The Registrar Privacy/Trust Issue…Who Has Access to That Info & What They Can Do With It??

Morning Folks!!

This is no way to end a year nor way to start a new one. But not my choice. It has been lingering for 2 weeks now and this is very difficult as I know everyone involved.

As I stated in the earlier post, this does not directly involve me but if Privacy and Trust is something important to you, than you might want to pay attention. These are the facts as I know them.

This is an unfortunate event that cannot be swept under the rug and ignored even though it should have been told 2 weeks ago when it happened by the company involved and not me. I agreed to hold this until December 31 which was against my better judgement and I am truly disappointed this is now in my lap.

If you don’t want to know the facts or want to shoot the messenger, just don’t read any further because there is nothing pleasurable ahead and no matter which side you may eventually come down on, you will have a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

I wish the folks at Moniker/Oversee were writing this and not me. I was under the impression they would and do it before today. I urged them in the strongest way I know. But they knew if they did not step up, others would and the story would be made public. This is the story they have failed to tell you and of course I only know some of the details. As a customer from the earliest days, I am not happy to see this.

This involves a domain under privacy, the customer that owned that domain, and the employee that works for the registrar that misused that info by contacting the employer of this customer. Got that?

Then we have an employee of Moniker who not only looked at protected info, but took it a step or two further as you will read below.

Now none of this would have come out had an email not been sent to the domainer's employer from this employee of Moniker about this person I know VERY well who owned a certain domain name under privacy. The motivation is the name of this Moniker Employee with “” on the end.

It gets more complicated because the email sent from the info the Moniker employee obtained was less than flattering towards this person. It brings up all types of issues, legal and otherwise whether we want to bring them up or not. You can stop reading whenever you like.

I know about it because this domainer called me very upset on Saturday December 18th wanting to know what I thought. I was pretty shocked to hear the details and could understand why he would be so upset. One question would lead to another and another. That was before I even knew who was involved. It was a jaw dropping conversation and in all the years I have known this domainer, I have never even seen him aggravated. 2 weeks later he is still angry.

On the 18th I got a copy of the email this domainer sent to Craig Snyder and Jeff Kupietsky. In part:

'A Moniker employee was in my account, saw a name that they had an issue with (which was on Moniker Privacy). The employee then decided to email a major player in the industry, who is a Moniker client, and who is also my current employer. The email the Moniker employee sent was malicious, attacking me and my character for owning this name.'

On Wednesday morning December 22nd I get a call from the domainers employer and he conferences me into a call with Craig Snyder of Moniker. The new GM now that Monte had left earlier in the month. That was the first time I became officially involved.

There is no need to go into details of that 45 minute call other than to say that both the employer and I were surprised and then some to learn the employee still had access to the company and information pending an investigation to find out the facts.

I told Craig that they had an obligation to understand the gravity of what I would term a “Breach” to their customers of which I am one. I was under the impression that he fully understood. But there were deals in the works and he did not want to upset them. I was pretty surprised to learn the employee still had access to Moniker. I told Craig that you would figure the minimum would be to not have that employee have access pending a further investigation of the facts. Facts that were not even in dispute.

To make a long story short, we agreed not to tell the story until the 31st and that they really need to get out in front of it because it should have been made public that day. But it was Christmas week etc. etc. etc. Deals pending. They needed some time. But if there was no statement from them by then we would be compelled to state the facts as we have them and I have not heard them disputed whatsoever. I told Craig it would look much better coming from them and not us. Day after day passed. Not a word.

So this domainer will provide me a time line of the facts that I will be posting. I am sorry to be involved in this, but it is like a hot potato that nobody wants to touch and sweeping it under the rug is not an option. I would have much rather Moniker put out the statement. Their breach, their responsibility. I don’t know what is so difficult about just doing the right thing and doing it timely instead of this? How many meetings do you need and how many days just to do the right thing? Whatever right turns out to be. So here we are. Not even so much as a statement. The burden on others to either make it public or join them in sweeping it under the rug.

