Feeds

WorldTradeCenter.com on the block

Domain name sale just weeks before 9/11 anniversary

High performance access to file storage

The owner of the internet domain name WorldTradeCenter.com is planning to sell it, just weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Aftermarket.com, a domain brokerage firm, announced today that it is looking for an "appropriate" buyer for the address, on behalf of its current owner.

Potential buyers include "government agencies, entities and organizations that aim to memorialize the world-renowned structure, as well as businesses and developers looking to revitalize the site", the company said in a press release.

An undisclosed portion of the proceeds of the sale will be donated to a 9/11 victims' charity.

From possibly as early as 1996, and at least since 2002, the owner of WorldTradeCenter.com was listed in Whois records as a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company called Earth Plaza.

However, less than two weeks ago, on July 15, the Whois record for the domain started showing the name of a privacy-protection service instead.

The possible sale, and its timing, are certain to split opinions.

Aftermarket.com acknowledged the "delicate" nature of the sale and said that it is "imperative that all matters are handled with respect for the victims and all those affected".

The Internet Commerce Association, the closest thing the domain investor community has to a trade association, has a Code of Conduct for its members that addresses domains linked to tragedies:

Respect for Human Suffering and Victims of Tragedy: A registrant should be respectful of persons and communities involved in tragedy. A registrant should not intentionally register a domain name related to a current or historical event involving human suffering or tragedy where the primary purpose of such registration is commercial profit.

While the owner of WorldTradeCenter.com, who will almost certainly profit if the domain is sold, may not be signed up to the ICA and its Code, broker Aftermarket.com is owned by Thought Convergence, which is a card-carrying platinum sponsor.

ICA counsel Phil Corwin, speaking in his personal capacity rather than for the ICA board or its members, said: "I believe that the domain is not exploitative on its face."

The Code of Conduct "was targeted at domains that attempt to illicitly exploit tragedies in their immediate aftermath," he said, giving the recent terrorist attack in Norway as an example.

It's quite common for fraudsters to register domains connected to major tragedies, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, in order to solicit "donations" under false pretences.

"I don't see [WorldTradeCenter.com] as inherently exploitative of human tragedy and suffering in and of itself, any more than titanic.com or gettysburg.com would be, or even holocaust.com," Corwin said. "Such sites, removed in time from the tragic event, might well be educational and historical in nature, and are unlikely to be sought out for charitable giving purposes."

It will depend on what the buyer uses the domain for, in other words.

"[The World Trade Center] has many more associations than just human suffering – there's also heroism, patriotism, rebuilding in defiance of terrorism, etcetera," he added. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.