[ga] Verisign & Domain Slamming
From: William X. Walsh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Patrick Corliss <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 13:17:18 -0700
Verisign is accusing its competitors of "domain slamming" and
inappropriately transferring names from the NSI Registrar to them.
Of course, those of us who have had to deal with NSI over the past
years know the depths to which NSI will go when it is backed into a
corner, and will tell out and out lies, by making things appear to be
vastly different than they are in fact.
They are doing this now to justify their unwarranted change in policy
for out going transfers which has made it prohibitively difficult to
transfer domain names away from NSI. Their new policy requires a
response to an email from them within 72 hours, but they have only 5
days to deny the transfer, and they regularly send out these emails
late, thus if the person doesn't respond within the first 24 hours,
it is quite possible their domain transfer will fail. Also, they tend
to send the bulk of these messages out late on Fridays, which gives
people till Monday to respond, provided that NSI didn't wait longer
than 2 days to send out the message.
Recently I transferred 2 domains of my own from NSI, the last 2 I had
with them. One of the domains I got the message 2 days after the
request had been submitted, which meant there was no way I would have
had the full 72 hours NSI claims to give you to respond, and the other
one I only got after I complained about not receiving one. It was
sent on the FOURTH day after the request, giving less than 24 hours
before NSI auto NAK'd the transfer.
Tucows adopted an excellent solution to outgoing transfers from their
Registration Service Providers. The admin contact of a domain
receives a notice, much like the one NSI sends out (but Tucows sends
it out automatically when the transfer messages are actually
received) and the owner is given a URL where they can block the
transfer. They are also given one where they can explictly approve
the transfer (and which results in Tucows sending an ACK to the
registry, speeding up the transfer process for the customer), but they
are NOT required to ACK it in order for the transfer to go through.
If they do not NAK it the approval is assumed, and the transfer goes
through on the fifth day.
This is sufficient since under the accreditation agreements the
winning registrar was also required to verify the authenticity of the
As the article pointed out, every one of the "domain slamming" cases
Verisign is using to attacks its fastest growing competitors have been
the result of cases where a registrant, who was probably never aware
of NSI in the first place, registered their domain through a third
party registration provider, who simply switched suppliers to one of
these other registrars. In these cases, that kind of service is what
the domain registrant was paying these ISPs/IPPs/RSPs to do for them,
to manage their domain registration needs. These ISPs/IPPs/RSPs moved
the domains to registrars that they were switching to as their primary
suppliers. These are perfectly valid transfers, and are certainly not
cases of rampant "domain slamming."
That so many ISPs/IPPs are abandoning NSI as their registration source
is a direct result of NSI's long standing abuse of ISPs/IPPs (who
prior to the competitive registrar system were perhaps most
responsible for the massive growth in domain registrations while NSI
had the monopoly, and brought the VAST majority of business into NSI)
and absolute disregard for their needs and their concerns.
I find Verisign's charges offensive, but in light of their track
record, offensive behavior is what can be expected of them.
William X Walsh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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