This is not good from the look of things and you’ll have to come to your own conclusions. Who has access to what and how can they use and abuse the information?? This question needs to be asked no matter who you are doing business with. In this case they made the fatal mistake of involving several other parties. Then letting it fester for 2 weeks and forcing an uninvolved 3rd party to make it public. More will surely come now that it is in the light of day. So if you don't want to know, then just forget you read this and anything else that may come out.

It is not my job to put out any names. These are the FACTS as I know them. I still would urge Moniker/Oversee to make this 100% transparent because it will come out with them or without them in time.


Rick Schwartz

Here is an email update I just received and verification just received 25 minutes AFTER this post:


Fri, Dec 31, 2010 11:25 am

'Moniker has learned that one of its employees violated company policy by gaining unauthorized access to customer data for a single domain name registration. The employee has been placed on administrative leave while the company further reviews the matter.

Only one employee and one customer registration were involved. However, unauthorized data access of any kind, no matter how large or small, is an issue taken very seriously by Moniker and by its parent company,, and is being addressed directly.'


Mason Cole
Mason Cole

VP Communications & Industry Relations


111 thoughts on “The Registrar Privacy/Trust Issue…Who Has Access to That Info & What They Can Do With It??

  1. TLD

    Hmmm, not exactly the scandal I was picturing. Of course this is bad and it is a breach of trust, but it is something one rogue employee did which (hopefully) only impacted one person.
    The most concerning thing is that they did not put this employee on temporary suspension immediately. This is what makes the company look bad, and makes the new CEO look like maybe he shouldn’t be a CEO if he can’t handle what should be a very obvious decision.

  2. Nancy

    This is very disturbing Rick. My server hosts protect me better and I don’t even have a confidentialty agreement with them.
    There are many reasons to have privacy on your domain names, and that employee should have immediately been fired, and like you said – this should have been made public. I guess the spin doctors are on holiday break.

  3. Phil

    So, who will be getting the sack here…the customer who has every right to own a … domain or the registrar employee who used his position to do things he shouldn’t have done?

  4. Richard

    It is a sad state of affairs isn’t it. Shame it had to come from you and not someone from the company.
    I’m sure now it’s out they will be compelled to state their points of view now sooner rather than later.

  5. John

    The employee should be publicly named, and then immediately fired. That should then be followed with a public apology by Moniker, along with assurances that this sort of thing will NEVER happen again. The bulk of my portfolio is hosted with them, some of my names are controversial in nature, and thus this is very disheartening news.

  6. Carl Roth

    Reminds me of teachers that have facebook pictures of themselves getting drunk and other things. Who the heck buys the domain of their employer with after it. Just stupid. Terrible about one employee outing this person to his/ her employer, but what an idiot to own their employer I say fire the employee that revealed the privacy and the other company should fire the employee that owned the domain. It is not their fault an employee of Moniker called them, but since they know they certainly should not have such a pathetic employee working”for” them. Just my two cents. The entire privacy on domains is dumb anyways. If you own something then OWN it!
    PS – Rick owns

  7. Privateer

    There are known issues with Moniker privacy spontaneously turning itself off, so it never was technically trustworthy, but this is in a different league.
    Do they really expect us to believe one employee somehow stumbled on one name that was relevant to him? No, he went looking for it and maybe all their staff have access to who owns which name – Moniker and anyone else offering privacy will now have to be much clearer about just what they offer and what guarantees and terms and conditions apply.
    Really any contact between Moniker staff and anyone who is not the registrant is unacceptable, Moniker have got a big job here to restore confidence.

  8. hamburgler

    While I understand the privacy/legal aspect of it, the story itself is not that important or a big deal.
    Whoever registers…’myname’…I don’t care if someone registers it. Heck, it could be a relative of mine or a close friend, I still wouldn’t care much. It’s fair game, don’t take things so personal.

