ICANN Digs into Panix.com Domain Theftbut Not Too Deep
Opinion: Notwithstanding ICANN's claims to the contrary, its new transfer rules are partly to blame for the Panix.com incident and others certain to come. But it's not the only party coming out of this smelling bad.In my continuing series on domain name theft I have observed the problem shift as the technology and standards have shifted. The problem used to be sloppy registrar practices. We still have that, although some registrars have gotten better. However, new domain name transfer rules issued by ICANN last year have greased the wheels for domain slamming, in which domains are fraudulently switched from one registrar to another, probably as part of stealing ownership of the domain itself. We had our first significant slamming incident in January, the theft of the panix.com domain. Panix is the oldest ISP in New York and one of those beloved companies that can scare up some sympathy fast, and so it happened in this case. An uproar ensued, and Panix got its name back relatively quickly. But what about domains with smaller fan bases? When theres no public outrage to scare ICANN and the registrars, will you get your domain back quickly? Will you get it at all? The developing news on the matter is not encouraging.
ICANN told me that it does not know of any big problem with domain slamming and asked me for examples. If youve had a problem with a domain being stolen, please contact me about it and I will see to it that senior ICANN officials get the information.