GoDaddys Policies

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2007-02-12 Print this article Print

So whats GoDaddys excuse? I can imagine that posting usernames and passwords is reasonable grounds for taking action, but what exactly does their policy say? GoDaddys Legal Agreements page has a lengthy list of policies, including their "Universal Terms of Service". Lets review some excerpts:
Go Daddy reserves the right to terminate Services if Your usage of the Services results in, or is the subject of, legal action or threatened legal action, against Go Daddy or any of its affiliates or partners, without consideration for whether such legal action or threatened legal action is eventually determined to be with or without merit.
OK, thats pretty clear. All someone (MySpace for example) has to do is threaten GoDaddy and GoDaddy has the right to cancel your service. But the next paragraph is the one that really caught my eye:
Except as set forth below, Go Daddy may also cancel Your use of the Services, after thirty (30) days, if You are using the Services, as determined by Go Daddy in its sole discretion, in association with spam or morally objectionable activities. Morally objectionable activities will include, but not be limited to: activities designed to defame, embarrass, harm, abuse, threaten, slander or harass third parties; activities prohibited by the laws of the United States and/or foreign territories in which You conduct business; activities designed to encourage unlawful behavior by others, such as hate crimes, terrorism and child pornography; activities that are tortuous, vulgar, obscene, invasive of the privacy of a third party, racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable; ... [emphasis mine]
Vulgar? Obscene? Embarrassing? Talk about! (Predictably, that name is parked and owned by a domain broker.) GoDaddy practically invented vulgarity. Their Super Bowl ads, worthy of a class of 14-year-old boys for their creativity, embarrass the NFL, not to mention most decent people who watch them. I enjoy a good dirty joke as much as anyone, but GoDaddys softcore attempts at humor just fail.

GoDaddy also claimed to Wired that they gave Vaskovich "close to an hour" to respond to them, but Vaskovich posted the voice mail and e-mail showing that this claim was false. Its a "he said-GoDaddy said" thing, but I believe Vaskovich. Even if they had provided an hour, so what? They didnt provide a phone number, just a generic e-mail address ( and they dont claim to respond to it promptly.

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons has a popular blog in which he doesnt hesitate to criticize others. Hes been conspicuously silent about the outrage over his companys actions. I cant imagine that many people have respect for GoDaddy they are likely to lose as a result of this and security experts are a small market, so maybe Parsons doesnt care. But were still looking for a credible response.

Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog. More from Larry Seltzer

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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