  9. No Spam Please

    Checked to see if”Monte Cahn Sucks” is registered: YES. – regged at 1&1.
    So can’t be it related to this domain. Plus Monte just left Moniker.
    Then checked to see if”Patrick Ruddell” is registered: NO. is available as of this moment.
    So can’t be it related to this domain.
    Then checked to see if”Chef Patrick Sucks” is registered: YES. was registered at MONIKER.
    Registered recently too: October 2010.
    Plus under Whois Privacy.
    So is it related to this domain?
    I hope Patrick’s not involved cause I respect the guy for what’s he’s accomplished, but if so, at least he has his new site to fall back on.

  10. Timbury

    The problem is not one rogue employee. The companies trusted with client data are not taking enough precautions to protect our data. This one rogue employee will get spanked for his actions (which *may* have involved more than one client record) and then what? Will Moniker take any steps to ensure it won’t happen again? What steps can be taken?
    Moniker is not alone in this. It has long been a gripe of mine. I’ve had many tiresome arguments with hosting companies whose tech support and billing agents ask for my password as ID verification. Why the hell do these people have access to my password?
    Security efforts at most companies are concentrated on keeping outsiders outside. The biggest threats are from inside.
    It really is a shame this had to be made public by a third party before Moniker owned up to it.

  11. joseph David

    ok so we have a monikerleaks here…if the usa’s highest security apparatus can be breached, I am not surprised moniker’s was as well…welcome to 2011 sans privacy. Privacy is dead 2011.

  12. Mark

    Jeezus Christ guys, how obvious does it have to be?
    Registrar: MONIKER

  13. Andrew Douglas

    Yawn – maybe it’s because I have a lot of .US and .IN names and therefore no privacy options, but this is being blown way out of proportion by a few attention whores. If a company violated the terms of it’s agreement then it can be held liable in court but the damages they’d be liable for here are likely pretty low.
    Moniker could likely make this go away by saying,”we changed our policy”. I personally don’t even think it requires firing the employee based on even your rather dramatic retelling of the events.
    Hell, if privacy went away tomorrow I wouldn’t shed a tear. But it’s here and if you make an agreement with your customer to protect that data, then you are legally on the hook. But what we don’t need is a bunch of attention starved domainers saying that the sky is falling or the company is collapsing as it’s just not the case.

  14. Landon White

    @ TLD
    Hmmm, not exactly the scandal I was picturing
    And what where you picturing ?

  15. Landon White

    @ Andrew Douglas
    this is being blown way out of proportion by a few attention whores
    As i see YOUR posts … on all the Blogs …
    it appears that YOU are the attention WHORE you speak of ….
    Without FAIL! always trying to DOWNPLAY wrong doings …
    WHO’s Corporate Cubicle do you WHORE for ??

  16. TLD

    @ Landon White
    With Rick’s post yesterday I was expecting a catastrophic event. Something that would ‘impact all of us’. This may possibly only impact those who use Moniker, and may possibly have impacted only one person specifically. Kinda like the Y2K buildup and then when midnight hit nothing really happened.

  17. Marcia Lynn

    Since this Moniker employee has been placed on administrative leave, and others in this industry have misplaced their trust in him, please just give his name… Was it chef.. err.. c[r]ook Patrick?

  18. Andrew Douglas

    @Landon – for good or bad, I’m entirely unaffiliated with any registrar, brokerage or marketplace except as a consumer of their services. I’m just a web developer and domain investor. I have no dog in this fight except I see no benefit to the industry to tear down Moniker for personal gain.
    Look, data breaches happen. You don’t make big press releases about it. No one benefits. You deal with it directly with the people involved. You don’t hash out the resolution to everyone’s satisfaction on someone’s blog. It doesn’t sound like anyone was trying to cover anything up here (despite Rick’s characterization that Moniker is sweeping it under the rug) as the customer affected obviously was aware of the situation and Moniker was in discussion with multiple parties.
    I’ve had an employee of mine do something similar – though larger in scale and with larger impacts to the customer. The employee made a mistake. It happens. While there were repercussions, that employee was not fired. Maybe it’s the right thing to do here, and maybe it’s not, but it’s not your call. It’s Moniker’s.

