February 2, 2007 4:00 AM PST
Survey: Are domain registrars free-speech friendly?
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In certain rare cases, such as a denial-of-service attack, or a massive attack of spam, we must suspend the offending domain name at the same time we contact the owner.
In the majority of cases, however, we send an e-mail to the domain's owner, giving them the opportunity to correct the problem. We even go so far as to call the telephone number provided in the Whois data for the domain, in order to speak with the domain name owner in person.
When we find that a site is hacked or hosting illegal content that the administrators appear to be unaware of, we take the extra step of contacting the Web host, the Web master of the site, or in some cases, even the forum administrator.
As stated in Gandi's blog, gandibar.net, we are not "trigger-happy" in our fight against domain abuse.
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?
Who watches the watcher? The global community of course! Our role is not to police the Internet. For that there are anti-spam forums, special blacklists, and concerned citizens, all of which I commend for their vigilance and dedication, and contribution.
This lets us focus on our specialty, which is managing domain names for our customers in an ethical and transparent manner. And to participate in supporting an alternative and responsible Internet community.
While we do pro-actively investigate domain abuse at Gandi, this activity goes hand-in-hand with the complaints that we receive. We have been given the trust of our customers to manage their domains, and we are proud to do so.
In short words, it's technically impossible to watch the content of all Web sites, but we will always be very reactive and efficient if we are aware (thanks to our investigations and protective measures or to a complaint) of an issue somewhere.
8. Are you attempting to recruit Go Daddy customers as a result of last week's news about Seclists.org?
It is not in Gandi's nature to go after potential customers in such a way. Part of what makes Gandi so unique is that people come to us because they share our values and want an alternative to the tactics and practices of mainstream companies. We do care both about our customers and Internet. For example, we do fight spam actively (we strongly support spamhaus.org among other things) and we assume the risk to lose customers because of this ethic positioning (spammers are large ones).
9. If you do suspend domain names in the absence of a court order, how do your customers go about getting their sites restored?
After we suspend a domain name, we send out a final e-mail to the address of the domain's owner in which we explain what steps the registrant must take to reactivate the domain.
Each case is treated individually, and so we tailor our demands to meet the severity and nature of the offence.
10. Do you have a dedicated department or person who handles issues related to domain name suspensions?
Our entire Customer Care Department receives abuse complaints, though we have special e-mail addresses and online forms on our Web site that we also invite concerned citizens to use.
Complaints that we receive are then centralized by dedicated staff members (Ryan and Francoise), who investigate the validity of the complaints, enter into contact with the parties involved, and if necessary, take action. If there is a particularly complex case, a meeting is held by Gandi management together with our legal team, to discuss the complaint, and what action may be appropriate.
The advantage of this approach is that Gandi can tell the difference between domain name abuse, and the posting of an isolated user of a mailing list.
Go Daddycompleted survey Go Daddy is one of the largest registrars in the world and enjoys the rare distinction of being the original cause of the survey. It's probably best known for its racy (by broadcast standards) Super Bowl ads, which have spoofed Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 game. Registration for .com domains is $9 a year. Go Daddy's director of network abuse, Ben Butler, sent us a statement in addition to the survey response, which we've included as well:
"Go Daddy appreciates the opportunity to address the situation with SecList.org.
"As you know, we have already provided CNET an interview with Go Daddy General Counsel Christine Jones. We also have provided responses to inquiries about this to customers and others who contacted us.
"We think you should know, after explaining the situation, we are receiving positive feedback--not only from those just questioning what happened, but also from those who originally complained.
"Once these people understand thousands of MySpace user names and passwords were exposed on the Internet and that we immediately contacted the customer and resolved the issue--re-enabling the site within one hour--they are not only satisfied with our response, but they THANKED us for what we did.
"One of the customer responses of which we are especially proud came from the Founder & Director of ProjectCare.com, Kevin Caruso. Kevin Caruso said this in his e-mail to Go Daddy: "My work is EXTREMELY important and is literally a matter of life or death for many people EVERY DAY. And I can tell you without hesitation that Go Daddy is THE ONLY registrar and host that I trust. Period."
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