Complicating the situation is the fact that RegisterFly is an ICANN-accredited registrar, but has registered the majority of its domains as a reseller for eNom, which is owned by Demand Media.
The problems date to February 2006, when ICANN registrar liaison Tim Cole informed eNom of allegations that RegisterFly had altered customers’ WHOIS contact data, replacing it with “intentionally inaccurate data,” and that this action could constitute a potential breach of eNom’s own accreditation agreement. “At this time, ICANN confirmed with eNom that any registered names sponsored through eNom’s accreditation – even if processed through RegisterFly as a reseller – are eNom’s responsibility,” the ICANN letter notes.
That will be good news to the hundreds of thousands of customers who bought those resold domains. The fate of the approximately 880,000 domains issued by RegisterFly under its own accreditation is less clear. New president and CEO John Naruszewicz, who co-founded the company with Medina, says he is trying to rebuild the company’s customer service operation and get the web site working again. “I have personally pledged all of my personal assets to make all of this happen,” Naruszewicz said in the company’s statement. “I’ve mortgaged my home, leveraged all assets, and am in the stages of securing large letters of credit to bring this company forward properly.” Late Thursday, some domain owners were reporting that they were able to successfully log in and manage their domains.
In addition to its domain name registration business, RegisterFly also began issuing SSL certificates in November at rock-bottom pricing of $9.99 for a one-year certficiate, with a $6.99 buy rate for resellers. FlySSL certificates continue to be supported by browsers, but the company’s Certification Practice Statement – a document outlining the practices a certificate authority uses in issuing SSL certificates – now returns a 404. Even worse, RegisterFly’s own SSL certificate expired on Feb. 16, so customers attempting to log in to their management panel receive a browser warning of a certificate problem, which hardly instills confidence in RegisterFly’s stability as a certificate issuer.