back to article ICANN condemns registry DNS redirection

The group that oversees the internet's address system is taking a hard stance against domain name registries that redirect internet users to third-party sites when a non-existent URL is typed. Earlier this week, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said the practice - known as NXDOMAIN substitution …


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  1. Peter 39

    Verizon and NXDOMAIN

    I recently signed up for Verizon FiOS and the TOS specifiy that they do NXDOMAIN redirection.

    And they also say that you can opt-out !

    I'm not actually on this yet (next week) so I don't know what the opt-out process is. But at least there is one.

    Of course, you have to actually read the TOS documents to find this out. And in a small, non-resizable browser window that is very painful. Even more so since the ordering process times out if you take too long. It took me three cycles before I could actually complete an order. They helpfully say that they will send you a copy but of course you have to agree first. That's only a 98% Catch-22 because they do have a 15-day no-penalty cancellation policy.

  2. Herby

    Return to sender...

    Address unknown. No such number...

    Looks like they want all ill formed DNS lookups to go back to Elvis, or something. Need a postage stamp with his picture to do that!

  3. Phil Koenig

    Change in the wind?

    Well that is surely a welcome change of pace for ICANN.

    It leads me to wonder if this is a direct result of the USA's recent decision to release control of ICANN to the international community. Because they sure were hobbled by US political and corporate interests in the past.

    Here's hoping this may represent the turning over of a new leaf, of sorts.

  4. Raife Edwards
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    This should ALWAYS have been the correct response to such manipulative, annoying, greed-driven, non-sense as... "DNS-REDIRECTS" (I.E. browser-highjacking).

  5. John Robson Silver badge

    Browser hijacking???

    That's the least of the issues - it's everything else which uses DNS that's really screwed up by these things. In a browser you get to see the crapy html they've decided to send you, if you are running any sort of a script then there's no telling what you'll get, or give, them..

  6. Gabor Laszlo
    Thumb Up

    See also domain 'parking'

    Now if we could only get rid of those bastards like Sedo et al, I'd be a much happier admin.

  7. BristolBachelor Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    And also...

    Can they also ban all those companies that just register thousands of domain names as parking spaces. E.G. If Fairchild semiconductor only registers and not, I want a DNS error for, not some spam.

  8. Ron 10

    Comcast still does it

    First they did it without telling us. Then when people got pissed they set up a convoluted way to turn it off for your mail accounts. And then ignored the request. Try again you say; maybe you did it wrong. Nope. Still turned on.

    People were not pleased so they set up a new simplified. First time I tried it; simply broken. Waited a few days and the process worked. Unfortunately they still redirect the damn misspelled links.

    It is also always a joy when you are downloading a large file (e.g., installing .net) and the speed drops by half after a few minutes. But of course they are managing the network.

  9. Enrico Vanni


    ..when is someone going to tell Virgin Media about this?!

  10. Thomas Bottrill


    "Other services, most notably, OpenDNS, have built an entire business off of the practice. What sets this last one against the rest is that it's entirely opt-in. That means users who want to prevent themselves from accidentally ending up at a harmful site because they mistyped a URL have to go through the trouble of configuring their systems to use the service."

    You can also disable NXDOMAIN redirection, if you give them some money.

  11. Andrew Barratt

    Someone better tell Richard Branson

    Because Virgin media do this.......

    1. Mike Holden

      Virgin are excluded from this

      Virgin are an ISP, so excluded from this - it says so in the article.

      At least Virgin make it very easy to opt out, for free. I opted out as soon as I hit my first redirect, and sent them a message explaining exactly why they should not be doing this kind of thing. Doubt it made much difference to their philosophy, but at least they stopped redirecting!

  12. NogginTheNog

    No thanks OpenDNS

    The lack of proper NXDOMAIN support is why I stopped using OpenDNS as my external resolvers (instead of TalkTalk's crappy ones!) as I really really WANT to know when a URL I entered isn't found!

    And yes they're opt-out, but only by IP address so you either need a fixed IP or to install a little utility that keeps them updated as to who you are... no thanks!

  13. TeeCee Gold badge


    ".....prevent themselves from accidentally ending up at a harmful site because they mistyped a URL......"

    Am I missing something here? I thought that the practice under discussion was that of redirecting when what you typed in didn't exist. Surely if there is an actual site present on that mistyped address, you get it whether it's moody or not?

    Unless of course OpenDNS are offering a service which avoids blacklisted sites, but I don't think that's the same thing.

  14. bart

    Charter's been doing it for years.

    Not in the same league for squeezing more money out of its essentially captive audience as severely throttling and pruning usenet access, imposing monthly bandwidth caps, or providing a fractional infrastructure to support a user base many times its reasonable capacity, Charter switched to redirects several years ago. It amazes me that, even with the multitude of creative ways (albeit "industry accepted" ways) Charter has come up with to screw its customers, it still managed to find itself in bankruptcy.

    I chose OpenDNS as one of the only ways around Charter, and it serves me pretty well, though ultimately I wish that there were no need for it.

    Good to see ICANN finally making a statement a scant 6 years after the fact, but I doubt it will deter any providers from continuing and extending the circumvention of standards for their own increased profit.

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