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January 18, 2007

Does Network Solutions Sell Their WHOIS Info
to 3rd Parties?

Twice I have queried www.NetworkSolutions.com for obscure available domain names, only to have them registered less than 24hrs later by domain resellers.

Coincidence or Shakedown?

The Story

On January 16 at 07:04PM, I did a WHOIS lookup on "homesonfilm.com" and the results came back with "Congratulations! The following domains are available", with a page to start the registration process.

After speaking to my client, I returned the following day, January 17, to register it, only to find it had been registered.

And was is registered to a business? No, it was registered to the domain reseller www.DomainSite.com



Coincidence or Shakedown?

I find it very suspicious and highly coincidental that this unique name could be grabbed less than 24hrs after my WHOIS query. And to further cloud the issue, a domain reseller grabbed it. 

So, does Network Solutions sell their WHOIS queries to 3rd parties? I wouldn't put it passed them with all of the other shady programs they've done in the past. And if so, it's unethical and could be a violation of their ICANN contract.

Anyone have a similar story?