Charlie sends link:
ICANN investigates snatching of domain names:
""The Internet's key oversight agency is investigating suspicions that insider information is being used to snatch desired domain names before an individual or business can register them.
The Security and Stability Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers termed the practice "domain name front running" and likened it to a stock broker buying or selling shares ahead of a client's trade, in anticipation of a movement in price. In the case of Internet addresses, many people who see a domain name available the first time they check it out, find it already taken by the time they return to buy it.
That has led to suspicions that someone with access to [whois] search requests has been using the information to gauge interest in a domain name. By buying the domain first, that person can then try to sell it to the interested party for a profit. This is different from traditional domain name speculation because the buyer knows for sure that the address is of interest.
Although the practice has never been proved, the ICANN committee said the perception that it is happening "portrays an unfavorable image of the parties associated with the domain name registration process in specific, and of the domain name community in general."
The committee said it wants to prevent "perception from evolving to accepted wisdom." The committee cited several ways front running may be happening, including the installation of viruses and other software programmed to collect such information and the use of unscrupulous third-party sites to check domain name availability. Coincidence also was cited as a possibility.
ICANN is trying to gather evidence on whether it is occurring and, if so, whether policies or other measures are required to restrict the practice.""
***FS*** You go to an ICANN accredited registrar to look up a domain name.. or you search for a public WHOIS tool via Google. You start entering domain names in that whois site to explore for an unregistered name ... The whois logs the domain lookups, then the people running that whois register the domain names that you looked up, before you can.. they taste the names for 5 days to see if the name you guided them to gets any traffic, then they spit back the names which didn't get traffic so you can register them.
The problem is that we all register domain names, looking for organic traffic that will beat a path to our door. Nobody registers a domain name hoping that no soul will ever come to visit the site created there.
The whois/registrar operators who engage in this pre-screen or who front-run in this fashion, cream what you would call "the good ones" off the top.
The only good thing about this is it allows us all to be honest with each other. All domain names are not created equally.. There are good ones and there are bad ones.. The good ones are generic and contain organic type in traffic which comes for nothing more than the keyword weight or the gravity of the name itself. With ICANN's help, to control overfishing there will be more generic stock in the name pool for everyone. There is a replenishment cycle as new vernacular and hot-trends get re-created.