Was this domain stolen? If so, the original owner is having a lot of trouble getting it back.
Domain name transfer disputes due to alleged domain theft are usually handled behind the scenes and occasionally in court. That’s why a National Arbitration Forum decision on Syria.net under the Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy (TDRP) is so interesting.
TierraNet, Inc. was the registrar for Syria.net. It received a request to change the email address tied to the domain name. The “owner” submitted a copy of a photo ID with a name matching the domain owner Ahmad A. Hashem, so TierraNet changed the email address.
Recent ICANN rules required that TierraNet place a 60-day lock on the domain due to the email change unless the registrant opts out. This rule is in place to prevent domain theft. But TierraNet failed to place this lock on the domain even though the registrant did not opt out.
The person who requested the email change subsequently transferred the domain name to LexSynergy.
At that point another person purporting to be Ahmad A. Hashem contacted TierraNet and claimed his account was hacked. TierraNet reviewed the original photo ID and determined that the address and zip code on it did not match, suggesting that it might have been fraudulent.
TierraNet filed a TDRP against LexSynergy to try to get the domain back. The panelist determined:
No evidence has been presented that the Gaining Registrar, Lexsynergy Ltd., engaged in any fraudulent conduct in procuring the transfer. Thus, Complainant’s assertion of fraud by Ahmad A. Hashem is not a reason to have refused the transfer. Moreover, there is nothing in the TDRP that permits a registrar to “claw back” the transfer of a domain name if the domain name is transferred in violation of the 60-day lock period.
Because Complainant’s argument regarding “evidence of fraud” is not correct under the TDRP, and because Complainant transferred the domain without complying with 60-day lock, Complainant’s appeal is denied.