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Network Solutions steals domain ideas


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This is a very interesting story about a recent devious tactic being used by one of the original ICANN accredited registrars, NetworkSolutions. Apparently NetworkSolutions is 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. If true, NetworkSolutions may lose trust of its customer base.


I am confirming that Network Solutions steals domain ideas when people check domain availability on the Network Solutions website. They seem to have started the practice of stealing domain ideas on December 16th 2007 according to our Domain History database but I was just made aware of this practice today. I am appalled at the concept of taking people’s domain ideas and registering it before the consumer has the ability to manually register the domain.


It is a deplorable action that Network Solution would announce potential domain names to the entire world. If a customer chooses not to register the domain name with Network Solution they are forced to wait 4 days for Network Solutions to delete the domain name in the Free Add Grace period. After the four day hostage period the consumer is free from the hostage situation and can register the domain somewhere else. However Network Solutions has now exposed those domains to Domain Tasters that will snipe those domain up milliseconds after Network Solutions deletes them. By registering the domain Network Solutions is exposing the domain in the DNS and every computer in the world now knows about the domain. These domains are now easy fodder for scammers and it is mind blowing that Network Solutions would expose their customers queries to the world in this manner.


Network Solutions is now the best friend of Domain Snipers and Spys. I tested the system by going to Network Solutions and looking up the availability of Neiman Marcus Verizon.com. Sure enough the domain was available to be registered, however when I check the whois it now said it was taken by Network Solutions. I was not able to register the domain at GoDaddy.


Network Solutions really screwed up on this one. The exposer of their customers was put before corporate profit on this one. If you use Network Solutions to check if a domain is available they will literally register the domain without your knowledge and hold it hostage for 4 days with a price tag of $34.99.


This easily makes Network Solutions the worst Registrar in the world. I hope that they cease this activity immediately as this has given them the worst black eye and makes the entire industry look bad. They actually think they are doing customers favors with this little dirty trick. These guys are clueless!




A user named Stratagenix contacted Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and got the following response:


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



ICANN was created through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN to transition management of the Domain Name System (DNS) from the U.S. government to the global community. The most recently issued version of the MoU is intended to be the last and sets out a series of goals for ICANN that, when achieved, will result in a fully independent ICANN organization.

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Netsolutions appears to be in violation of Federal Racketeering Law


Racketeering statutes


Federal racketeering statutes, first enacted in 1934 and periodically amended, target a number of specific offenses, such as conspiracy to

obstruct, or obstruction of, interstate commerce by robbery or extortion; travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or use of the mails, with the intent to facilitate any unlawful activity; and any offer, acceptance, or solicitation of bribes to influence an employee benefit plan. Penalties include fines and imprisonment and vary by offense.

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This is from the New York Times




After testing the concept in December, the domain name registration company quietly began doing this over the past weekend. Potential customers who used the company's "Find a domain" search engine would suddenly find the domain names they had been searching for were registered to Network Solutions itself, making them temporarily unable to purchase the domain from another provider.


On Wednesday, Network Solutions CEO Champ Mitchell said that his company planned to change the site's design to ensure that users are notified of this policy. The company is also looking into adding a feature that would make give users the option of keeping their searches un-registered, although that would require cooperation from domain name registries, he said.

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Ok I am going to see if this really happens. I am going to try to register




at Network Solutions




I get the following result


Congratulations! The following domains are available networksolutionsstealsdomains




Now I am going to Godaddy.com and try to register






Oh WOW! I get


NETWORKSOLUTIONSSTEALSDOMAINS.COM is already taken. (click here for info)




I clicked for more info and what did I get.



This Domain is available at NetworkSolutions.com

13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300







This Domain is Available - Register it Now!

600,000 domain names are registered daily! Don't delay; there's no guarantee

that a domain name you see today will still be here tomorrow!

Register it Now at www.NetworkSolutions.com.



Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:

Network Solutions, LLC domainsupport@networksolutions.com

13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300



1-888-642-9675 fax: 571-434-4620



Record expires on 08-Jan-2009.

Record created on 08-Jan-2008.

Database last updated on 10-Jan-2008 11:59:26 EST.


Domain servers in listed order:




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Guest DotMatrix

Network Solutions has a long history of evil behavior, including but not limited to sending out "invoices" for domain renewals to people not registered to them, with text printed in pale grey, tiny letters on the bottom of the back of the invoice saying "by sending us a check you are consenting to transfer your domain to us".

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