Last year, we wrote about some reports that various domain name lookup sites were actually scams
designed to register the domains you wanted. What people were noticing was that they would do a search on a domain name and find it was available. Then, a day later, they'd go back to register it and find it was taken. That could be a coincidence, but it was happening so often, that some people began to suspect foul play -- and that some whois sites were either registering the domains themselves, or selling their search lists to speculators who were hoping to buy up the domains and then flip them to people who were upset about missing out on them while they were available. It only took a year and a half or so of complaints, but ICANN has finally decided this might be a problem worth investigating
. What's slightly odd about the investigation, though, is that the comments make it sound like ICANN is most worried that people think
this is happening -- rather than whether or not it's actually happening. That is, they're quite concerned that there's a perception out there that this happens. They might get further not worrying so much about perception and just focusing on what's actually going on.