I’ve seen some crazy articles about domain names, but this one tops the list.
The New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has written a letter to US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asking him to take action against domain registrar eNom. The reason? Terrorist organization Hezbollah’s TV station, Al-Manar TV, registered its domain name at eNom. The ADL claims that by allowing Al-Manar to register a domain and by allowing it to “quickly move its site from one host computer to another”, eNom is aiding a terrorist organization. In other words, letting one of its customers change the DNS server on a domain repeatedly is apparently aiding a terrorist organization.
I wonder if ADL even thought to contact eNom before writing this letter to see if eNom was aware it had allowed Al-Manar to register the domain. Even if eNom was aware, it would place eNom between a rock and a hard place. Registrars can’t play censor to what customers register and certainly can’t censor the content of web sites not hosted on their servers. Besides, with 5 million domains registered, eNom probably had no idea about the domain.
The article about the issue on SeattlePI.com doesn’t do justice for Enom, making it sound to the lay reader as if Enom physically took action to register the domain and help the terrorist organization move the name servers. A few choice lines:
“ENom Inc. in June 2000 registered the Web-site address www.manartv.com for Al-Manar TV of Lebanon, an arm of Hezbollah, said the New York-based Anti-Defamation League.”
“Lately, as the site’s registrar, eNom has allowed Al-Manar to quickly move its site from one host computer to another, the ADL said.”
“ENom, which was bought in late April by Demand Media Inc. of Los Angeles but still operates under its own name, has renewed Al-Manar’s registration of its domain name every year since 2000, Marcus said.”
Is it just me, or do these statements make it seem like eNom is physically taking action on behalf of Al-Manar? By saying “Enom…has reneweed Al-Manar’s registration” it sounds like eNom has been a friend and renewed the domain on Al-Manar’s behalf.