In a widely awaited move, ICANN has decided that EstDomains is not qualified to sell domain names anymore and will get their license revoked on November 12. The move comes after an Estonian court condemned EstDomains’ (former?) President Vladimir Tsastsin for money laundering, fraud and forgery. The court’s decision however can be appealed and EstDomains is claiming that Tsatsin is no longer President of the outfit, nor has he been for the past six months.
Should the move go through, some 800 000 domain names will be up for grabs again. The letter can be read in its entrety here .
EstDomains has a very bad, very well established reputation in security industry circles, as numerous spammers, scammers and virus distributors seem to have picked one or more of the domains under EstDomains administration as a base of operations. The operations of various such criminals have been covered here in some detail before .
This reputation is not of recent extraction, however. Signs that EstDomains may be something of a magnet to the “dark side” have appeared as early as the year 2000 and the company’s domains are blocked in corpore by many a spam blacklist. Why ICANN chose this particular moment to act remains an open question, but it’s a safe bet that if law enforcement authorities had acted earlier, ICANN would also have felt compelled to move a bit faster.
Here’s to hoping no other registrar emerges to take up EstDomains’ particular spot in the Internet ecology.