I admire Domaining.com founder Francois Carrillo for his determination when it comes to launching new websites with a variety of different business models. According to an email I received this morning, Francois launched a website on Discretion.com, which is now a private emailing service.
The way it works is that a person visits Discretion.com and clicks on the “send a message” button on the bottom of the home page. They are then taken to a page where they can fill out a form to send a message to someone, without the recipient knowing who sent the message. The sender can also choose an option to be notified when the message is opened by the recipient.
On the About us page, there is quite a bit of information about the privacy functionality of Discretion.com. The website reports that they don’t save any data except for encrypted messages for 48 hours. I believe there are similar anonymous email services in existence, although Discretion.com is a good brand name for one.
For a domain name application, I could see people using this to make anonymous offers for domain names. They could target some specific domain names they are in the market to acquire, enter in the email address of the owner, and make an offer to purchase the domain name without that owner knowing who is behind the inquiry. The person inquiring is important for me to know, so I don’t know how that will work.
Personally, I don’t have a need to send messages to someone without them knowing it’s me. My feeling is that the point of email is to be able to send something to someone and have them know it’s coming from me!
I could potentially see this service becoming a problem for Francois. If people send threatening emails and recipients complain to authorities about them, I would assume there could be requests for more information about the sender, which could add up to costly legal fees and other risk. That’s more of a legal question above my paygrade though. My feeling is that people should assume all forms of communication are either monitored or can be monitored, regardless of what is stated on the website.
I wish Francois all the best with this new venture. It’s a very good domain name and it seems to match the service offering.