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Username: richy
Date/Time: Wed, September 19, 2001 at 9:20 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: ...and my response at that site


My site has analysed almost half of the total Sunrise registrations and come to the conclusion that around 20% were fraudulent, and that these frauds "stole" some 95% of the most popular generic domains. I feel I have looked at these issues about as closely as anyone, and in response to your posted article I would comment on some of the numbered points as follows:

1. A classic case is the 100 or so Placename submissions made by William Lorenz through Hal Lubsen's DomainBank registry. Instead of bona fide Trademark Numbers, Lorenz just typed in "None" for every single one. And yet Hal Lubsen's Afilias took the money and applied for them, then Afilias (where Hal Lubsen is CEO) went ahead and registered them. This was a blatant case where the lack of scrutiny and controls was evident, and resulted in many customers losing money. This lack of controls has been repeated about 12000 times, "robbing" honest customers of large amounts of money.

2. The "Domebase" proposal was entirely workable and would have brought justice to all parties. As a party that could be held responsible for setting up and allowing the shambles, Afilias not only declined to implement this workable solution but was not even willing to delete visibly obvious false claims. Foe example, in the case of Lorenz above, clear and repeated requests for his own false claims to be deleted have been met with rejection by Lubsen and the companies he works for. This refusal to remove even transparent frauds has compounded the original debacle.

5. To add insult to injury, Afilias Board members either reserved tenuous names for themselves, or submitted names with outright fraudulent and non-existent Trademark numbers. Take for example Board member Govinda Leopold's 1stNetDomains company whose falsely numbered and were accepted and registered by Afilias.

10. And Afilias also claimed to "hand-check" and accept applications for domains from their accredited registrars such as "" in the "Registrar Reserved" category intended to protect trading names.

8. I have full evidence of registrars specifically inviting and encouraging customers to commit Sunrise fraud, filling in fake numbers for customers, and one letter of confession, but Afilias have not suspended any of their accredited registrars, even though their own customers have been deceived and lost so much money.

9. A significant proportion of total Sunrise fraud was carried out by registrars themselves but they continue to trade. Over 1000 names in this category are listed on my site.

11.And yes, some registrars have been accepting payment for something they cannot sell : Afilias CEO Hal Lubsen (once again) has been involved in this through DomainBank, who continued to sell non-refundable pre-registrations for names already registered to frauds through the entire period of the Sunrise phase. DomainBank were still doing this on the day Sunrise closed.

I would conclude by saying that for a new registry that claims to care about its customers, its silence over all these issues has been staggering. And lastly, perfectly honest individuals have been cheated out of their money - in a process that was described by Afilias Board member Robert Connelly as an "abomination" when he announced his decision to resign all his interests in the company.      


Link: Some supporting evidence for Domebase questions

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