domains Peddling For Profit



The internet is an unprecedented platform for speech, expression, commerce, entertainment, and more. But in recent years, the absence of rules and regulations in the digital realm upon which we depend offline has become increasingly problematic.
Digital Citizens has worked hard to shine a light on these abuses and the potential harms to consumers – whether it be exploiting social media platforms to advertise illegal COVID scams and recruit jihadists or demonstrating how piracy websites are used as bait to spread malware to consumers.

Abuse of consumer-facing platforms and websites like Facebook and YouTube understandably grabs the media and public's attention, given our familiarity with these services. But the internet is a much deeper and layered ecosystem of service providers which all play a role in the ultimate delivery of content and services to consumers – whether it be legitimate commerce or illegal and dangerous conduct or products and services.

Lesser known but vital players in this ecosystem are the companies that enable businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish a digital presence by acquiring a domain name. That industry is made up of registries, which administer hundreds of domain names such as .com, .org, and .biz and act as wholesalers; the domain name registrars, who offer specific domain names (such as digitalcitizensalliance.org) to consumers; and brokers, which operate in a robust secondary market where users can acquire a domain name that’s already registered.

There is a close relationship between the registrars that serve as a first step to acquiring a domain name and the brokers who fuel the secondary market. Registrars partner with brokers, as Namecheap does with Domain Agents, or offer to purchase the name on the secondary market itself on behalf of customers, as both GoDaddy and Network Solutions do.

... Yet, domain brokers – companies that help acquire already registered domain names via a robust secondary market – don’t hesitate to help would-be bad actors.
... Digital Citizens Alliance tested how domain brokers would react to trying to acquire such an obviously illicit domain ...

Read more > Download (PDF) Report

Source: Digital Citizens Alliance
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
There is a big problem with spoofing online, no doubt. What is the report calling for? Regulation? This is a very difficult proposition to implement. I haven't had time to carefully read it. But what if you wanted to register a domain and the registrar refused you because it has the potential of being misused in their eyes? But you have no such intent. IMO, the best solution is to educate the consumer. Show them how to recognize spoof sites. Once those stop being effective, then the bad actors will move on to something else. There seems to be too much potential for false positives.


Top Contributor
While I agree 100% that the industry is the wild west re-incarnated, reading the example in the pdf makes me think that the writer tries to force a certain mindset to the readers and ignores real-life facts.

For example,

the broker in the pdf's example is not trying to make someone a 'better criminal', what he is trying to do is help the buyer buy the better domain of the two, that's the broker's job.

Domain's are not an illegal product. It's up to the buyer to decide what to do with the domain they get.

Again, I agree 100% that the industry needs some regulation and some 'tidying up' but also I wished the writers of the articles took a longer distance from what they write and didn't take sides.


Top Contributor
well it's not illegal to have their opinions... the real questin is with 8billion opinions.. who cares.
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