After Microsoft Returns All Of No-IP's Seized Domains And Settles Lawsuit, No-IP Is Still Angry

from the reasonably-so dept

We recently wrote about Microsoft going to court and convincing a judge to (with no adversarial hearing) allow it to seize a bunch of domain names from No-IP, redirecting all traffic to them through Microsoft's own servers. Those servers quickly encountered problems, meaning that many people who relied on No-IP's dynamic DNS system, found that they couldn't access their sites. Microsoft later blamed this on a "technical error" but it still appeared that the seizure effort was a gross abuse of the legal process. Remember, in the lawsuit that allowed Microsoft to seize the domains, it had claimed that No-IP parent Vitalwerks had been breaking the law.

Either way, it appears that Microsoft has now returned all the domains to No-IP and settled the lawsuit. According to a joint statement by the companies:
Microsoft has reviewed the evidence provided by Vitalwerks and enters into the settlement confident that Vitalwerks was not knowingly involved with the subdomains used to support malware. Those spreading the malware abused Vitalwerks’ services.

Microsoft identified malware that had escaped Vitalwerks’ detection. Upon notification and review of the evidence, Vitalwerks took immediate corrective action allowing Microsoft to identify victims of this malware. The parties have agreed to permanently disable Vitalwerks subdomains used to control the malware.

In the process of redirecting traffic to its servers for malware detection, Microsoft acknowledges that a number of Vitalwerks customers were impacted by service outages as a result of a technical error. Microsoft regrets any inconvenience these customers may have experienced.
No-IP for its part has also put out a more detailed explanation for how all of this happened. It's worth reading. It also takes apart a number of Microsoft's claims, including the company's claim that, prior to returning the domains, it had "fixed" the problems people were having accessing their sites. No-IP reiterates that if Microsoft had just contacted the company first, it would have taken down the abusive customers. Clearly, even though the situation was settled, No-IP is reasonably upset that it happened in the first place:
While we are extremely pleased with the settlement terms, we are outraged by Microsoft’s tactics and that we were not able to completely and immediately restore services to the majority of our valuable customers that had been affected.

At No-IP, we are firm believers that the Internet should be free and open. We will continue to fight for the rights of our users and our business. Moving forward, we have provisioned a solution that will reduce the risk of domain seizures.
Later it notes:
We hope that Microsoft learned a lesson from this debacle and that in the future they will not seize other companies domains and will use appropriate channels to report abuse.
Wouldn't that be nice.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:05am

    We hope that Microsoft learned a lesson from this debacle and that in the future they will not seize other companies domains and will use appropriate channels to report abuse.

    We also hope that Jason Lee Van Dyke will apologize to everyone, quit his job as an attorney, and spend the remainder of his days volunteering for community projects.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      "We also hope that Jason Lee Van Dyke will apologize to everyone, quit his job as an attorney, and spend the remainder of his days volunteering for community projects."

      do you hate community projects so much that you want to purposefully sabotage them?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:50am

        Re: Re:

        Let's see...on one leg a ball and chain, on the other a GPS device, a rake, a trash bag, a uniform that will help him blend into the background*, and a 30 mile stretch of the most dangerous road in Texas to keep clean, alone. The community will enjoy and appreciate that.

        * Helps chances that some driver might do the legal profession a favor, and run him over.

         

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    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      We also hope Chris Dodd befriend Pete Sunde and starts lobbying for the legalization of filesharing.

      And also, for a more probable hope, that Superman is cured from his kryptonite weakness.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:32am

    "Microsoft regrets any inconvenience these customers may have experienced."


    Of course Microsoft isn't going to go so far as to express their regret with monetary compensation for the people damaged and/or inconvenienced. They're just going to go "Sorry we fed the judge a line of bullshit that he bought instead of contacting the company that could have fixed the problem without incident. We didn't mean to screw ya'll over, but hey, we're Microsoft, we do what we want, so tough luck."

     

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  •  
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    Josh (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:32am

    Judge

    Doesn't the judge take any blame for allowing Microsoft to go though with this?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:38am

      Re: Judge

      Some, but garbage in, garbage out still applies. The judge is unlikely to be computer savvy enough to grasp what exactly No-IP's service would be used for, and Microsoft was saying they were complicit in distributing malware. So naturally the judge made the mistake of trusting Microsoft.

       

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        identicon
        David, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re: Judge

        So naturally the judge made the mistake of trusting Microsoft.

        The majority of computer users does, equally incomprehensibly.

