20i Reseller Hosting

Tracking Fasthosts .uk registrations

Discussion in 'General Board' started by Siusaidh, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I've been tracking those Fasthosts .uk registrations which were made en masse 33 or 34 days ago. Checking the top 24 on my list, not a single one has been updated or changed from the holding-ns.ui-dns.co.uk nameservers since Fasthosts acquired them.

    The original promise/announcement by Nominet was that rights holders would have 5 years to claim the .uk names, and that 5 years passed without the rights holders claiming them. The undertaking was that these domains would then be returned for public registration.

    Well more than a month has passed and no-one in my sample has taken up that option. In most if not all cases I don't really expect them to.

    Is there a search option via Nominet whereby a list of all the Fasthosts and Ionos domains that were unilaterally registered like this on June 10/11 can be identified and listed?

    And if there is, do you have to be a Nominet member to access that search facility?
     
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  3. PhilGreg United Kingdom

    PhilGreg Active Member

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    Basically, If any Fasthosts customers had not taken up their rights of registration on a .uk by a few weeks b4 the ROR Drop then Fasthosts assumed that right on their behalf ( and I suspect without permission, as I am with them and did not notice any prior notification, but then it may have be in the small print somewhere ).

    Anyway, they claim that they were doing this in the interests of their customers and published a page of info that claimed that they were doing it to protect their customers from nasty cyber-squatters! ( Just cos i ain't developed my portfolio yet...I guess they are referring to the likes of me! ).

    I questioned this with Nominet as it seemed to me that Fasthosts were taking advantage of a situation and assuming the rights of others in order to gain a business advantage ( as it is going to cost the .co.uk owners to get their .uk from Fasthosts and then they are likely to stay and buy into their other services like hosting etc ) and basically I was slightly peeved as many of the domains I was hoping to try and catch were taken off the market, not by the ROR-holder but by a powerful middleman. I had a prompt and blunt reply from Nominet that put me in my place! They informed me that Fasthosts had indeed informed their customers and that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. So that's the end of that then.

    I'm not sure but I think a number of other big registrar's may have done the same, like 123-reg as I noticed the same bulk same-day registrations. A wee bit disappointing, but hopefully you managed to snag a few of the ones that did become available.
     
  4. PhilGreg United Kingdom

    PhilGreg Active Member

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    I've just found the Fasthosts email notifying their customers of their intention to take up their Rights Of Registration on their behalf ( Date 21st June 2019 ), I've pasted the relevant bits below :

    Excerpt from Fasthosts email to their .co.uk customers :

    We have also become aware that so-called "domain squatters" (who register and monetise domains associated with existing brands, organisations and individuals) are preparing to register any potentially valuable .uk domains once they are released to the public. While buying and selling domain names is not illegal, it is possible for domains to be registered in bad faith. For this reason, we have considered the impact this practice may have on our customers, who may not be fully aware of the risk it poses to themselves and their businesses. We have therefore decided that the best course of action, in our customers' interests, is for us to secure all our registrants' .uk domains for free for one year. This will prevent and limit any damage caused by third parties' uncontrollable behaviour.

    Of course, if you do not want the domain it can be left to expire or cancelled with immediate effect; we just require your consent to release the domain publically prior to expiry. Alternatively, if you require the domain please email Fasthosts so we can verify you as the owner of the qualifying existing domain and assist you with transferring the new .uk domain to your Fasthosts account. Please note that if you take this action you will be responsible for any renewal fees for further years applied once the free first year has lapsed. You also have the ability to set the domain to expire if it is no longer required.
     
  5. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Yeah nasty 'domain squatters'. At least Fasthosts aren't guilty of that - they love their customers, they care about their customers, this was all done for the customers' best interests.
     
  6. seemly

    seemly Well-Known Member

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    I can't help but feel that Nominet have sloping shoulders with this issue.

    Fasthosts are not the registrant of the domain, they do not have the explicit agreement from the registrant to register the domains, therefore Fasthosts shouldn't legally be able to register the domains.

    I don't care that Fasthosts informed their customers that they would action this. The fact is a registrar should not legally be able to do this.

    This is shady practice from Nominet.
     
  7. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    One wonders why....
     
  8. bluerock

    bluerock Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Be interesting if one received a DRS, who would the respondent be?
     
  9. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    But Bilbo, the Fasthosts email (June 21st) notifying people they were "notifying their customers of their intention to take up their Rights Of Registration on their behalf" was sent 10 days AFTER they had already re-registered all of them (on June 10th and 11th). In my view the proper thing was to contact them IN ADVANCE and remind them of their options, rather than just take the initiative themselves, leaving tens of thousands of domain names in limbo, and NOT released to the public after the 5 year period as Nominet had promised.

    Anyway, returning to my original question, does Nominet offer a search method to find out what domains individual registrars have registered?

    I should like to obtain a list of all these domains. 2020 will soon come round and, technically Fasthosts should then release them all, unless they repeat the whole process. (That, of course, would be dependent on Nominet offering effectively FREE registrations like they did early June, which created the exact opportunity Fasthosts and others needed.

    Not that Nominet operates simply in the interests of these large registrars...
     