  19. jberryhill

    Apparently the US Army can’t keep an E-1 from sending 200,000 confidential State Dept. cables to Wikileaks, either. Anytime an organization is handling private information, unauthorized acts by an employee are a risk.
    Consider what happened to this transgender person after changing her name at the California DMV:
    Amber Yust, a transgender woman living in California, went to San Francisco’s DMV to get her name changed on her driver’s license. She had a court ordered name change and was easily able to get a new driver’s license with her new name. But her interactions with the DMV didn’t stop there. The employee who had processed her name change wasn’t happy that he had helped a transgender person. So he took Yust’s personal information from the DMV office, and mailed a letter to her home, calling her an abomination, telling her she was going to hell and that she had made a very evil decision. The letter came complete with quotes from the Bible.

    What is it, specifically, that Moniker should have done in response to the situation. It looks like the employee in question has been suspended. Are you suggesting the death penalty? What?

  20. jberryhill

    (2nd try – not sure where my first comment went)
    The US Army can’t keep an E-1 from giving 150,000 State Dept. cables to Wikileaks.
    The California DMV can’t prevent mis-use of name change information:
    “A few days after Amber Yust visited the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco to register her sex change from male to female, she got a letter at home from the DMV employee who had handled her application.
    Homosexual acts, he informed her, were”an abomination that leads to hell.””
    Welcome to the real world, where sometimes employees mis-use information to which they have access.
    What, specifically, would you have expected Moniker to do? The employee has been suspended, and there is no closing the barn door on this incident at this point. Death penalty? Press release, drawing further attention to this persons registration of the domain name?
    What, really, did you want them to do?

  21. Landon White

    The real issue here!
    Is that the employee had access to the data to begin with …
    Will Moniker explain how this came about to there CUSTOMERS,
    Will Moniker announce that no one else was involved,
    OR should i say …

  22. Andrew

    so lets take an analogy…
    say an affluent Domainer invests hundreds of research hours, and capital acquiring and registering future domains with whois privacy.
    Then lo and behold, you find out an employee from your Registrar has been casing your portfolio while you sleep. In turn, that Registrar Employee intentionally registers and acquires names within the same vertical. Then, that same employee writes an inflammatory, maniacal letter taunting and intimidating you.
    This Moniker Employee should definitely be terminated ASAP.
    This community is small and one fat apple spoils the bunch.

  23. CrazyBob

    I’ll just leave this here.
    Record created on: 2010-10-26 10:24:30.0
    Registrar: MONIKER
    Registrant [3288074]:
    Moniker Privacy Services
    Moniker Privacy Services
    20 SW 27th Ave.
    Suite 201
    Pompano Beach

  24. Marcia Lynn

    Just like the halvarez situation, leaving the perp nameless
    only makes the company look like they’re shielding the identity
    because they’re guilty themselves.
    So Moniker claims the employee was suspended. How do we know?
    Anybody we know at Moniker suspended? If so, he/she didn’t tell me.
    Should we all save our money by taking the additional cost of
    privacy protection off at Moniker? I’d feel better if I knew who
    was suspended, and that they were in fact suspended.
    From customers’ POV, this”suspension” is just a claim, not a fact.

  25. Anunt

    Rick, stop acting like a little bit*ch…he said this…she said that…he done this…she done that…this is NOT a murder case…stop with all that bull*shi*t.

  26. landon White

    If you notice …
    Allot of posters are deeply, deeply”UPSET that this is being discussed”
    is there a larger secret lucrative exportation of this issue
    then what we know so far?
    Moniker is not being 100% transparent thus we can assume there are
    other people involved in this debacle.
    Is a bored someone viewing your portfolio as we speak,

  27. landon White

    Well Jeff,
    how about a statement from you on this important issue,
    instead of this NEW Mason Jar Guy??

