Domain name registrar shuts down, exposing a host of unknown problems.
It wasn’t quite RegisterFly, but the fall of domain name registrar Parava this year was a stark reminder that the domain registration business remains poorly regulated with lax compliance.
ICANN sent a breach notice to Parava on February 27th, notifying it of major infractions including not paying accreditation fees, failing to escrow whois data, and failing to take action in response to invalid whois complaints. Heck, the company’s own domain name had an incorrect whois record.
The registrar was small, managing only 36,000 domains. But it included some doozies, including Marc Ostrofsky’s MutualFunds.com.
After failing to cure the breach, ICANN terminated Parava in April. Parava stopped operating, effectively cutting domain owners off from managing their domain names — even making DNS changes.
ICANN selected Tucows as the new registrar for the domains and the domains started transitioning there in May. As soon as the transition started, registrants realized something was wrong. People who had renewed for 5 or 10 years found that their domains expired this year. It turns out Parava was taking customer payments for multi-year renewals and only renewing a year at a time.
With every hardship is a lesson. Here are six signs your domain registrar is going defunct.