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US Telco Fined $3 Million in Domain Renewal Blunder ( 42

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Sorenson Communications, a Utah-based telecommunications provider, received a whopping $3 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week for failing to renew a crucial domain name used by a part of the local 911 emergency service. The affected service was the Video Relay System (VRS), a video calling service that telecommunication firms must provide to deaf people and others people with vocal disabilities so they can make video calls to 911 services and use sign language to notify operators of an emergency or crime. According to the FCC, on June 6, Sorenson failed to notice that the domain name on which the VRS 911 service ran had expired, leading to the entire system collapsing shortly after. Utah residents with disabilities were unable to reach 911 operators for almost three days, the FCC discovered. Sorensen noticed its blunder and renewed the domain three days later, on June 8.
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US Telco Fined $3 Million in Domain Renewal Blunder

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  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:48PM (#55294339)
    "on June 6, Sorenson failed to notice... Sorensen noticed its blunder and renewed the domain three days later, on June 8."

    Uh, want to try that arithmetic again?
    • by Glarimore ( 1795666 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @02:24PM (#55294701)
      I can see why they may have made this mistake.

      Yes, 8 - 6 = 2, but we can assume that if the issue began on the 6th and was resolved on the 8th, then service was affected for three business days. I'm sure that point (business days of outage) has been made multiple times. I can imagine the author overlooking their error due to thinking, "If service was affected for three days, then the issue must not have been fixed until three days later." This is an especially easy error to make if you're leaving date or numeric placeholders in an article as you're writing it.

      Anyway, I think we should be less hard on summary and article authors for simple arithmetic errors like this (that doesn't mean editors shouldn't be doing their due diligence, though).
      • by msauve ( 701917 )

        Person A: Hey, our domain renew is good until 2017.

        Person B: Great, I'll put a reminder on the calendar for 3 years from now.
    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      Maybe it was only 2.5 days later but they rounded up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why is there no standardization? why does every telco has its own names registered for services like these? It is like allowing each telco to setup its own emergency number instead of the standardized 911.

    Why not a single name, the same everywhere, that the telco can then maintain in there local DNS, and there DNS only?

    It is a critical emergency service, right? Then it is worth doing it properly.

  • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @05:56PM (#55296863)

    Compare and contrast the slaps on the wrist that BIG companies get. The EU's approach of basing fines on a percentage of international turnover gets the attention of the monopolies of Silicon Valley...

  • and for 3 days of non service for this one thing the fine is pretty high for a company their size. Of course they could have grown more but not with the way the FCC was scaling back..

    Also, with most of their devel app guys I'm surprised it only took them 3 days to realize and fix it. "What do you mean you're having performance issues on the server, it worked fine on my laptop"

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @02:44AM (#55299309)

    The designer and their managers who allowed a critical emergency service to be dependent on an internet domain registration should be jailed for gross negligence.

    When failure of a service would mean lives are at risk DO NOT make that service dependent upon resources from 3rd parties that can be terminated at will or that are subject to natural disruptions with no consequences for the 3rd parties (Or agreement with them that the services are used for functions critical to life).

    A DNS domain registration can be terminated or suspended at will at the decision of a domain registrar or registry for any number of potential reasons
      (although it is rare; a domain can even be terminated by mistake or hijacked by a malicious adversary in some cases), or DNS servers connected to the internet can be nuked by evil folks in a DDoS attack, or temporarily suspended by various service providers for network maintenance; Or various situations on the internet under 3rd party control and no SLA can cause temporary outages of access to the DNS.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!