EU domain registry hijacked, claims GoDaddy

Hundreds of shell domain registering companies bent system


Europe's brand new .eu top level domain has been hijacked, according to one of the internet's leading registrars.

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons has laid into .eu registry owner EURid for approving hundreds of what he calls "phantom" registrars who have walked away with the bulk of the 1.4m .eu domains registered since the domain was opened to the public earlier this week.

In a blog post, Parsons accused EURid of "grand manipulation and lax administration" for allowing hundreds of companies to be registered with the same contact details. The way the process worked, each registered company was effectively put in a line and was entitled to make a bid for a single .eu domain. If the domain was available, it was given to the company, if not, it wasn't. That registrar then was sent to the back of the line to queue up again.

However, out of the 1,570 accredited registrars, we have calculated that at least 630 were not separate registrars. One company in New York - whose backers Parsons claims to know - are responsible for at least 350. This meant effectively that one company had several hundred times its usual opportunity to get hold of particular .eu domains.

Not only is this unfair, says Parsons, but it will most likely lead to the end users paying much more for a .eu domain because the company behind it will charge more and/or auction the domain. It wasn't just the New York company either: there were 58 registrars from Vancouver approved that were the same company; 57 from Bellevue, Washingon; 32 from Portland, Oregon; 32 from Elsbethen in Austria; 18 from Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and 12 from Stanberg and Regensburg in Germany.

However, EURid has rejected the charge that these are no more than phantom companies. "Each registrar had to show us proof of the company registration," a EURid spokesman said. "They had to sign a registrar agreement, follow the regulations, show proof of their existence, and deposit 10,000 euros."

EURid had to "treat everyone on an equal basis", he claimed, answering Parsons' suggestion that only established registrars should have been entitled to register .eu domains, with the assertion that the process needed competition.

Each shell registrar had provided bona fide documentation that it was a separate company to EURid, and if they are in breach of the signed registrar contract, they will have the domain names they have registered put on hold, EURid confirmed. But this still leaves EURid open to accusations that it failed to close a loophole that has allowed unscrupulous companies to walk away with the lion's share of Europe's own top level domain.

Despite the controversy, many observers remain amazed at .eu's success. With 1.7m domains now registered in total, it has established itself as the internet's seventh biggest registry in just under a week. ®

Related link

Bob Parsons' blog post


Other stories you might like

  • Will Lenovo ever think beyond hardware?
    Then again, why develop your own software à la HPE GreenLake when you can use someone else's?

    Analysis Lenovo fancies its TruScale anything-as-a-service (XaaS) platform as a more flexible competitor to HPE GreenLake or Dell Apex. Unlike its rivals, Lenovo doesn't believe it needs to mimic all aspects of the cloud to be successful.

    While subscription services are nothing new for Lenovo, the company only recently consolidated its offerings into a unified XaaS service called TruScale.

    On the surface TruScale ticks most of the XaaS boxes — cloud-like consumption model, subscription pricing — and it works just like you'd expect. Sign up for a certain amount of compute capacity and a short time later a rack full of pre-plumbed compute, storage, and network boxes are delivered to your place of choosing, whether that's a private datacenter, colo, or edge location.

    Continue reading
  • Intel is running rings around AMD and Arm at the edge
    What will it take to loosen the x86 giant's edge stranglehold?

    Analysis Supermicro launched a wave of edge appliances using Intel's newly refreshed Xeon-D processors last week. The launch itself was nothing to write home about, but a thought occurred: with all the hype surrounding the outer reaches of computing that we call the edge, you'd think there would be more competition from chipmakers in this arena.

    So where are all the AMD and Arm-based edge appliances?

    A glance through the catalogs of the major OEMs – Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Inspur, Supermicro – returned plenty of results for AMD servers, but few, if any, validated for edge deployments. In fact, Supermicro was the only one of the five vendors that even offered an AMD-based edge appliance – which used an ageing Epyc processor. Hardly a great showing from AMD. Meanwhile, just one appliance from Inspur used an Arm-based chip from Nvidia.

    Continue reading
  • NASA's Psyche mission: 2022 launch is off after software arrives late
    Launch window slides into 2023 or 2024 for asteroid-probing project

    Sadly for NASA's mission to take samples from the asteroid Psyche, software problems mean the spacecraft is going to miss its 2022 launch window.

    The US space agency made the announcement on Friday: "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11."

    While it appears the software and testbeds are now working, there just isn't enough time to get everything done before a SpaceX Falcon Heavy sends the spacecraft to study a metallic-rich asteroid of the same name.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022