How ICANN said ICANT

If you're reading this, either you are still using http://neow.in to access the site, or your DNS records are updated to access us properly again.

I was going to write a whole piece regarding this ordeal and how it could have been handled better, but I'm not going to. Fact is: we were in the wrong, not our registrar or ICANN, although I feel our registrar could have handled the whole situation better.

Basically what happened is that our domain was reported to ICANN for inaccuracy of the WHOIS, specifically this part which was protected by "Domain Privacy" so instead of showing a "real" email address, it shows one that is handled by a company that handles privacy.

The problem summary: 
 
Domain being reported: neowin.net 
 
Time of submission/processing: Mon Jan 27 01:01:30 2014 
 
Problem in whois block: Technical Contact 
--- Error in email: Incorrect email 
--- Comment: E-mail address doesn't work. This bounces back

More detailed report here.

I registered Neowin in 2000 and the email I used to register it was also the primary contact email address for the account at our registrar, that email hasn't worked for years (the ISP no longer exists) and I just never got around to updating it, because of all the safeguards we have on our account means it's quite a process to get that email address changed. I felt that because our other email addresses attached to the WHOIS were valid and contactable that is was no big deal, wrong!

So while I feel this could have been handled better by our registrar, because we have several email addresses in our account that can be used to contact us, and because I was unaware that updating a support ticket actually pushed the ticket back down the queue, ultimately the fault lies with me.

ICANN is apparently requiring from 1 Jan 2014 that WHOIS information is accurate and up to date, if it isn't and they send a complaint to your registrar, one of the stipulations is that your domain can be suspended within a timeframe of their choosing, but within 14 days. We hold 17 domains at our registrar who gave us 72 hours to respond, at another registrar we hold an additional three domain names and they give five days notice to respond.

What kind of sucks though is that I was able to register and manage all these domains under an email address that wasn't contactable for over a decade. Our registrar also let me know they were currently dealing with an unusually high volume of calls to their support desk, I guess we aren't the only ones that are dealing with this.

So I apologize for the outage, our WHOIS is now accurate and up to date.

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32 Comments

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I wondered what happened. Several times I asked search engines what happened to Neowin & nothing ever came up. Google would show stuff from the home page that was posted the days I couldn't see it, but I couldn't access it myself.

welcome back neowin being online.

I thought someone hacked this site..., then I found out it was ICANN problem.

Have a great day!

good luck with the lawsuit when this post already claims fault. First rule of insurance and possible litigation is never to admit fault.

Hello,

Im glad Neowin takes the responsibiliy for this but like you said: This could have been handled WAY better by external non Neowin entities...

for years before this happened, ICANN was proposing to abolish WHOIS, but now they want accurate whois data instead, why the heart change?

You can buy privacy on WHOIS records, we pay $8.99 per year for it. We do it to cut down on the number of wannabe spam emails requesting to buy us out.

My domain registrar (name cheap) had WHO-IS protection listed $26 for 9 years but using an always-available discount code, got it down to $9 for the 9 years.

Being in the UK, that means it was less than £5.50 for the 9 years - worth it me thinks.
Then I changed my details to be correct for my house.

However I only use my domain for email.
God Bless ASO when they did their free lifetime plans!

Steven P. said,
"Free" as in already included in the pricing

Not really, especially when they're cheaper domains than other registrars that sill charge for whois protection

Everything seems to be working fine for me in Toronto. I wasn't able to log in through neow.in so all I did was browse the main site and forums as a guest.

Thanks for the information, Steve. I've been following the various threads in the forums, but it's good to have one concise article to explain it.

I'm still connecting through neow.in for the moment, but that's not a problem for me.

I thought I saw an email address of someone @stardock,.com the other day, not the privacy company one that is there now.