February 2, 2007 4:00 AM PST
Survey: Are domain registrars free-speech friendly?
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We have procedures for contacting individuals, but they are not mandatory because we reserve the right to take immediate action when warranted--e.g., obvious child porn or phishing. Other procedures are initiated when the customer is committing illegal activities, but we do not disclose those procedures publicly.
7. Do you believe that your most important responsibility is to provide technical services to paying customers--or is it to police the content of their Web sites, FTP sites, and so on?
We are willing to take action to remove obviously illegal content such as child porn and phishing sites from the Internet. We also believe that we have an important responsibility to work with government agencies in policing the Internet.
8. Are you attempting to recruit Go Daddy customers as a result of last week's news about Seclists.org?
No. Other companies have actively recruited our customers due to us shutting down child porn websites. We feel that it is unfortunate for companies to spread fear and uncertainty because of the good intentioned actions of a domain registrar.
9. If you do suspend domain names in the absence of a court order, how do your customers go about getting their sites restored?
When shut down for child porn, the owners almost never request to have the domain restored. Any restoration would be on a case by case basis.
10. Do you have a dedicated department or person who handles issues related to domain name suspensions?
Yes. We have two full time attorneys (in addition to myself) and two individuals who handle abuse complaints.
Dotsterdid not participate We first spoke to Darcy Enyeart in Vancouver, Wash.-based Dotster's legal department on Monday afternoon, and she told us to e-mail our survey responses to email@example.com. Since then, we have received no word directly from the company, despite follow-up phone calls and e-mail messages. On Thursday, we had a conversation with Lois Whitman at Dotster's outside PR agency, HWH Public Relations, who contacted us to send us an unrelated press release. When asked, Whitman told us that "no one at Dotster knows" anything about the request and did not provide us with a response to the survey.
eNomdid not participate We began leaving voicemail and e-mail messages with Bellevue, Wash.-based eNom's public relations department on Monday afternoon and continued that process on Tuesday. John Kane, the company's vice president of business development, called us back that afternoon, apologized for the delay in responding, and invited us to send our survey questions his way. We have not received any response from eNom since then, despite multiple follow-ups.
Gandi.netcompleted survey Gandi.net takes a different approach to domain name registration: its home page, for instance, talks about "enlightenment." It's based in France and registers suffixes including .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .name, .be, .fr and .eu. The company sent us a statement explaining its philosophy as: "On our Web site, you will not find empty promises, sneaky advertisements or unwelcome surprises hidden up our sleeves. We simply strive to provide a decent and honest service. Our wish is to provide you with the best product and service at the most reasonable price."
1. Under what circumstances will you suspend a customer's domain name based on the content of his or her Web site, in the absence of a court order?
Gandi, as you know, specializes in domain name registration, and as such we pay close attention to the validity of the registration information of the domain (Whois data). We therefore are allowed to suspend domain names if the Whois data is false.
In some instances, Gandi has suspended domain names where we have found that the Web site that uses the domain is clearly used for blatant illicit activity, and which has been recognized as doing so by other respected and identified sources. A clear example of this is when a domain is used to point to a well-known spam scheme such as "My Canadian Pharmacy."
To pick up on the point about the "court order," we have found that such a process may be very slow in certain cases and circumstances, given the nature of the Internet, which is why action is sometimes taken in the absence of a court order. But this is always done after having contacted the owner of the domain name in question, and in respect of laws and our terms and conditions.
2. How many times a month, on average, do you suspend a customer's domain name based on the content of his or her Web site?
Gandi almost never takes action against a domain name based exclusively on the content of the Web site, largely because we do not provide Web hosting.
Behind each Web site is a company or an individual, and we need to understand who that is and what they are doing before we act. For example we would not suspend a domain name of a hosting company just because of one Web page of a Web site of one of their customers; in such a case it is more effective to collaborate with the host to pull the offending content.
When we make the decision to suspend a domain name, it is often due to a combination of several factors, rather than just the content itself (for example: multiple spam complaints, fake Whois data, and illicit Web site content).
For that kind of abuses, and after warnings, we have an average of 200 domain names suspended--not deleted--a month. Illicit Web site content represents a very small percentage of complaints we receive.
3. What are the most common reasons for suspension?
Other than the crime itself, perhaps the most stupid thing a criminal could do is to leave his or her real address and telephone number at the scene of a crime!
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