         

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        •  
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          SolkeshNaranek (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Judge

          "Superman is cured from his kryptonite weakness"

          "That's actually happened a few times".

          In that case can we hope for politicians to turn honest and actually represent the people that elected them?

          Maybe we could toss in a wish of imprisonment for the ODNI head and his minions.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          New Mexico Mark, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 4:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Judge

          That's because too many users have clicked the "Always trust Microsoft" check box.

           

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      •  
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        Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: Judge

        Well, it has the word "No" in its name, so it must be bad.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:00pm

      Re: Judge

      Doesn't the judge take any blame for allowing Microsoft to go though with this?

      The Ex Parte TRO in the earlier Techdirt article, was signed by United States District Judge Gloria M. Navarro.

      I have no idea whether Microsoft has bothered to tell her that she cut service to about four million sites which were owned by about two million people.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      mcinsand, Jul 12th, 2014 @ 3:32am

      Re: Judge

      Exactly! What if you or I were so negligent, irresponsible, or incompetent in our jobs that we let something like this slip by? That this judge is not even on suspension is more proof of how flawed our legal system has become.

       

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

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    Blaine (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:51am

    I want in on this process

    Every single virus I've ever had to deal with, on all my family/friends computers, has been delivered to and enabled by Microsoft Windows....

    Where do I go to get the Microsoft.com domain turned over to me so I can fix this problem?

    I think I'll put a penguin on it.

     

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      identicon
      Michael, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:34am

      Re: I want in on this process

      that's a 'feature'.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:16pm

      Re: I want in on this process

      Sadly, I agree 100%. It was a malware program that only ran on Microsoft computers, which easily could have been updated through Microsoft's own update software to eliminate the malware or stop it from running. Why they went to court to fix an issue that was caused by themselves is a mystery to me.

      I really hope all of the customer's of no-ip.com services that were effected start a class action suit against Microsoft. It wasn't as bad as the DoJ calling everyone on mooo.com services a pedophile, but still just as bad an idea to do.

       

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      •  
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        Avatar28 (profile), Jul 14th, 2014 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re: I want in on this process

        It's not that easy. The malware was installed and it's not that easy to just remove it since Windows isn't a sandboxed platform. What MS did was cut off the command and control system of the botnets to kill them. It's basically like how when the military launches an invasion, one of the first things they do is take out the enemy's communication capabilities.

         

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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:00pm

    Moving forward, we have provisioned a solution that will reduce the risk of domain seizures.


    Ah, yes. Inverted responsibility. They will also stop being Black whenever they plan on driving anywhere, and stop being women whenever they dress for hot weather, just to avoid future problems.

     

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  •  
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    John85851 (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    Which lawsuit

    When you said "Microsoft... settled the lawsuit", I was thinking they already settled with No-IP so No-IP wouldn't sue their pants off for the gross abuse of the law.

    Is it safe to assume the No-IP will be suing Microsoft over this issue?

    I mean, really, how can any company (no matter now large) just seize the property of another company if they suspect criminal behavior?

     

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    •  
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      Whatever (profile), Jul 12th, 2014 @ 4:56am

      Re: Which lawsuit

      No, it reads like it's a settlement, end of discussion. Microsoft could very easily run these guys into the ground if the decided to sue, sending the in legal circles until the bleed money and die. Microsoft "admission" that No-IP was not "knowingly involved" is likely all the settlement they will get.

      I think that both parties learned something here. Microsoft has found out that they are not above the law, no matter how noble their cause. No-IP has learned that they need to do a better job checking their clients lest the find themselves in some serious trouble again in the future.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2014 @ 7:29am

        Re: Re: Which lawsuit

        How about you stop sucking up to MS and admit they just wanted to intimidate No-IP in a stupid way instead of being like everyone else and going through proper channels.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2014 @ 8:38am

        Re: Re: Which lawsuit

        No-IP has learned that they need to do a better job checking their clients lest the find themselves in some serious trouble again in the future.

        That is about as sane as saying the phone company should be careful about who they give phone numbers to, to prevent criminals using the phone system.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:52pm

    Yet another reason to switch over to decentralized DNS.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 7:19pm

    there are a lot of other companies/industries that would do well to take notice of this, not that they will!!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2014 @ 10:57am

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Reality bites, Jul 12th, 2014 @ 3:50pm

    Why hasn't the judge been disbarred?

    Until the lapdog mindless puppet judges start paying a personal price for their pretend farcical kangaroo courts nothing will ever change.

     

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


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