Wednesday , August 17 2022

Broker says it will sue after DNS abuse sting operation

The CEO of domain broker VPN.com is threatening to sue an online safety advocacy group after a report was published alleging the company trades in names that could be used for illegal activity.

Michael Gargiulo said he will take action against the Digital Citizens Alliance unless it removes a report that claimed one of the company’s brokers agreed to coordinate the $21,000 purchase of covidvaccinecardsforsale.com, even after being told it would be used for illegal purposes.

“[We] sadly have no choice but to sue the Digital Citizens Alliance, Executive Director Tom Galvin, their Managing Editor, and every John Doe that coordinated this fraud unless this content is removed within 48 hours from now,” Gargiulo said.

The DCA report, entitled “Peddling For Profit — How Website Retailers Enable Bad Actors to Become the Master of Illicit Domains” (pdf), is largely an attempt to highlight how domain registrars don’t vet domains for potentially illegal use before allowing them to be registered.

It’s mostly familiar nonsense, apparently written with a general audience and tabloid headlines, rather than the domain industry or tech industry, in mind.

There’s no attempt to explore the complexities of automatically determining a registrant’s intent at the point of sale and comparing it to the world’s hundreds of legal jurisdictions, it’s mainly just “Woah, GoDaddy let me register untraceablegunsforsale.com!”

Where the report differs from the norm is when it looks at the secondary market, where human beings work with buyer and seller to agree a price and transfer a domain.

With VPN, the DCA reporter posed as the potential buyer of covidvaccinecardsforsale.net and carried out an email conversation with a broker in which it was stated the domain would be used to sell “Covid cards” to “the unvaccinated”, from which one could certainly infer a nefarious purpose.

The VPN broker responded by trying to negotiate the sale of the matching .com for a higher price, the DCA report states. Later, the DCA reporter says he wants to “stay under the radar of the FTC” but VPN’s response, if any, is not reported.

Gargiulo told DI that DCA “posed as a legitimate Buyer on the original inquiry with fraudulent intent, which by their publication admission, is fraudulent and illegal in America.”

The broker in question is from outside the US and “did not understand their [DCA’s] illegal intent” he said.

“In many parts of the world including Europe, Covid cards are used for vaccinated and unvaccinated people,” he said, giving the Netherlands as an example.

“We take this matter very seriously as the characterization of our company is absolutely ridiculous in this document,” he said. “There was little-to-no journalistic integrity to verify the other side of this story by DCA and the transaction never even got remotely close to occurring.”

DCA also attempted to buy buystolencreditcards.com via broker Domain Agents, but after blatantly describing how the name would be used for crime, “the broker canceled the deal.”

DCA, as its name implies, is funded by undisclosed companies in Big Content, Big Pharma, internet security and consumer safety. It’s led by former Verisign PR man Tom Galvin.

The post Broker says it will sue after DNS abuse sting operation first appeared on Domain Incite.

About Kevin Murphy

Check Also

nickel.com sells for a hell of a lot more than a nickel

The domain name nickel.com has sold to a mining company for roughly $250,000. Flying Nickel …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.