GoDaddy’s PR problems

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For a variety of reasons, I’ve been registering all my domain names at GoDaddy.

The domains are dirt cheap and even cheaper if you use a promo code from the hundreds of podcasts the domain registration service sponsors. They have great technical support. They offer a range of related services and are pretty good at them.

But that may not be enough to keep me loyal to GoDaddy in the wake of the news that the company suspended a domain name based on the content of the site. According to a story on Domain Name Wire, the suspension resulted from the discover that SecLists.org was publishing MySpace user names and passwords on its site. SecList’s MySpace profile was also suspended.

SecLists, a security-oriented site and newsletter, archives security-oriented mailing lists. The service apparently archived the MySpace list as part of another newsletter it archives; the list of user names and passwords had already been published in a variety of places and “The bad guys already have the file, and anyone else who wants it need only Google for ‘myspace1.txt.bz2′ or ‘duckqueen1′. Is MySpace going to try and shut down Google next?” asks Fyodor, who owns the list:

…everyone has this latest password list now, and it was even posted (several times) to the thousands of members of the fulldisclosure mailing list more than a week ago. So it was archived by all the sites which archive full-disclosure, including SecLists.Org. Instead of simply writing me (or abuse_at_seclists.org) asking to have the password list removed, MySpace decided to contact (only) GoDaddy and try to have the whole site of 250,000 pages removed because they don’t like one of them. And GoDaddy cowardly and lazily decided to simply shut down the site rather than actually investigating or giving me a chance to contest or comply with the complaint.

Fyodor’s full response is here.

In response to the suspension, GoDaddy General Counsel Christine Jones offered these comforting and reassuring words: “(GoDaddy) reserves the right to terminate your access to the services at any time, without notice, for any reason whatsoever.”

Is anybody counseling this organization on the PR ramifications of this position? “Register your domain with GoDaddy. You’ll never know why or when we might shut it down.” There is already some hubub over the situation in the blogosphere, not to mention some mainstream media coverage. I doubt they’d shut one of my domains down for no reason, but I’m not certain of that in light of this ill-advised statement.

I don’t think my blogs or sites will ever deliberately violate any rules, but who knows what comment might be offensive enough to qualify under the “any reason whatsoever” rule? I plan to take my registration business elsewhere. I’m also pretty sure I’ll also turn down GoDaddy offers to sponsor my content.



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Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.

GoDaddy’s PR problems
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  • ugdjan

    i have got a domain name from Godaddy and after one day they locked my account because i have done my payment using my friend’s web card . I have given my every details to Godaddy to unlock my account . Please help me to unlock my account.

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