updated 05:20 pm EST, Mon December 26, 2011
GoDaddy says limited info standard procedure
GoDaddy has responded to accusations that it was stalling on domain transfers from those leaving over SOPA. It argued to TechCrunch that accuser Namecheap had never contacted GoDaddy itself to ask about lifting any limits. GoDaddy and "many other registrars" limit the transfers to prevent abuse of WHOIS, or domain information requests such as the owner's contact information.
Namecheap could have easily asked, as GoDaddy can grant exceptions, Senior Product Development Director Rich Merdinger said. Certain companies need it, and holidays are common avenues for more suspicious sites.
"Because some registrars (and other data gathering, analyzing and reporting entities) have legitimate need for heavy port 43 access, we routinely grant requests for expanded access per [a standard operating procedure] we've had in place for many years," Merdinger explained. "As a side note, we have seen some nefarious activity this weekend which came from non-registrar sources. But, that is not unusual for a holiday weekend, nor would it cause legitimate requests to be rejected."
GoDaddy was actively lifting the limit for Namecheap "as a courtesy," but warned there may be some unintentional restrictions for addresses it wasn't completely aware of.
Namecheap acknowledged the issue and was thankful, albeit without discussing the apparent mistake.
The gesture eases some potentially more explosive allegations surrounding GoDaddy, which began drawing flak after it backed SOPA. Sheer public pressure and thousands of lost domains made it change its policies, but some have been worried that GoDaddy was trying to prevent others from switching. It's known to have been calling domain owners directly to talk about its reversal on SOPA and try to keep customers from leaving.