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Domain tasting

  • To: <dt-motion-21may08@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Domain tasting
  • From: "Jon A. Pastor" <jp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 15:08:42 -0400

I think that there is a far more serious and insidious problem, of which domain 
tasting is the tip of the iceberg.

There is a company called Chesterton Holdings that buys domains based on 
"eavesdropping" on inquiries for availability: I was the victim of this in the 
past week. I searched my son's name, richardpastor, and found that 
richardpastor.com was available. When I returned yesterday to purchase it, I 
found that it had been registered by NAMEKING.COM, which is related to 
Chesterton Holdings.

Please take a look at 
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Whois-Hijacking-My-Domain-Research/ for an 
article on this practice.

I have contacted NAMEKING.COM and told them that they are in violation of 
ICANN's policies, but the real issue is that ICANN continues to certify them! 
Companies who violate not only the spirit but the letter of ICANN's policies 
should be forced to cease and desist on pain of revocation of their 

I certainly support any effort to discourage tasting, but I think that ICANN 
should take action against a practice -- domain snooping and theft -- that is 
widely practiced and well-known to be occurring.

There should, among other things, be a way of searching for a domain's 
availability that is invisible to third parties: not providing this service is 
begging for abuses like those committed by Chesterton Holdings and NAMEKING.

-Jon A. Pastor

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