Feeds

VeriSign slammed for domain renewal scam

But FTC accepts it didn’t break the law

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.