Complaints Department - ICANN

 

On 19 February 2021 @4:10pm (SPT) I brought the domain name OzFacebook.site from Internet Domain product provider Godaddy.com

 

The domain name was to be used in the production of the website to join a discussion on the very topical and public consideration in Australia, concerning events currently occurring with conflict between the Australian government and Facebook over the use by Facebook of its website.

 

After purchasing the domain, the website was live with 1hours and links to the site were emailed to many news organizations in Australia.  

 

On the 25 February at approximately 6:30 PM (SPT) as the consequence of receiving a response from an individual to whom I’d forwarded a link to the webpage advising me that the site was not viewable

 

I then investigated and discovered that the website was in fact no longer active.

 

My browser was indicating to me that the problem was the server for the site could not be reached

 

As GoDaddy was also the hosting company for the website I immediately contacted them and after some investigation they advised me that the DNS for this TDL –‘.site’ domain had been blocked  within the registry so that it was no longer operational as it was a ”Domain flagged for Malware/Phishing Attempt’ and this matter was outside of their control.

 

They forward to me an email that contains the detail of the registry responsible for the management of this domain.

 

I visited their website and following their instructions I discovered that the domain had indeed been blocked because it be had been identified as being involved in Abuse of the ‘Malware/Pershing’ type

 

The website advised me:

 

The domain ozfacebook.site is currently suspended, if you wish to request an unsuspension, please follow the instructions given here

 

Steps for Unsuspension from Proactive Analysis:

 

The domain name has been suspended based on or proactive analysis where similar pattern domains were reported and suspended for abuse. To get the domain name unsuspended, please update the reason for registering this name and/or the purpose it will be used for. Please fill the form by checking the checkbox below.

 

 

I immediately filled out the form on their site saying:

At about 6:30 tonight I went to open the above website and received the message on the browser that it could not reach the server

I then rang up Go Daddy to investigate as to the situation with my website which went live about  last Friday.After a considerable investigation I was told you had terminated use of the domain I had purchased from you through Go daddy

They sent me to your site and gave me you email address

On you site I was informed that

The domain ozfacebook.site is currently suspended,

The domain was suspended based on or proactive analysis where similar pattern domains were reported and suspended for abuse.

And that

To get the domain name unsuspended, please update the reason for registering this name and/or the purpose it will be used for.

I was also advised

ServerHold is a status applied on a domain name by the Registry Operator.

Your domain is not included in the zone file and will not resolve. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes or when your domain is subject to abuse cases.

Except for the vague reason offered above I wish to know under what process and basis did you determine that my website constituted “the subject of an abuse case” or the subject of a “legal dispute” which required you to take the action you did?

The website is a simple one page of text with no interactivity between any visitor and anybody else it contains no other code but HTML.

It constitutes entirely “public comment” on the current international dispute between the Australian government and Facebook

 

I received a response from the registry by email now advising me that the domain was suspended because in analysis ‘the domain is found to be similar to the brand Facebook, Inc. Such domains have shown a high tendency to been used for phishing activities, and ‘registering domains similar to trademark associated brands is a violation of our Acceptable Usage Policy’

 

The Company also referred me to the conditions on their website for use of their domains and particularly the Clause 7 which indicated that they can make any decision they wish in relation to the management of their domain and such decisions is ‘in it sole discretion’ of the Resitrar

 

In effect the advise is they could please themselves what they do and that from such a decision I had no recourse.

 

I responded to this email asking them to provide me with the following details

 

1 Do you have any evidence the site has been used for “phishing activities.”

2 How did you become aware of the existence of the site?

3. Did you review the content of the site before you blocked it?

Also, when I purchased the domain I was not required to agree to the conditions on your site – why not?

 

Await your advice

 

At the time of lodging this complaint with ICANN I have not received a response from the registry to thatemil enquiry

 

My Submission

 

It would appear on the surface that the Registry has moved away from their initial advice that my domain was blocked from functioning because the website constituted abuse by ‘Malware/Pershing’ because quite clearly on any overview of the website this cannot be substantiated.

 

This leaves the latest reason provided by the registry of being ‘similar to a’ trademark’ as being the reason for their removal of functionality of my domain.

 

It is my understanding, the ultimate management of domains worldwide is a matter that rests within the jurisdiction of ICANN, at least it was in 2001 (Case D2001-0047) that involved a claim of "Trademark violation" and involved a process which was formally carried out by submissions from both parties and was adjudicated by a person holding professional standing in the area of law.

 

I hold the belief that the dealing with such a serious matter as encroaching upon the legal rights inferred by a party that claims breached copyright or trademark protection, is a serious allegations and should not be dealt with in a format any less than that provided for by ICANN.

 

I am making the complaint that, the Registrar of the domain name ‘OzFacebook.site’ acted carelessly and recklessly in pre-empting a legal position and thereby acted beyond the scope of their authority and commercial contract obligations in dealing with the subject domain name registered in good faith by me on 19 February 2021.

 

Further I understand the Registrar for the TDL ’.site’ must surely operates under the auspice of ICANN and thereby would be bound by the terms of Registration in the operation of thir Registry. To advise  a 'Registered Name Holder' that the Resistrar has "Sole Descretion" in descrwtion is a breach trust and seriously missleading.

 

I am therefore requesting that ICANN investigate this situation and if the fact as presented above as proven, then give serious consideration to whether or not this Resistrant organisation is a fit and proper body to be given the responsibility of managing a TDL domain Registry within the worldwide network known as the Internet.

 

Warren Bolton

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

 

11 October 2021

 

On13 August ICCAN responded advising they were closing this file I asked for a response providing reasons.