What's New: Be Careful Where You Search

Network Solutions has quietly begun to register domain names people type into their "Find a domain" availability lookup tool. Critics have blasted the company, claiming that Network Solutions is trying to force searchers to become Network Solutions customers, but also that the company exposes searched-for domain names to scammers, who could re-register domain names as soon as Network Solutions releases them. Ironically the company claims their intent is to cut down on "domain tasting," where scammers register large numbers of domains and keep the ones that generate traffic, letting the rest expire unpaid after a five-day grace period, and the practice of "front running," where scammers track domain name searches and register those domains, in order to sell them later.

Network Solutions suggests they would stop the practice if ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization that oversees the domain name system, moves to eliminate these types of scams, perhaps with something as simple as a nonrefundable $0.25 fee for each domain registration.

Of course, users can use ITS's domain search tool to search for domains as well.

Thursday, Jan 10, 2008 09:40 am CST

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