NetworkSolutions Scandal: Hijacking User Domain Searches

By on January 8, 2008

UPDATE: Our voices have been heard! The ICANN Board of Directors a resolution was passed which will end domain tasting as we know it, including this Network Solutions scandal. Read the full story here on DotSauce.

There has been an uproar today about a recent devious tactic being used by one of the original ICANN accredited registrars, NetworkSolutions. Apparently they are internally registering each and every domain name that a user searches for using their website, essentially holding it hostage so that it can not be purchased at any other significantly cheaper and more ethical registrar.

Stratagenix, a member of DomainState writes:

BEWARE: Don’t Search For Names At NetworkSolutions.com

Network Solutions has instituted a 4 day lock on all domain names searched on their site. They are effectively using phishing techniques to hijack or steal domain names and forcing domain name registrants to register their names at Network Solutions.

netsol-dotsauce-search.png   netsol-whois-record.png

Boycott Network Solutions

This kind of tactic can destroy a company’s reputation. Many registrars have been accused of selling their whois search data to domain tasting companies, but never has any company immediately secured domain searches in their name as they are searched for. I urge you to never use Network Solutions and spread the word about this scandalous practice.

Stratagenix later replies in the discussion topic:

I contacted ICANN and they said that although they believe it to be an unethical business practice…. it is legal for Network Solutions to hijack domain names and hold them…. ICANN stated that there is nothing they can do to stop the practice.

What is the best/safest site to look for domain names?

Where you should be Searching Instead

I personally use Moniker’s Bulk Search tool because it is safe, reliable and fast. I then register my desired domain names at GoDaddy for various reasons, mainly that it is the most popular and desirable for domain buyers.

Have Your Say

You can discuss the NetworkSolutions situation at DotSauce Forums, NamePros or DomainState. This news has also been announced by other domain industry blogs: Conceptualist, Elliot’s Blog, Dominik Mueller, DomainBits and hopefully more will follow soon.

AQDN.com

About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.
  • Johnnie

    Wow, it’s funny that you bring this up because i use to think that Godaddy did the same thing. Since i mostly deal with financial websites, finding that perfect domain is crucial. And when i first started buying lot of domains, i use to think that Godaddy would buy the “good domains” and sell them through there “premium domain” store.

  • http://www.tubodejuegos.com/ juegos

    Why not try other webhostings or register.com ? I do it all the time :-)

  • http://www.tubodejuegos.com juegos

    Why not try other webhostings or register.com ? I do it all the time :-)

  • http://datingadultpersonals.com/ Andrea

    It is not only disheartening, but also very disappointing how companies utilize predatory tactics against consumers.

    One person commented about godaddy. I had a similar experience where I thought that register.com tied up a domain on me.

    Does anyone know of a listing of other registrars that are suspected of undertaking similar practices?

  • http://datingadultpersonals.com Andrea

    It is not only disheartening, but also very disappointing how companies utilize predatory tactics against consumers.

    One person commented about godaddy. I had a similar experience where I thought that register.com tied up a domain on me.

    Does anyone know of a listing of other registrars that are suspected of undertaking similar practices?

  • http://www.wobenzyme.info/ longgana the supplement guy

    According to the ICANN, it is legal for Network Solutions to hijack domain names and hold them…. Although some people think
    they have been doing an unethical business practice, but I think there’re people that also need that kind of actions.

    Now, it depend on us. If you don’t want your domain being hold, then don’t go to network solutions. For network solutions, I think it will be a great idea if they give some notice to their customer about the holding.

  • http://www.wobenzyme.info longgana the supplement guy

    According to the ICANN, it is legal for Network Solutions to hijack domain names and hold them…. Although some people think
    they have been doing an unethical business practice, but I think there’re people that also need that kind of actions.

    Now, it depend on us. If you don’t want your domain being hold, then don’t go to network solutions. For network solutions, I think it will be a great idea if they give some notice to their customer about the holding.

  • http://www.walkertexaslawyer.com/ Walker Texas Lawyer

    Very interesting information. It’s hard to believe that something like this actually goes on in the business world. That kind of tactic never does anyone any good.

  • http://www.walkertexaslawyer.com/ Walker Texas Lawyer

    Very interesting information. It’s hard to believe that something like this actually goes on in the business world. That kind of tactic never does anyone any good.

  • Bravo, Network Solutions for r

    As founder of a nonprofit 501c3 organization ruined by Network Solutions, I have been looking for more of its victims.

    Once upon a time, public charities that exist solely to do good for others, could count on corporate giants for assistance in the form of business volunteers, financial and in-kind donations. It seems those days are long gone.

    Network Solutions invited, encouraged, then helped id thieves usurp our domain name, which is the distinctive name of a recognized public charity. We were registered with NetSol since our creation in 1998. Aiding and abetting public fraud and deception is a criminal act. In inviting any and all comers to fake the identity of an existing public charitable organization, Network Solutions overstepped its bounds, and showed a lack of basic human decency.

    Our cyber squatter, solicited by Network Solutions, linked every single page of our web site to thousands of porn sites, just as we had received public funding. Network Solutions, alerted to the problem, refused to shut down the site.

    Did somebody here mention I-CANN!? Maybe Network Solutions interprets I-CANN as meaning ‘I can do whatever the f I want to the reputation of your business because I control the Internet, and U-DON’T.’ Network Solutions, feel free to use that as your ad slogan. As a volunteer to the arts, I’m used to working for free.

    Thanks to your rebuff of intellectual property and the IRS’ public charity laws, I have had to play the role of police. Our id thief rapidly went on to scam the public by using the distinctive name and mission of a public charity. Thanks to you, he obtained a public grant using our name.

