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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    New gTLDs Nonexistent .BIZ Addresses Redirected to Sleazy Sites
    posted by michael on Monday May 19 2003, @04:49AM

    dtobias writes "I don't know if it's an official Neulevel policy decision, or if somebody's hacked the registry, but now if you type a nonexistent .biz address into your Web browser (like this), instead of it failing to resolve (as unregistered domains normally do), it sends you on a series of back-button-killing redirections involving sites with raw IP addresses instead of domain names, finally terminating on what seems to be a random destination. Sometimes you wind up on a gambling or adult entertainment site, sometimes on a page that pops up heaps of extra browser windows (you're best off using Mozilla as your browser so you can disable this stuff), sometimes on a sleazy pseudo-portal filled with multilevel marketing links."
    [Editor's note: When I tried it this morning in two browsers, I got directed to something called "looksmart" every time. Maybe the other redirect was a (temporary) hack? This seems like policy...-mf]

    "This hardly seems like the best image for the top level domain that "means business", and promised "military level security". (The latter concept falls a little flat after some well-reported .mil problems, anyway.) Register a .biz domain, and you won't have to wait for slimeballs to typosquat it by putting very annoying stuff at nearby addresses; Neulevel will do it for you!"

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  • .mil problems
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  • Also by michael
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Nonexistent .BIZ Addresses Redirected to Sleazy Sites | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 29 comments | Search Discussion
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    It was only a matter of time
    by jberryhill on Monday May 19 2003, @08:49AM (#11678)
    User #3013 Info

    Most of the registrars have discovered the value of using pay-per-click parking pages for domain names registered by customers who do not yet have web services, and who consequently use the registrars default nameservers.

    This is merely taking the same revenue strategy to the next level.

    The question is what is so fascinating about a "server not found" error?

    But, yes, it does have the amusing side effect of the appearance of "pre-cybersquatted" domain names.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Is this different than Verisign's IDN solution?
    by lextext on Monday May 19 2003, @09:12AM (#11679)
    User #6 Info | http://www.lextext.com
    Readers of IW and my weblog will remember the uproar created a few months ago when Verisign began trapping for errors in the com and net TLDs and redirecting them to the plug-in page for IDN resolution. Is that much different than what is going on here with the biz errors?

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Tina Dam offers ICANN's response
    by dmehus on Monday May 19 2003, @12:31PM (#11686)
    User #3626 Info | http://doug.mehus.info/
    Tina Dam, ICANN's Chief gTLD Registry Liaison, offered this response to NeuLevel's redirecting unregistered .biz domain names to LookSmart [looksmart.com].

    Dear Doug,
    Thank you for your attention in this matter.

    However, the wildcard redirection of BIZ names is a short-term test of the BIZ directory performed by NeuLevel, with no revenue involved. Hence there is no breach of the NeuLevel Agreement with ICANN.

    Kind regards,

    Tina Dam

    Chief gTLD Registry Liaison
    Phone: +1-310-301-5838
    Doug Mehus http://doug.mehus.info/ [mehus.info]
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Close But No Cigar.... yet
    by jberryhill on Tuesday May 20 2003, @01:54PM (#11699)
    User #3013 Info

    U.S. Pat. No. 6,332,158 Domain name system lookup allowing intelligent correction of searches and presentation of auxiliary information
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Looksmart and Neulevel should be applauded
    by john123 on Wednesday May 21 2003, @07:32PM (#11705)
    User #3778 Info
    Hey, I think this is a great thing. Neustar and Level, along with Looksmart, are trying to improve the Internet by getting rid of those annoying 404 error pages. There no logical reason this shouldn't happen. Rather than carping at the corporate players, just because they are doing something different, we should be supporting their efforts to improve the Internet experience.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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