Archive for domain name

Who owns

Posted in All posts, On writing with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by Trina

This morning, I received this e-mail:

Dear owner of,

I noticeded that your domain “” expires in a few weeks, which means that it is going to be publicly available soon. I’d like to buy this domain name before it expires.

I assume that you are not interested in keeping it for yourself.

I can buy this domain for $60 plus any renewal related expenses. What do you think?

Stan Nonin,

I’m not sure how many hits this spam will actually get with the misspelling of the second word. But, since this is the second time someone has sent me a spam about my domain name, see previous post., it got me thinking. Do I own my domain name? I should know that since I have a Web site. Feeling a little embarrassed, I decided to do some reading about domain names. This is what I learned.

A domain name is part of an Internet address. For example,,,,,

A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is an Internet address that contains the domain name. It must include information to the left of the domain name, identifying the correct Internet protocol. Listed are some common protocol identifiers: http://, ftp://, and mail:.

For example, the domain name for my web site is: The URL for my web site is:

How Stuff Works has several articles that I found helpful:

Because all of the names in a given domain need to be unique, there has to be a single entity that controls the list and makes sure no duplicates arise. For example, the COM domain cannot contain any duplicate names, and a company called Network Solutions is in charge of maintaining this list. When you register a domain name, it goes through one of several dozen registrars who work with Network Solutions to add names to the list. Network Solutions, in turn, keeps a central database known as the whois database that contains information about the owner and name servers for each domain.

So, after doing a little research, I learned that I own the domain name My domain name registrar is Yahoo!’s domain registration partner, Melbourne IT. They are responsible for maintaining my domain registration records and managing my domain renewals.

I also learned that anyone can go find information about any domain currently in existence at either of these two sites: or Anyone with an internet connection has access to the registrar’s administrative, technical, and billing contact information.

So, I made my domain information private in the hopes that spammers will have a harder time finding me. Now the contact information for Melbourne IT is listed in place of my contact information in the public WHOIS database.

I was also rather taken aback discover that anyone with an Internet connection can see who links to my site, my traffic, and what the site used to look like as far back as 2004. All the articles and stories that I thought I’d deleted can be viewed there. How scary and embarrassing. It is a lesson that you can’t undo what you post on the Internet.

Domain Registry of America Scam

Posted in All posts, Life with tags , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2008 by Trina

This post is a warning for anyone with a Web site. I received a deceptive notice yesterday from Domain Registry of America (DRoA). See image below. It made me so angry that I had to write this post about DRoA. The notice came by snail mail in an envelope with my correct name and address–which really ticked me off–and included a return envelope for payment. The notice looks like a bill and was written to scare me into changing my domain name registry: “You must renew your domain name to retain exclusive rights to it on the Web, and now is the time to transfer and renew your name from your current Registrar to the Domain Registry of America. Failure to renew your domain name by the expiration date may result in a loss of your online identify…”

I went to the Web site given in the letter: to find that the company offers “free” Web hosting for the lifetime of your domain. Free indeed! You can register your domain for only $30 for a year, with the rate adjusted to save if you sign up for three to five years. It is a scam. A scam that 50,000 Canadians fell prey to in 2003.

I learned from The Register that following an investigation by The Federal Trade commission, Domain Registry of America based in Ontario, Canada, was prohibited from making misrepresentations in the marketing of its domain name registration. Well DRoA is up to its old tricks and they obviously have my address.

There is no need for me to renew my domain name, and certainly not with DRoA. I have a Geocities Web site hosted by Yahoo. I pay a small monthly fee, but you can build a Web site for free through Yahoo with no need to pay for registering the domain name. Other sites offer similar free sites. I have no intention of switching. But this trick probably works quite well with people who have no clue how the Domain Name System (DNS) works.

DRoA have been fooling people since at least 2002, as the Domain Registry of America, of Canada, of Europe and of Australia. They’ve also used the names, Internet Registry of Canada, Domain Registry Services, and Registration Services Incorporated. There is even a site dedicated to “inform internet users of the continuing saga of ‘Registration Services Incoporated'”.

According to the site this company first started sending out fake domain renewal letters to domain holders, using information illegally harvested from various WHOIS databases (mainly the Tucows OpenSRS database) in 2002.
The DRoA Web site lists contact addresses for them in North America, England, and Australia.