  10. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

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    There is at least one example of these already see DRS 21084 technicut.uk where they DRS Identity Protect Ltd (123-reg).

    https://secure.nominet.org.uk/drs/search-disputes.html

    Nominet have the PRSS (now called searchable Whois) however you can only search on registrant name instead of tag:

    https://www.nominet.uk/uk-domains/searchable-whois/

    So you would need the name Fasthosts registered them all in...

    Another way would be to get the original 3 million ROR drop list and then compare it to the current zone file. Then pull out everything with Fasthosts nameservers.
     
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  11. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Thanks for that last suggestion. That was helpful.

    Now... on the subject of tracking Fasthosts .uk mass-registrations. Let's take an example:

    BanburyCross.uk was registered by Fasthosts, ostensibly to protect the interests of the .co.uk holder.

    However, the .co.uk holder did not ask them to do that. On the contrary, they let the .co.uk expire and drop.

    On the 19th August when it dropped, it was registered by a different registrant. My question:

    On what grounds do Fasthosts and Nominet not now release the .uk domain to the general public?

    This applies to thousands of names that have dropped since the mass-registrations in early June.
     
  12. stitchbob

    stitchbob Active Member Exclusive Member

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    "Of course, if you do not want the domain it can be left to expire or cancelled with immediate effect; we just require your consent to release the domain publically prior to expiry."

    That part sounds a little like they've preregistered the domain AND enabled autorenew on behalf of their customers, relying on inertia selling to make a whole load of money.
     
  13. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Fasthosts letter about their mass-registrations (see PhilGreg's post above): "We have also become aware that so-called "domain squatters" are preparing to register any potentially valuable .uk domains once they are released to the public."

    But in the case of BanburyCross.uk and thousands of others, where the .co.uk domain has expired, dropped, and been registered by someone else... aren't Fasthosts themselves the "domain squatters" of the .uk domains?

    In the extract quoted by Stitchbob, they say they are willing for their .uk domains to be "cancelled with immediate effect", so they seem to recognise the principle if the domain is not wanted it can be cancelled (and made available to the public), but they aren't cancelling these zombie domains, and let's face it, if the original .co.uk registrant can't be bothered to renew their domains, they are pretty unlikely to be bothered to contact Fasthosts and ask them to cancel the .uk ones.

    Nominet promised in their protocol that after 5 years, the unclaimed .uk domains would be released to the general public. That was the undertaking. Then they effectively facilitated the mass-registrations by letting them be registered for nothing. There simply is NO reason or justification why Fasthosts and 1&1 do not have these unwanted .uk domains "cancelled with immediate effect".
     
  14. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    I think really it's pretty obvious where we're heading. The best of these domains *will* end up in the hands of fasthosts themselves and/or they will set autorenew on the others and pick up a load of money from people who are either dead (but payment still works), incapacitated, or just simply forget. Also you can expect emails reminding them before renewal to strangely not arrive before the date. Saw this with some com registrars in the past and lost some valuable domains because of it (although I always received renewal notices for crap).
    It was apparent this was going to be the case when nominet allowed all registrars to register all the .uk FOR FREE a couple of weeks before drop date. Would this have happened if that promotion didn't exist? Of course not.
    Meanwhile they can pretend it was for our own goods etc but we know that nominet are completely corrupt and have made money (probably in agreement) along with these registrars that they have bent over backwards to make richer for the last 5 years. We are not as stupid as they think we are.
    Unfortunately there is nobody to sue, nobody to get jailed for fraud, nobody to get fired for corruption, and they know this. So expect more and with each day they can become a little more obvious safe in the knowledge they are split into two camps there - 1) the corrupt and 2) the zombie workers (the Sharons of this world in 'customer relations' who come straight from the YTS and cost £1 per hour to say 'we cannot give you that information' but only between 9 and 5 on weekdays)
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  15. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I think some people under-estimate what "mass registration" means when applied to the way Fasthosts and Ionos 1&1 registered so many .uk domains (to protect from "domain squatters") 3 weeks before they were due to be released to the general public.

    I have a list of them all (a girl's got to be ready if/when they finally release them...)

    Setting aside Ionos 1&1 (part of the same group of companies I believe), let's take a look at Fasthosts' registrations of their customers' unclaimed .uks...

    Let's start at the very beginning. Let's just start with domains beginning 0 or 1...

    Just with those two numbers at the start, we are talking thousands of domains.

    Overall, and including Ionos, we are talking hundreds of thousands.

    This was a huge mass registration. Nominet made it all possible by creating a window where they could be registered for free.

    They were supposed to be released to the public.
     
  16. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Active Member Full Member

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    Where was this window of free opportunity? I didn't realise there was a promotion running? We'll see tons drop next year, I think. I had a few loaded up for customers that had ended up being registered by Fasthosts without their permission and/or knowledge. One in particular was a problem for me as they had paid quite a bit of money, I called Fasthosts and they were happy to release it - to the exact registrant details of the .CO.UK, which would have been fine had GDPR not fucked us all in the arse. Dealing with simpleton end users who can't remember which email they used or what name/address (anything) they used to register the .CO.UK, it's almost impossible to regain them.
     
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