Monday

30th Jan 2023

Thousands of .eu domain names abused

The European internet domain name authority, EURid, has suspended 74,000 .eu domain names and taken legal action against 400 registrars for abusing the service.

The move comes after a syndicate of registrars systematically acquired domain names with the intent of reselling them at a higher price – an act called warehousing.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • EURid sold its 2 millionth .eu domain in just three months (Photo: EURid)

"Since registrars should only register domain names for existing customers and not 'warehouse' the names in order to resell them at a higher price, this is clearly in breach of the registrar contract," said Herman Sobrie from Belgium-based EURid in a statement.

The legal action came after a review of the system for .eu domains revealed a small number of companies had registered several hundred phantom companies in order to manipulate the system and allow them additional opportunities to grab names.

The non-profit EURid company feared that an abuse of the .eu name might lower the value of the European domain.

"When the system is abused there is a risk that the perceived value of .eu will decrease, not only for the almost 2 million legitimate holders of .eu domain names but also for all honest registrars," EURid said in a statement.

Court proceedings are set to begin at a Brussels court in October.

The 74,000 names have been put on hold and EURid hopes to make them available for registration again by the end of the year.

Addresses include "hallo.eu" and "rap.eu", according to German daily Die Welt.

EURid pointed out it will continue to investigate reports of fraudulent registrars.

It has already suspended a handful of other domains because the owner was unable to prove they lived within the EU.

The .eu top-level domain has been an unexpected success with EURid announcing earlier this month that it had sold its 2 millionth .eu domain in just three months.

More than 10,000 .eu domain names suspended

The European internet domain name authority, EURid, has suspended around 10,000 .eu domain names registered by a single owner, saying it doubts the owner is an EU resident – a legal pre-requisite for registration of a .eu domain name.

Opinion

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The ECHR ruled that Russia was in "effective control" of separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine from 11 May 2014. In doing so, the court has formally acknowledged the inter-state character of the conflict and Russia's culpability for human rights abuses.

Opinion

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The ECHR ruled that Russia was in "effective control" of separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine from 11 May 2014. In doing so, the court has formally acknowledged the inter-state character of the conflict and Russia's culpability for human rights abuses.

Latest News

  1. Pressure mounts on EU to coordinate visas for Russian rights-defenders
  2. Dutch set to agree to US-led chip controls to China
  3. No record of Latvian MEP's 'official' Azerbaijan trip
  4. Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters
  5. Europe continues to finance Russia's war in Ukraine with lucrative fossil fuel trades
  6. Official: EU parliament's weak internal rule-making body leads to 'culture of impunity'
  7. Red tape border logjam for EU's 1.3m 'frontier workers'
  8. Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  2. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  3. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  4. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us