Feeds

EU domain registry hijacked, claims GoDaddy

Hundreds of shell domain registering companies bent system

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Europe's brand new .eu top level domain has been hijacked, according to one of the internet's leading registrars.

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons has laid into .eu registry owner EURid for approving hundreds of what he calls "phantom" registrars who have walked away with the bulk of the 1.4m .eu domains registered since the domain was opened to the public earlier this week.

In a blog post, Parsons accused EURid of "grand manipulation and lax administration" for allowing hundreds of companies to be registered with the same contact details. The way the process worked, each registered company was effectively put in a line and was entitled to make a bid for a single .eu domain. If the domain was available, it was given to the company, if not, it wasn't. That registrar then was sent to the back of the line to queue up again.

However, out of the 1,570 accredited registrars, we have calculated that at least 630 were not separate registrars. One company in New York - whose backers Parsons claims to know - are responsible for at least 350. This meant effectively that one company had several hundred times its usual opportunity to get hold of particular .eu domains.

Not only is this unfair, says Parsons, but it will most likely lead to the end users paying much more for a .eu domain because the company behind it will charge more and/or auction the domain. It wasn't just the New York company either: there were 58 registrars from Vancouver approved that were the same company; 57 from Bellevue, Washingon; 32 from Portland, Oregon; 32 from Elsbethen in Austria; 18 from Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and 12 from Stanberg and Regensburg in Germany.

However, EURid has rejected the charge that these are no more than phantom companies. "Each registrar had to show us proof of the company registration," a EURid spokesman said. "They had to sign a registrar agreement, follow the regulations, show proof of their existence, and deposit 10,000 euros."

EURid had to "treat everyone on an equal basis", he claimed, answering Parsons' suggestion that only established registrars should have been entitled to register .eu domains, with the assertion that the process needed competition.

Each shell registrar had provided bona fide documentation that it was a separate company to EURid, and if they are in breach of the signed registrar contract, they will have the domain names they have registered put on hold, EURid confirmed. But this still leaves EURid open to accusations that it failed to close a loophole that has allowed unscrupulous companies to walk away with the lion's share of Europe's own top level domain.

Despite the controversy, many observers remain amazed at .eu's success. With 1.7m domains now registered in total, it has established itself as the internet's seventh biggest registry in just under a week. ®

Related link

Bob Parsons' blog post

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
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
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
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

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.