[NA-Discuss] Domain hijacking story

Eric Brunner-Williams ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net
Fri Jun 14 15:41:17 UTC 2013

On 6/13/13 8:23 PM, Seth M Reiss wrote:
> I don't get it. Can you explain Eric?


Assume the assertions offered in the complaint are factual: a domain
registered for the maximum allowed period to which no disclosed use
was made, and some act by a third-party, and a consequent act by the
registrar of record, the eventual loosing registrar, and a consequent
act by another registrar of record, the eventual gaining registrar.

The second half of the fact pattern existed when the domain panix.com,
serving the dial-up and later broadband-independent users of the City
of New York was briefly under the control of a third party in 2005 (if
memory serves, I acted to notify Marty Hannigan, then of Verisign, and
Bruce Tompkin, of Melbourne IT, the morning after I learned from
Steven Bellovin that "panix was down").

Where there is substantive public use, the chain of custody of a name
to address association is a public interest.

Where there is not, as in the instant case, the chain of custody of a
name to address association is not a public interest.

Are there "more" labels with no address association, or an address
association upon which no public reliance exists? Obviously, 63 octets
taking on values from {a..z,0..9,-} with only the rule that "-" not
begin or end or occur in two adjacent octets, the potential label set
with no beneficial resolution properties is vast.

So this can "get big", or be "wow", or "prove there is no law", but
sharing, without benefit, the compulsion or speculation of registrants
of labels with no published use detracts from the existing since the
beginning of the shared registry system (to which I also participated)
practice of allowing transfers between "competitive registrars" and
ensuring that the interests of registrants of labels upon which public
reliance is made take precedence over the interests of registrars.

It is the existence of reliance which creates an interest in the
stability and security of that reliance, not punters slapping $6 down
on the outcome of roulette wheel over a generating set of
alphanumerics plus a hyphen with conditions.

I hope that helps.

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