GoDaddy: .eu Domain Hijacked

In a scathing blog entry posted on Sunday, CEO Bob Parsons attacked European registry EURid for "grand manipulation and lax administration" regarding the recent opening of the .eu top-level domain. Parsons said the process turned into a large scam involving hundreds of fake registrars.

The .eu domain opened on Friday for what was called the "landrush" registration phase. During this period, accredited registrars such as GoDaddy could register domains for their customers using a process similar to standing in line. A registrar could request one domain at a time and then would be shuffled to the end of the line until the other registrars had a turn.

Europeans rushed to snatch up domains, registering over a million names in the first 12 hours alone. EURid highlighted the success, touting .eu as a real alternative to .com and the disparate country-level domains used across Europe.

However, while the landrush approach seemed fair on the surface, GoDaddy's Parsons said there was a giant loophole that enabled companies to create hundreds of fake registrars. He claims that one company -- backed by mega-millionaires in the United States -- was able to game the system and essentially have hundreds of positions in line.

"Two weeks before the landrush period began there were 800 — many real, many not — accredited .EU registrars. Then just before the landrush period began, Voila! Hundreds more registrars appeared. According to the EURid website – at least 300 more registrars appeared," explained Parsons.

Parsons says if there were about 1,100 registrars signed up with EURid, about 600 were "phantoms." The reason to take advantage of this loophole involves the auctioning of valuable names.

"Many of these names will be auctioned off for thousands of dollars. And of course, the likelihood that Company “X” will get these names is good because they were responsible for many of the “phantom” registrars created and allowed by the registry," he said. "Companies who have successfully gamed the system should make a fortune on the .EU landrush – all at the expense of the Europeans."

GoDaddy claims it tried to warn EURid of the potential for abuse, but its cries "fell on deaf ears." Parsons added that so many complaints have been filed EURid has simply stopped responding to them. But he has proposed a solution, involving EURid freezing all registrations and making sure they are genuine.

Those that are not from valid registrars should be deleted, Parsons says, and a second landrush period should be held for those domains.

"The problem with the above fix is that it would take huevos to step up and implement. This is something that we’ve seen little of from the people at the EURid registry," he chided. "So we can be sure unless some authority in the European community steps up and forces them to do it, they will do nothing."

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