Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just when you thought Network Solutions couldn't get any more sleazy

We all hate domain-name squatters. They put web pages on unused domains, so your typos don't generate the errors they should produce, and they prevent legitimate companies from registering the same domains. But we used to think that the domain-name registry itself wouldn't be that sleazy.

Wrong! Network Solutions (the most popular, for historic reasons, DNS registrar) has set up a new service. When you use their "whois" server to look up information about a domain, and it's not used, they automatically register it for themselves and install a DNS-squatter page, with links to their "buy this domain" form. This makes the domain appear to be in-use, making it impossible to use any competing registrar.

If this isn't illegal, it should be.

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