Go Daddy, MySpace Lock out SecLists - Is This Standard Operating Procedure?
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Both praise and criticism directed at Go Daddy and MySpace have appeared in the media. But perhaps the companies are only catching blame because this kind of hot-button issue is relatively rare – yes, breaches of privacy have happened before, but not with so many minors as potential victims. Like it or not, that changes things. Would other registrars have acted the same way?
CNet wondered exactly that, and sent out a ten-question survey to 12 leading registrars. Dotster, eNom, Melbourne IT, NameKing, and Register.com did not respond in time to participate; Network Solutions and Tucows refused to participate, giving no explanation. For the ones who did participate, the answers were quite interesting.
When asked if they would suspend a customer’s domain name based on the content of his or her web site, in the absence of a court order, DirectNIC said they would do so “if the domain name is clearly focused on child porn or a phishing site.” They stated flatly that they would not have acted as Go Daddy did. While they do have procedures in place for suspending domain names without a court order, “they are not mandatory because we reserve the right to take immediate action when warranted” such as in the case of child porn or phishing.
French-based Gandi.net said that they were contacted recently by someone claiming to be from MySpace! Their answering machine took the message, but they “were unable to contact the person who made the complaint, either by telephone or e-mail, and as we were not provided with any justification for the complaint, no action was taken.” In general, “Gandi almost never takes action against a domain name based exclusively on the content of the web site, largely because we do not provide web hosting.” It’s worth reiterating at this point that Go Daddy was not SecLists.org’s web host; it was only their registrar.
OnlineNIC claims that “We only suspend a customer’s domain name as we get the order from the court or some authorizations.” Usually if they suspend a domain name it is for spam, phishing, and/or tortious reasons. Moniker.com gave a partial answer to CNet’s survey – a canned statement that said, in part, “We investigate any and all claims that are brought to our attention. If the claims are substantiated, we have the right to terminate the account.” Moniker says that their Terms of Service spell out what actions warrant termination.
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