December 1st was the first day that the new ICANN policy on domain name WHOIS changes was introduced and crazy things are happening already.
According to the new policy, a WHOIS change to the registrant (or simply a small change to the registrant’s name) or the email address in WHOIS, will trigger a 60 day lock period. This is similar to the 60 day lock period after a domain name is transferred between registrars.
When the whois change in initiated an email is sent out to the old and new contacts to authorize such changes or decline them. Some registrars are offering an opt-out of the 60-day lock. Registrant must opt-out before an authorization for the whois change is given.
Crazy things start happening…
So on the first day the new policy was activated I got an email with the subject “DOMAIN CONTACT UPDATE CONFIRMATION EMAIL (OLD REGISTRANT)” and then another one with the subject “DOMAIN CONTACT UPDATE CONFIRMATION EMAIL (NEW REGISTRANT)”. I didn’t make any whois changes so the first thing I would normally think is that my domain is being stolen.
But I have 2-factor authorization enabled on Fabulous so this is not very probable.
The main problem is the part of the email saying that the change of registrant contact details was completed: “The request to change registrant contact details has been completed.”
Then I got the same 2 email about a different domain name at Fabulous.
Here is the sample of the emails I received:
|Subject:||DOMAIN CONTACT UPDATE CONFIRMATION EMAIL (OLD REGISTRANT)|
A description of the changes are below.
|Old Registrant||New Registrant|
|Organization Name||Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd||Organization Name||Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd|
|First Name||Domain Hostmaster,||First Name||Domain Hostmaster,|
|Last Name||CustomerID : 3445985******||Last Name||CustomerID : 3445985******|
|Email Addressfirstname.lastname@example.org||Email Addressemail@example.com|
This change applies to the following domain(s):
What is really happening?
So now we have to deal with this ICANN mess and deal with all the different implementations that each registrar is putting together.
I must note that the domain in question is using WHOIS privacy. Such domains were and still are a big question mark on how the new ICANN policy applies to them.
By examining the old and new registrant details in the email above I noticed that the only change was on the email address provided by the whois privacy forwarding service provided by Fabulous. It is almost certain that Fabulous is changing the email address on private domains regularly to deal with spam.
This domain was just registered 2 weeks ago so Fabulous is probably doing this email changes randomly. But with the new policy the domain must be locked for 60 days after a whois change unless the registrar offers an opt-out and the registrant chooses to opt-out.
The problem here is that I didn’t request a whois change and I certainly didn’t authorize the changes. I have contacted Fabulous support to see what has happened and how Fabulous is going to be treating both regular and private domains.
I have heard that Fabulous is providing an opt-out to the 60-day lock but I want to hear from them how they are treating all different problems here.
So now I have to deal with every registrar and registrars have to deal with all their clients asking questions and complaining about the new policy. What a mess!