There’s a news story that has been making the rounds on major news outlets over the weekend about an attempted domain name theft at gunpoint. I have received quite a few Google Alerts about the armed robbery involving a domain name, and I think it helps illustrate why some people opt for Whois privacy proxy services on their domain name registrations.
Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post article describing the incident:
“But according to federal authorities, Adams began to believe one roadblock was standing between State Snaps and Internet entrepreneurial success. Although the website was registered at doit4state.com, Adams could not pry the domain rights for doitforstate.com from an unnamed individual who owned the address.
The aggressive push for the sought-after domain name would lead Adams and an associate down a path of threats and intimidation to a bloody June 2017 incident involving gunshots and a Taser at a home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.”
In short, someone wanted the better domain name for his website, and instead of buying it for $20,000, a theft at gunpoint was attempted:
“Using the written instructions from Adams, Hopkins forced E.D. to log into his GoDaddy account and transfer the domain name. He pistol-whipped and used the Taser on E.D. throughout the process, court documents say.”
This almost sounds like a joke, but it was a very real situation. Two people were shot and the end result was jail time for the perpetrator.
Domain names are valuable assets. People from all backgrounds around the world own valuable domain names. Instead of an armed robbery involving money or jewelry, this one involved a domain name. Some people opt for Whois privacy protection on their domain names so they don’t have to worry that someone will show up at their home with a weapon.
This is a scary story that sounds like something I would see on The Onion, but I am not sure privacy proxy services could even illustrate their utility any better.