Gray’s resellers subjecting Registered Name Holders to false advertising, deceptive practices, or deceptive notices, pursuant to Section 3.12.7 of the RAA and Section 3 of Domain Name Registrants’ Rights of the Registrants’ Benefits and Responsibilities Specification (“RBRS”).

    ICANN would also like to know how they managed to mine whois data to send out all the letters to registrants without falling foul of the section 3.3.5 of the RAA, which states:

    3.3.5 In providing query-based public access to registration data as required by Subsections 3.3.1 and 3.3.4, Registrar shall not impose terms and conditions on use of the data provided, except as permitted by any Specification or Policy established by ICANN. Unless and until ICANN establishes a different Consensus Policy, Registrar shall permit use of data it provides in response to queries for any lawful purposes except to: (a) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission by e-mail, telephone, postal mail, facsimile or other means of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations to entities other than the data recipient’s own existing customers; or (b) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that send queries or data to the systems of any Registry Operator or ICANN-Accredited registrar, except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations.

    For the rest of the article, including images of the actual letters, follow the link in the summary.

  • by slashdice (3722985) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @01:10PM (#47495015)
    They snail mail "renewal bills" for your domains (registered elsewhere). I hope most of slashdot would recognize it for what it is. But I'm sure a lot of sheeple accidentally transferred.
  • by Snowhare (263311) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @01:11PM (#47495021) Homepage

    Domain Registry of America has made a business out of sending deceptive letters to domain owners using other registrars asking them to "renew" their domain registration with DRA. The letters are cleverly written to make it unobvious so that people who think they are just renewing their domain actually have their domain registry transfered from their current registrar to DRA.

  • Ok, but (Score:5, Informative)

    by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @01:12PM (#47495027)

    ICANN has suspended Domain Registry of America

    "First time accepted submitter EpicMaxGuy" didn't even bother to tell us the reason why it was suspended... So for one

    Brandon Gray’s resellers subjecting Registered Name Holders to false advertising, deceptive practices, or deceptive notices

    and also the article mentions that

    mining your competitors’ data to send unsolicited and misleading marketing messages isn’t allowed

    .

  • Hijacking (Score:5, Informative)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Sunday July 20, 2014 @01:20PM (#47495075) Journal

    I get hijack letters from them all the goddamn time. I have about a dozen domains and I constantly get "expiration" notices that are really transfer authorizations in the fine print. It's sleazy and deceitful, and they deserve to be shut down.

    I can't imagine how many suckers fall for it and end up paying $40 or more for domain registration... does DRA even allow outbound transfers?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2014 @01:37PM (#47495159)

    A couple of years ago I wanted to register my family name as a domain.
    I had no immediate plans for it, just wanted to claim it for possible future use.

    Before registering my domain I checked whois to see if it was free. It was.

    Phone goes, lengthy call, I get back to the computer 30 minutes later.
    I try to register the domain and I see that the .com, .co.uk and .nl versions are all taken by RNA.
    Eventually I registered the .info version, just to make sure they couldn't grab that too.

    2 days later I start getting emails to the registration-address for the .info domain offering the .com, .co.uk and .nl names for sale.
    At $10.000 a piece. I didn't bother replying.
    After a week the emails went into "your last chance" mode and the price dropped to $5.000.
    Another week later price went to $1.000 and after a month they started to offer the set of 3 domains for $1.000.
    I still get a reminder every 3 months or so. Price was down to $ 500 the last time I bothered reading one of those emails.

    It is about time ICANN does something about these jerks.
    They have been running various scams since at least 2005.

  • by Sandman1971 (516283) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @01:46PM (#47495213) Homepage Journal

    The Domain Registry of Canada has been doing this scam for years, sending false renewal bills for my .net and .org domains. I wish ICANN and CIRA would suspend their operations as well.
    http://www.domainpeople.com/al... [domainpeople.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2014 @02:12PM (#47495341)
  • Re:Now if only (Score:4, Informative)

    by mysidia (191772) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @02:36PM (#47495477)

    If you have evidence of it, please write to ICANN to complain about the obvious WHOIS data mining for marketing/e-mail spam purposes....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2014 @02:50PM (#47495551)

    They're sending solicitations that are specifically designed to look like bills.

  • by The Cisco Kid (31490) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @03:36PM (#47495793)

    Avoid using whois on registrar sites to check availability. It's trivial for them to hijack that info and then allow someone else to see what domains people have been checking, so they can pre-emptively register them.

    The best way is to check the TLD server directly, using "dig"

    Failing that, use a real whois client (NOT anything web-based)

    $ dig thisdomaindoesnotexist.com ns


    ; <<>> DiG 9.8.4-rpz2+rl005.12-P1 <<>> thisdomaindoesnotexist.com ns
    ;; global options: +cmd
    ;; Got answer:
    ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, id: 39567
    ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

    ;; QUESTION SECTION:
    ;thisdomaindoesnotexist.com. IN NS

    ;; AUTHORITY SECTION:

    com. 899 IN SOA a.gtld-servers.net. nstld.verisign-grs.com. 1405884613 1800 900 604800 86400

    ;; Query time: 178 msec
    ;; SERVER: 192.168.1.1#53(192.168.1.1)
    ;; WHEN: Sun Jul 20 15:31:01 2014
    ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 117


    $ whois thisdomaindoesnotexist.com

    Whois Server Version 2.0

    Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
    with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net/ [internic.net]
    for detailed information.

    No match for "THISDOMAINDOESNOTEXIST.COM".
    >>> Last update of whois database: Sun, 20 Jul 2014 19:30:55 UTC <<<

  • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @04:10PM (#47495959)

    Is that not disclosed in their Terms of Service or is it more like, "big boobs on TV so I didn't bother to read the agreement"?

    Hi. Compliance with the accredited registrar policy is not optional; it is part of a signed agreement between the registrar and ICANN. ICANN posted an advisory [icann.org] clearly alerting registrars to their obligations: 1. Registrars are prohibited from denying a domain name transfer request based on non-payment of fees for pending or future registration periods during the Auto-Renew Grace Period; and 2. A registrant change to Whois information is not a valid basis for denying a transfer request.

    GoDaddy adopted practices that were directly contrary to the ICANN policy [zdnet.com].

    It doesn't matter if GoDaddy disclosed it in the terms of service, the ICANN terms have priority: the practice was a violation of policies that accredited registrars have promised to adhere to, before being allowed to be accredited registrars, and before being able to maintain that status and any access to the registry database or the ability to be in the business of transferring or creating domain registrations.

  • by theskipper (461997) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @05:25PM (#47496321)

    I doubt a registrar would sell their internal customer billing database to an entity whose sole purpose is to take their business away. If you want to speculate, try this. When DROA scraped whois for targets, they filtered by Godaddy customers instead of Fabulous or Moniker. The thought being that more average Joes use GD and therefore easier to fool.

    On the other hand it doesn't mean they didn't target the lesser known registrars. I've gotten plenty of DROA scam letters targeted toward my domains in the small registrars.

    IOW, I don't think you can draw a conclusion that they filtered by registrar. If they did target, it would make sense to blanket those whois records with an organization name (i.e. formal businesses). And the bigger the better so it has a chance of hitting AP in accounting. Getting a $500 renewal on 5 years is much more likely to happen in that scenario.

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