Eleven hours ago, Reddit user geeeeoffff went to Network Solutions, a web hosting and domain company. Probably to host a domain or something. Yet, he found out that when he checked a domain on its availability, Network Solutions automatically registered it. This is what the, probably amazed, Reddit user posted:
REDDIT GAMES: this company registers any domain name checked. Lets search for long strings of random letters and numbers!!! over 20 characters long should do it. (networksolutions.com)
You can imagine what happens next: hundreds of Reddit users started checking the weirdest and offensive domain names. You want some examples? You’ll get some! Beware, some are not suitable for your cubicle:
Some are pushing it a bit far though. Yet this only shows what kind of consequences this script by Network Solutions has.
The guys from Network Solutions seem to be pretty fast, according to Geekner, who checked the domain Ipickedthisnamebecauseitiscompletelyrandomandhasnumbers2.com. “It went from available to taken by NS in less than a minute.”
What Networks Solutions probably does, is called front running. This November, Nominet published a position paper on this matter. Here’s their definition:
Domain Name Front Running (DNFR) is a technique believed to exist, but so far unproved, whereby one person monitors the activity of a second person who is planning to register a domain name and the first person then registers the domain name before the second person.
Network Solutions already reacted on the front running accusations. Jonathon Nevett, Vice President of Policy at Network Solutions rather calls it ‘a security measure to protect our customers’. Moreover, he says that they release the domains after four days.
Which means there are 3,5 days left for this domain…