GoDaddy Steps in It

Opinion: When a vendor says they can cancel your service because they don't like you, it's time to look elsewhere. Consider the capriciousness and hypocrisy of what GoDaddy did to Fyodor Vaskovich.

Not many of us actually read all the legal agreements we enter into and this problem has gotten far worse in the era of the Internet. We all agree to licenses and contracts that we dont take seriously.

Fyodor Vaskovich found out the hard way that some terms of service are so arbitrary and capricious that they mean whatever the vendor wants them to mean. Vaskovich operates seclists.org, a mailing list archive site for most of the really important security mailing lists. This means that if someone posts content to those lists, he stores it on that site.

/zimages/4/28571.gifGoDaddys DomainsByProxy service is a model for changes being proposed to the Internets "Whois" system. Click here to read more.

As Vaskovich explains in this e-mail, the day before Christmas he got a voice mail from GoDaddy saying that they were suspending his domain seclists.org. One minute later he received an e-mail from them that the domain "has been suspended for violation of the GoDaddy.com Abuse Policy."

Normally, GoDaddy doesnt respond to inquiries about why they have suspended a domain for a business day or two, but he was able to prod them into revealing that they had shut down the domain because MySpace had asked them to. A list of 34,000 MySpace user names and passwords was posted to the very popular Full-Disclosure list and therefore archived by seclists.org. Instead of contacting Vaskovich, MySpace approached GoDaddy and had them shut off his domain.

Before I get to GoDaddys behavior, I must wonder what MySpaces goal is here. The list of usernames and passwords went out on a mailing list and thousands of outsiders have it already, irrespective of whether the archived version is available. The cats out of the bag and MySpace, at a minimum, must void the passwords and force those users to reset theirs. What is accomplished by taking the list down? They only reinforce the reasonable conclusion that they dont know what they are doing. And why not go through the site admin? As Vaskovich said himself: "I would cancel my [MySpace] account if I was pathetic enough to have one."

Next page: GoDaddys Policies