Feeds

VeriSign slammed for domain renewal scam

But FTC accepts it didn’t break the law

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

VeriSign has been rapped over the knuckles by the FTC for its calculated attempt to steal domains from competitors - a practice called "slamming".

However in a ruling by the government arm, VeriSign was found not to have broken the law and so avoided a hefty fine. It has however been barred from suggesting that someone’s domain is about to expire or that what is in fact a transfer is no more than a renewal.

It has also been ordered to compensate anyone that was tricked by the underhand tactic.

Last year, the registrar that runs the .com and .net domains infuriated other domain registrars and consumers alike when it sent out ambiguous emails informing people their domain was about to expire and they needed to click on a link to renew it. A hard-to-see VeriSign logo was the only indication that the email wasn’t from the company the domain was currently
registered with.

Thousands “renewed” their domains but in many cases it was months or even years until the domain was due to expire and in each case the individual unwittingly transferred their domain to VeriSign - normally always at a higher price.

The emails saw an immediate legal response from the main two registrars affected - GoDaddy and BulkRegister, who swiftly won an injunction - and
also saw several class action lawsuits from duped consumers, now settled in their favour.

This is not the first time VeriSign has abused its powerful position in the domain market in order to frustrate efforts to turn its once monopoly into a
competitive market. Last week, its SiteFinder program directed most non-existent domains to its own webpage, sparking an immediate lawsuit and an angry request by ICANN to switch it off, which it has continued to
ignore.

As ever though, the company is unrepentant. "This matter relates to a marketing campaign that was discontinued over a year ago," it said in a statement following the ruling. "VeriSign cooperated fully with the FTC and is pleased to have this matter resolved."

Plus ca change... ®

Related link
FTC notice

Related stories
FTC probes VeriSign over slamming claims
Verisign accused of DNS slamming

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.