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Rogue registrar suspended over “stolen” domain

Kevin Murphy, February 20, 2012, 10:59:43 (UTC), Domain Registrars

ICANN has told Turkish domain name registrar Alantron that its accreditation will be suspended for a month due to its shoddy record-keeping.
The suspension, which will become effective March 8, follows an investigation into allegations of double-selling.
ICANN issued the suspension last Thursday after trying unsuccessfully for almost three months to get its hands on Alantron’s registration records.
The company now has until March 28 to sort out its compliance problems or face losing its accreditation entirely.
I understand the investigation was prompted by complaints filed by an American named Roger Rainwater over the potentially valuable domain name spent a couple of years under Whois privacy but was grabbed last August by Turkish registrant Altan Tanriverdi, according to historical Whois records.
Rainwater, who says he had been monitoring it for three or four years, subsequently paid Tanriverdi an undisclosed sum for the domain, signing up for an Alantron account so it could be pushed.
Rainwater showed up in the Whois for on September 7 last year. But he says he was unable to change his name servers and 48 hours later the name disappeared from his account.
He says he was told by Alantron that it had put the domain in Tanriverdi’s account “by mistake” and that it was sold to SnapNames as part of a batch of dropping domains.
According to emails sent to Rainwater, seen by DI, Alantron said that was “registered via a partner company called Directi for a company called Snapnames”.
SnapNames had already auctioned the name – apparently there were more than 40 bidders – and the name has since been transferred to one Sammy Katz of Philadelphia.
However, given that Whois reliability is at question here, it’s not entirely clear who owns it. It’s currently parked at
Tanriverdi, who appears to be equally aggrieved, has published an extensive history of the dispute, along with screenshots, here (in Turkish).
In short: Alantron stands accused of double-selling
ICANN’s compliance team has been unable to get its hands on the underlying transaction data despite repeated attempts because Alantron apparently doesn’t have it.
Its suspension notice alleges that Alantron was running two registration systems in parallel and that they weren’t talking to each other, resulting in the same name being sold to two parties.
Read ICANN’s suspension notice in PDF format here.

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Comments (6)

  1. John Smith says:

    Interesting. Alantron seems to be using Logicboxes as technical provider (the Directi reference) and have “sold” their batch-pool access to Snapnames for their service.
    It also looks like Alantrons system was (is?) unable to differentiate between registrations in the different pools and attributed the registration to the internal pre-order.

  2. Brad Mugford says:

    Alantron is a Snapnames partner. I won a domain a couple months ago that is managed by
    I had a major issue with their whois as well. It took a couple weeks, and involvement of the general manager to get the whois information corrected.

  3. Roger Rainwater says:

    Since ICANN doesn’t have any records… the domain will remain where it is.. the only thing ICANN will do is shut down Alantron (maybe)…

  4. Kate says:

    The Icann letter also states:
    c) Failure to timely pay accreditation fees pursuant to Section 3.9 of the RAA.
    In general when Icann takes action against a registrar THIS is among the reasons.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      In the past that’s usually been because non-payment is what alerts ICANN to other problems, which doesn’t seem to be the case here.

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