Domain Registrars

Gab.com on the Move: Domain Transfers to Epik

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The Gab.com domain name is on the move again. The domain name transferred to Epik earlier today after being registered at Uniregistry for a very brief period of time. This comes on the heels of GoDaddy’s ultimatum that the domain name be transferred away from GoDaddy or face suspension.

Andrew Allemann reported that Gab.com is registered to Escrow.com’s holding account after selling on Flippa for $220,000 in September. Andrew speculated that this could mean the domain name was purchased using some sort of payment plan. Escrow.com does not comment about private transactions though, so the ownership information as it relates to the Gab.com domain name is a bit unclear.

There is quite a long thread on NamePros about Gab and the issues involving the Gab.com domain name. In a series of posts within the thread, Epik CEO Rob Monster seemingly invited Gab to transfer Gab.com to Epik and offered his thoughts on the topic.

I reached out to Rob to ask him why and he did this and whether he got in touch with Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab.

Epik Offering “Forever Registrations”

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I received a note from Epik CEO Rob Monster, who announced that Epik is now allowing its customers to effectively register some of their domain names at Epik forever. Rob’s email included a link to a press release published by Epik during the ICANN meeting in Barcelona. According to the press release, “Epik is the first ICANN-accredited registrar to offer the perpetual registration.”

Here’s a short excerpt from the press release:

“Forever domain registrations provide individuals and businesses with peace of mind. Once a Forever registration is secured, the future risk of domain loss due to administrative oversight or lack of funds is eliminated. While domain owners are still subject to legal use, domains can now become an enduring part of a will or estate, with continued managed registration compliance, even after the death of the original registrant. A Forever domain registration, which can be optionally combined with a Forever hosting plan, offers not only peace of mind, but also allows registrants to preserve their digital legacy, and on their terms.”

The cost of a .com “forever registration” at Epik runs $420. If a person were paying $10/year all-in to renew their .com domain name, that upfront cost would be 42 years worth of renewals (assuming the price stays the same over that time period).

The concept is certainly interesting. It would effectively reduce the concerns a domain owner may have over what happens to their domain names if they die. In theory,

Beware of Domain Registrar “Ghost Records”

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I received an email from Network Solutions last week to remind me about renewing a domain name. They even offered me a special discount code for renewing this domain name, which I previously won on NameJet:

The only problem with this email is that the domain name was transferred to GoDaddy back in March. A Whois search confirms that the domain name is no longer registered at Network Solutions.

It would appear that the UsedAgain.com record in my Network Solutions account is known as a “ghost record.” This means that it would appear to exist within my Network Solutions account, but it is really at GoDaddy. I would not be able to modify nameservers, set up forwarding, or do anything else with the domain name from within Network Solutions.

The big question I have is whether

List of Registrars Showing Public Whois After GDPR

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GDPR went into effect last week. Even though GDPR is a European Union data protection and privacy regulation that does not cover Americans or other people who are not EU citizens, some domain registrars totally eliminated public Whois lookup information to ensure they do not violate GDPR regulations and potentially expose themselves to serious penalties.

I have found that some domain name registrars have not eliminated public Whois lookups and Whois information, and I want to share what I found with you. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of registrars, and as far as I can tell, Whois information is only publicly available for registrants who do not have a European presence. I used a combination of registrar Whois searches, ICANN whois searches, and DomainTools Whois searches to see which registrars are blocking information and which are still showing information.

I invite you to share the name of registrars that are not using something like “Data Protected” for Whois lookups as you find them.

Registrars still showing Whois information after GDPR implementation:

Domain Registrars Should Reset All EPP Codes

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Andrew Allemann reported about changes that are coming to domain name transfers, and it is a bit concerning to me. You can read about the new, hopefully temporary transfer authorization process on Domain Name Wire, but this is the part that concerns me:

In many cases, domain name registrars will not be able to get the registrant email address from Whois that is necessary to send a Form of Authorization when someone transfers a domain name to them. As a result, gaining registrars will be allowed to skip the Form of Authorization requirement.” (emphasis added by me).

From what I understand, domain registrars are responsible for generating EPP authorization codes. Each registrar may have its own process for creating them and for updating them regularly or periodically. With the new transfer process coming into play, I think it is very important for domain registrars to reset all EPP authorization codes. If that would be a major inconvenience for customers who are in the middle of a domain transfer, perhaps the EPP codes could be reset for those that were requested more than 30 days ago.

It would appear that someone could

Popular Whois Privacy / Whois Proxy Brands

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Whois privacy seems to be a bit misunderstood by the general public and even some people in the technology sector. I regularly see news articles, social media posts, and other references that mention a Whois privacy / Whois proxy service without a clear understanding about the company or the purpose it serves.

There are many good reasons to use a Whois privacy or Whois proxy service. Of course some people who do bad things also use services to keep their Whois information private, but just because some bad actors use them, it doesn’t mean there is not a valid purpose for them.

Most domain registrars offer some form of Whois privacy or Whois proxy service. In fact, many of the companies that offer privacy / proxy services are related to the domain registrar. Whois privacy services are probably a nice upsell revenue stream for domain registrars.

Because of the

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