By RACHEL BAUER, Associated PressThe US Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to force an online domain name registration firm to remove its name from the Internet.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Monday against Domain Name Services (DNS), a Seattle-based company that registers domain names and helps domain name registrars obtain domain names for businesses.
Domain name registrar Dyn, the parent company of the company, had not filed a complaint with the DOJ.
The DOJ says it has “significant” concerns about Dyn’s “preliminary findings” that the firm is not in compliance with the federal registration process.
“The department will pursue appropriate remedies for alleged violations of the registration requirements, including injunctive relief, equitable relief, disgorgement of fees, and damages,” the DOJ wrote in the lawsuit.
Dyn said in a statement that the company is “committed to complying with the requirements of federal law, which we believe apply equally to all companies, regardless of size or industry.”
Domain name registration and other services like Google’s DNS are typically reserved for companies with a few million dollars to spend on their domain names, or for larger companies with billions of dollars.DNS said in an emailed statement that it was “confident” in the company’s ability to provide its customers with “fair, reliable and secure” domain names.
Domain names are used to register domain names that are part of an Internet protocol, or ICQ, or a domain name is a unique name used to identify a domain.ICQ is a set of standards for a domain to operate that are widely used to make sure that it can function in the real world.
It’s the same protocol used by most Internet companies.
The government said Dyn’s website is part of a scheme to register a domain named for an Indian company, Sushil Bhati, who has been a frequent critic of US President Donald Trump.
Bhati has sued the US government over a ban on him using his name for a Trump-branded luxury hotel in Washington, DC.
He has also called Trump’s policies in the United States “immoral and dangerous” and claimed that the US is an occupying power in the Middle East and Africa.
The company says it is not a party to the lawsuit, but believes it is entitled to “full control over the domain name domain name.”
The domain name was registered by a company called DomainNameServices LLC in July.
A search for the domain on Dyn showed that the name registered for Bhatis company was available for purchase.
The filing said the company has a “good faith belief” that registration of the domain will not violate any laws.
“Dyn believes that the use of its domain name does not infringe upon the registration rights of any other party,” the filing said.
Dynamite Networks, a technology company, filed a similar complaint in June, claiming that the registration of Bhatish’s domain was a “straw purchase” and that Dyn was in breach of its obligations to disclose information about its services.
The US government is seeking a court order to block the company from registering the domain.
The department said in its complaint that the DNS registration company’s “primary purpose is to provide the public with access to the registration and management of domain names.””DNS also maintains a list of domain name companies that may be willing to assist the public in obtaining domain name registrations for private entities, such as businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies,” the complaint said.
“While the domain names of many large companies are available to the public for free, the DNS company has been offering to provide those companies with access for a fee.”