by Brian on June 20, 2006

The domain name under which I keep my philosophy blog and personal webpage seems to have been taken over by a domain name hijacker. (You might wonder how this could happen; there are a few details below the fold.) So I’ve had to move everything around. For anyone who links to those sites, or read them, the domain name is now weatherson.org rather than weatherson.net. Similarly the domain name of my email address has changed so it now ends .org rather than .net.

So how could this happen? When I set up the sites a few years ago, I bought a domain name and hosting bundle from Total Choice Hosting. They’ve been a reasonably good hosting service. As a domain name service, well not so much. The main problem was that when the credit card I used for the sites expired, I had to send a new one in. That I did – but I hadn’t imagined that they’d set up their company so that the customer had to tell both the hosting service side and the domain name side about the new credit card. Since I don’t do what I can’t imagine doing, I didn’t do this.

No problem you might think. They should alert me that the domain name is about to expire. Well they did – in a sense. They sent several emails to the email address I’d used when acquiring the domain name. Again, the idea that the email address I had on file with the hosting service might be the email address to use for the domain name service that I was buying from them didn’t exactly seem to register. Or perhaps everyone who does this kind of thing knows that you’re expected to tell both halves of a company about any change, not expect them to sort it out internally. As it stands I’m too tired from cleaning up all of this to think too hard about assignments of blame.



antirealist 06.20.06 at 6:13 pm

You could always change your surname. That might be easier. Cheaper too.


Aidan Maconachy 06.20.06 at 6:15 pm

Sorry to hear about this Brian.

I had a blog hijacked. It was simply an url heist on a blog I closed temporarily – not as complicated as your situation. It was a free blog, but frustrating as hell nonetheless.

Best of luck with this, hope you resolve it to your satisfaction.


Dan 06.20.06 at 6:42 pm

Yes, that sort of stuff is really annoying. My hosting provider sends you emails to say that your domain needs renewing, with a link to a webpage where you can go and click a “renew” button. Oddly, though, that doesn’t actually renew the domain – that’s done manually by some guy at the other end. What I’ve found that if you don’t start chasing this guy some weeks in advance, he’ll just forget to renew your domain, it will go over to a placeholder, and then take some days to come back online if and when he gets around to doing it. This has happened with three different domains that I host, all of which are kind of important.


James 06.20.06 at 7:05 pm

From the registry information I just checked, it appears that the domain hijacker is a person named Jason Falk.

A Google search reveals that Jason Falk may have a history of hijacking domains. See this opinion:



Michael Kremer 06.20.06 at 10:31 pm


Sorry to hear about this. It sounds like a royal pain (at best). I knew something like this must be happening when I tried to connect to your site earlier this week.

Next step (don’t rush!): get the link on crooked timber to connect to your new address.


Brian 06.20.06 at 10:41 pm

Thanks to everyone for the kind words. Especially because this was the kind of thing I could have possibly prevented if I was paying attention. Or at least if I knew where to pay attention.

And James is right that the person hijacking these domains has a record of this. I found one ICANN case finding against him that he didn’t even contest, so possibly I could have gone that route. But that doesn’t sound like fun.

Thanks again everyone.


abb1 06.21.06 at 2:13 am

…domain hijacker is a person named Jason Falk

If the domain registration expired (for whatever reason) and then this Jason guy registered it – how does it make him a hijacker?


Cryptic Ned 06.21.06 at 9:28 am

You’re right, abb1, he didn’t actually seize control of the domain name using illegal force and demand that it go to a place of his choosing.

A better term would be “squatter”.


Lisa Spangenberg 06.21.06 at 10:10 am


Register with one of the better known Domain registries that offer to grab a domain for you when it expires; he’s only got it for a year.

I’ll even donate to a fund to pay costs; this kind of thing is just so rude.

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