    It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out how Internet fraud is financed. I later discovered that tens of thousands of other nonprofit organizations were potential victims of Network Solutions’ unethical business practices.

    Victims of Network Solutions, I urge you to flood the Virginia State Attorney General’s office with your complaints.

    http://www.vaag.com/CONSUMER/CONSUMER_FRAUD/Consumer_complaints.html#Complaints_about_Virginia_Business

  • Bravo, Network Solutions for ruining a public charity!

    As founder of a nonprofit 501c3 organization ruined by Network Solutions, I have been looking for more of its victims.

    Once upon a time, public charities that exist solely to do good for others, could count on corporate giants for assistance in the form of business volunteers, financial and in-kind donations. It seems those days are long gone.

    Network Solutions invited, encouraged, then helped id thieves usurp our domain name, which is the distinctive name of a recognized public charity. We were registered with NetSol since our creation in 1998. Aiding and abetting public fraud and deception is a criminal act. In inviting any and all comers to fake the identity of an existing public charitable organization, Network Solutions overstepped its bounds, and showed a lack of basic human decency.

    Our cyber squatter, solicited by Network Solutions, linked every single page of our web site to thousands of porn sites, just as we had received public funding. Network Solutions, alerted to the problem, refused to shut down the site.

    Did somebody here mention I-CANN!? Maybe Network Solutions interprets I-CANN as meaning ‘I can do whatever the f I want to the reputation of your business because I control the Internet, and U-DON’T.’ Network Solutions, feel free to use that as your ad slogan. As a volunteer to the arts, I’m used to working for free.

    Thanks to your rebuff of intellectual property and the IRS’ public charity laws, I have had to play the role of police. Our id thief rapidly went on to scam the public by using the distinctive name and mission of a public charity. Thanks to you, he obtained a public grant using our name.

    It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out how Internet fraud is financed. I later discovered that tens of thousands of other nonprofit organizations were potential victims of Network Solutions’ unethical business practices.

    Victims of Network Solutions, I urge you to flood the Virginia State Attorney General’s office with your complaints.

    http://www.vaag.com/CONSUMER/CONSUMER_FRAUD/Consumer_complaints.html#Complaints_about_Virginia_Business

  • http://www.freesheetmusic.net/ Joey

    I don’t think they’re doing it anymore — just tried a few “Network-solutions-are-jerks” combinations and all showed up as available. I’ve used them for some free sheet music sites before but have switched. Registered a .DE domain through them, then found out it would not work because they couldn’t handle the DNS. They claimed it wasn’t their fault because I should have known it wouldn’t work.

  • http://www.freesheetmusic.net Joey

    I don’t think they’re doing it anymore — just tried a few “Network-solutions-are-jerks” combinations and all showed up as available. I’ve used them for some free sheet music sites before but have switched. Registered a .DE domain through them, then found out it would not work because they couldn’t handle the DNS. They claimed it wasn’t their fault because I should have known it wouldn’t work.

  • http://m320.com/ Sean

    you blew your whole complaint as soon as you gave props to godaddy.com

    They are the greasiest scum in the industry.

  • http://m320.com Sean

    you blew your whole complaint as soon as you gave props to godaddy.com

    They are the greasiest scum in the industry.

  • Larry

    In December of 2008 and upon attempting to transfer the domain ************.com from Network Solutions to Moniker, the domain was immediately registered by Network Solutions and it was explained that we had to pay a $250 reactivation fee or wait until the domain was released. The domain is now listed for sale and directing traffic to a generic link page.

    Network Solutions has become the mafia of registrars in my opinion.

  • Larry

    In December of 2008 and upon attempting to transfer the domain ************.com from Network Solutions to Moniker, the domain was immediately registered by Network Solutions and it was explained that we had to pay a $250 reactivation fee or wait until the domain was released. The domain is now listed for sale and directing traffic to a generic link page.

    Network Solutions has become the mafia of registrars in my opinion.

  • The Well-Read Entrepreneur

    This just happened to a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He checked a domain (energy related) and then sure enough, when he went back to grab it, Network Sol. had reg’d it themselves. Pretty skeezy.

  • The Well-Read Entrepreneur

    This just happened to a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He checked a domain (energy related) and then sure enough, when he went back to grab it, Network Sol. had reg’d it themselves. Pretty skeezy.

  • Nick

    Verio uses the same tactic through whois.net. What a horrible “service” they provide; it doesn’t entice me to use their products, it makes me never want to deal business with them at all. I do not understand how registrars can think that they are providing something that people will want by holding domains hostage.

  • Nick

    Verio uses the same tactic through whois.net. What a horrible “service” they provide; it doesn’t entice me to use their products, it makes me never want to deal business with them at all. I do not understand how registrars can think that they are providing something that people will want by holding domains hostage.

  • manifestmoneytalks

    That is very interesting.

  • alewela

    I've been tricked by DomainSite.com. Someone registered a domain name the same day I searched it.
    Do NOT use DomainSite.com in any way. Please help spread the word.

  • alewela

    I've been tricked by DomainSite.com. Someone registered a domain name the same day I searched it.
    Do NOT use DomainSite.com in any way. Please help spread the word.

  • Jasonbourne807

    Let network solutions try to cyber-squat on protected trade names! I know our legal team would sink their meat hooks deep into their hide. Legal action would most likely involve the following charges-cyber-squatting, trademark infringement, unfair business practices and you could seek a permanent injunctions, treble damages and even file a class action against their company. If you protect your name they are in a lot of hot water! We cannot even begin to think how they would respond once they are standing tall before the black robes. PROTECT YOU NAME!

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    My blog has opened so many doors for me and has helped me land quite a few jobs. By being immersed in writing and showing initiative, having a blog has been a great platform and portfolio. And I would recommend to anyone looking to start or build a portfolio to have a blog.