By Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation
This week we filed suit in California against domain name registrar OnlineNIC and its privacy/proxy service ID Shield for registering domain names, or web addresses, that pretended to be affiliated with our company, such as www-facebook-login.com and facebook-mails.com. By mentioning our apps and services in the domain names, OnlineNIC and ID Shield intended to make them appear legitimate and confuse people. This activity is known as cybersquatting and OnlineNIC has a history of this behavior.
We don’t want people to be deceived, so we track and take action against suspicious and misleading domains, including those registered using privacy/proxy services that allow owners to hide their identity. There are tens of millions of domain names on the web that have been registered using these privacy/proxy services. We proactively report instances of abuse to domain name registrars and privacy/proxy services and often collaborate with them to take down these malicious domains.
In many instances, however, domain name registrars and privacy/proxy services will not investigate or respond to abuse reports, which enables bad actors and delays our efforts to fight fraud and abuse.
This was the case with OnlineNIC and ID Shield, and that’s why we’ve taken this action to stop this type of domain name abuse. This lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people’s safety and privacy.