Sunday, June 28, 2015

Name and Shame: Verizon is a Traffic Thief!

I have noticed a disturbing situation: internet provider Verizon is stealing traffic from unused domains and subdomains and directing Verizon customers to various places.
For most of the thefts, Verizon customers are directed to a parking page filled with ads.
For example, (this is my domain, and the subdomain is unused) goes here for Verizon customers:

And even Scamful isn’t immune: redirects here:

More specifically, if an unused subdomain domain name is similar to another name, Verizon engages some kind of algorithm and redirects it to a specific page.
For example, for Verizon customers, the unused subdomains and takes them to

I have tested this on some of my other unused subdomains, and I have found the same redirect.
In other words, if you own domains (either for business or resale), Verizon is stealing pieces of YOUR unused property to redirect it to their ads on their parking pages and their advertisers.
Even if you aren’t a Verizon customer, you are still affected because if Verizon customers conduct a search on your unused domains or subdomains, they will be redirected to Verizon parking pages or specific pages with similar terms. It doesn’t matter who owns the domain.
Why is this important?


2. Most importantly, if their ad pages are filled with ads that could be construed as trademark infringement, YOU COULD LOSE YOUR DOMAIN in a UDRP, even though you are completely innocent!!!

This week, I’m going to look into the possibility of hiring a lawyer to send a Cease and Desist letter to Verizon, and perhaps file a contingency or class action lawsuit.
If your internet provider is Verizon, I invite you to test this for yourself, on both my examples and your own unused domains.
By the way, these are Go Daddy domains; unfortunately, Go Daddy does not offer subdomain wildcarding, but, perhaps, they should start.
If you use another registrar, look into the possibility of using a wildcard command to redirect your infinite number of subdomains to one specific page. Unfortunately, if you are using any of your subdomains in your business, this option won’t be available to you.
By the way, other internet providers may also be stealing your unused domains and subdomains; you might want to check how your internet provider handles unused digital property.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep you up-to-date on my plans regarding legal action.

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