EasyDNS Continues To Fight Bogus Website Seizures By City Of London Police After Verisign Issues 'No Decision'

from the a-decision-of-no-decision? dept

Back in October, we wrote about the absolutely ludicrous situation in which the City of London Police ordered registrars to take down a bunch of websites and point them to a page designated by the police (which pointed to some commercial services in London). There was no court order. There was no court involved at all. No one had been charged, sued, tried or anything. Just the City of London Police, their brand new "Intellectual Property Crime Unit" (set up at the urging of the RIAA), and a demand that the website domains be yanked and that the registrars bar them from being transferred out. While some registrars, such as the incredibly misnamed "Public Domain Registry," caved immediately to the completely bogus request, EasyDNS strongly and publicly refused (telling the police to come back with a court order) while also questioning (1) whatever happened to due process and (2) how any registrar could do this when it clearly violated ICANN's policy on transferring domain names.

Given this, EasyDNS went even further and filed a "request for enforcement" against Public Domain Registry, for locking the domains from being transferred out (and to EasyDNS). As EasyDNS notes, PDR's decision to lock the domains, despite being asked to do so by the police, violated ICANN's policies. ICANN's policies are pretty straightforward: the only times a registrar can deny a transfer-out request is in a few specific cases. And "asked by random police" isn't one. Instead there's "court order by a court of competent jurisdiction." But, again, there's been no court order.

Given this, the fact that PDR is denying to transfer the domains to EasyDNS it seems like an open and shut case that PDR is violating the rules. Verisign, which oversees all of this, should have made quick work of this in telling PDR to get on with the transfers. Instead... it totally punted, issuing one of the most bizarre statements you can imagine:
Subject: TDRS Case 45337 – Decision Rendered/ No Decision [ ref:_00DA0Zmyt._500A0GS9Pe:ref ]

Please be advised that Verisign has completed its review of Request for Enforcement Case # 45337 and has rendered a decision of No Decision.

REASON FOR DECISION: Pursuant to Section 3.3.4 of the Registrar Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy, the data provided by the Respondent is inconclusive as to the issues presented.
Got that? Verisign reviewed everything and it's issued its decision, which is no decision. How very Abbott and Costello of them. Furthermore, the "reason" is even more bizarre. Basically, PDR -- the registry accused of violating the rules -- did not provide sufficient data. Huh? That's like saying that someone charged with a crime automatically gets off if they don't provide the evidence against themselves, no matter what evidence the police have.

From here, it appears the process was:
EasyDNS: Here's our request for enforcement with lots of evidence that PDR folded like a cheap card table when some power hungry police force told them to shut down sites and block transfers despite no court order. This violates ICANN's transfer rules.

Verisign: PDR, what happened?

PDR Hmm?

Verisign: Well, EasyDNS, we are issuing a no decision decision, because PDR's answer is inconclusive.
EasyDNS is going to continue to push the matter, however, because it notes the dangerous consequences of Verisign's ridiculous non-decision.
We feel we have an obligation to push this to an appeal now, because otherwise it means that Registrars can arbitrarily slam the doors on outbound transfers, ignore any enforcement requests from the registry and then be granted decisions of "no decisions", thus allowing them to simply keep the domains hostage.

Now there's an easy way to reduce customer churn – to zero.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    It's too bad more people don't follow their example and do the right thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    London Police, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

    Blow us

    Hi, we don't care about following the law. We're too busy molesting children.
    The London Police

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 2:11am

      Re: Blow us

      It is not the London police force who are doing this. Its the City of London Police. The city of London is a very small jurisdiction within London and I think you are insulting the MET by claiming its the London Police.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Advertising

    Guess which registrar became my "most likely to register a domain with".... (hint: anyone guessing "PDR" was close only in so much as they also appear in this story...)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Blaine (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 4:00pm

    Rush said it best

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    "City of London Police" is not the police.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Ryan, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:40pm

    wow

    thats ridiculous considering Verisign is known for being very very strict in requiring court orders for doing anything to domains.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 9:31am

      Re: wow

      "thats ridiculous considering Verisign is known for being very very strict in requiring court orders for doing anything to domains."

      When they want to be.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    VeriSign is bought and paid for, just like PDR and many legislatures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 12:45am

    The City of London Police most certainly are the police. They are the the territorial force for the city of London (the financial centre) and primarily protect business interests there. They have 3 stations and a different badge to the the Metropolitan police who police the rest of London.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 5:46am

    what else has got to happen, particularly in the UK, to convince people that a totalitarian government, a police state, isn't right on the doorstep?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Rob Burns, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 7:35am

      Re: Totalitarian Government

      I agree with Anonymous Coward. This is only one small example of the erosion of the rights of UK citizens. Recently some other quasi-government agent banned a radio commercial from Premier Radio that asked people to contact them if they thought that they were being discriminated against because of their Christians faith. At the same time, numerous radio and print ads appear all over London promoting Muslim and other faith within the work community.

      Sir Winston Churchill stood alone among leaders to defend the rights of Great Britain against tyranny. Almost 70 years later, many with virtually no decision making powers are spitting in Churchill's face and taking away the privileges, rights and FREEDOMS that were fought for and many died for.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Welp, looks like I'll never use Verisign. Isn't Verisign owned my MarkMonitor? The company that watches bittorrent swarms and logs IP addresses.

    If Verisign is owned by MarkMonitor, then there is obviously a conflict of interest going on at Verisign.

    Viewed in this light, it's obvious why Verisign issued a non-determination over a copywrong issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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