Domain name registrar Easily.co.uk has confirmed that greedy domain registration companies are examining their own logs to see what names customers are searching for, cybersquatting them and then trying to sell them back at a huge profit.
"Although the practice is heavily frowned upon and deemed very unprofessional, it definitely still goes on," said Steve Proctor, director of Easily. "We have actually been contacted by users who have essentially been screwed over by such companies."
He warned that technically there are no such laws or restrictions in force in the UK to prevent the actions, and carrying out the practice itself is all too easy to do for crooked companies.
Jeremy Kerner, a spokesman for Designercity.com, said that such practices date back to a time before the domain name land-grab really took off. Designercity itself is responsible for setting up the Web-based email service, another.com, which registered more than 10,000 domains in two years itself.
He argued that, although another.com is responsible for registering 10,000 domains, it did not cybersquat them but opened them up to the public. "Two years ago we registered horny.co.uk, and now more than 8000 people use it as their email address," he said.
"Before people started registering names proactively, companies did worry that someone was watching their actions, and should a juicy domain go checked but unregistered, that it would be snapped up by someone else," he added.
First published on uk.internet.com
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