  28. Mike

    “What, really, did you want them to do?”
    That’s easy; name the person responsible so we know where to place our trust and so that we know it’s been dealt with properly. If this employee is an”industry figure”, as has been claimed, then it’s in the best interest of the industry to know. Otherwise, in every interaction with Oversee/Moniker, we’ll all be wondering if *this* employee is the snake.

  29. DomainingMojo

    People act like they’re Saints on this blog. Should the employee be fired? The employee is being treated as if they killed a person. No differen than owning questionable domains (i.e. Sex). Whatever it takes to make revenue.
    I see that domain privacy is a concern. Moreover, there are many instigators out there that have a vendetta to expose companies for their lack of ethics. Who is 100% honest in the world. Buyers rip off sellers and vice versa. Companies sell customer information for profit.
    There are a bunch of righteous people out there trying to play the progressive. If the employee has a history relating to breeches, then the Moniker can discipline them. It really depends on the terms and conditions of employment. What’s the big deal with having a a name of an elite domain investor following
    The theme of this article is to demonstrate that privacy is supposed to protect a domain owner. Information shouldn’t be given out that may jeopardize the parties involved. What I find inconsistent is how people are too quick to judge a situtation and they adopt the same unethical behavior. That is being biased, or a hypocrite. Maybe the domain company wants to make sure the information is accurate before issuing a statement.
    Writing about the breech is an attention getter. Maybe the employee wants attention, as well. Who really knows the backstory. It looks like domain investors want domain companies to fail. Reminds me of another blog that criticizes me for asking question, saying that this isn’t kidergarten, and them goes out there and develops a question site. Every blog is the same. Controversy equals traffic. Anyhow, nice one-sided article.

  30. Ed

    The issue is simple – when you *pay* for whois privacy at Moniker you engage in a financial transaction for a service and expect that your privacy will be upheld by the company you *paid*. When an employee can and does access your private details for their own benefit (whatever the justification) it’s a breach of that agreement. The entire premise of whois privacy at Moniker is much like a house of cards – by pulling that one card out of the house this employee has undermined the entire structure.

  31. Rick Schwartz

    Now that Moniker has made a statement (only sent to 2 people as we know it) that they should have made immediately, I expect the names will not be forthcoming. That is what makes this even more interesting. Still covering up!
    This once again should have come from Moniker/Oversee and not me. But so many questions linger and speculation makes things worse not better. Stone walling is a bad habit. This was not a huge story. Their reaction has made it huge.
    One comment on Mike’s blog puts it all in perspective after 2 weeks. Handled then it was a small issue. Handled wrong and here we are.
    “If those steps had been taken immediately, then this wouldn’t be such an issue. The fact is, no-one would know about it if RS hadn’t brought it into the open – forcing Monikers hand. Remember, we are talking about Privacy ‘PROTECTION’ here. What’s occurred is tantamount to theft.”
    Another post I saw said something I would like to echo
    “Considering how this act is sure grounds for termination of employment, I’d advise the individual involved to come out and issue a statement of apology before either Moniker or someone else publicizes their information. It’s called”damage control” and manning up. Remember Tiger Woods.”
    I agree. I think others agree. I think this person not coming forward is dragging EVERY employee of Moniker through the mud for NO REASON! Good people that DON’T DESERVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And then there is this to someone downplaying the incident. “WHO’s Corporate Cubicle do you WHORE for ??” (That’s a GREAT line! Seems a lot of the Whores are here and there in this industry and maybe TIME for domainers to see which team these whores are on)
    I did my duty as I see it and now let the chips fall where they may. When this comes in the open I can excuse myself from this conversation. I did what I believed was right and if folks have an issue with that then direct them in the proper direction. Their own values! I will post the names here at COB Monday if those that should come forward do not. I may even confirm before as the bloodhounds are getting mighty close.
    I was really hoping that Moniker would come forward. Oversee would come forward. Somebody would come forward and relieve ME of this. But not a shot across the bow the night before (THAT was the REASON for that post but you probably can’t take that for face value). Not a post with the facts. Not 2 weeks time. Just another stone wall.
    And to the “minimizers” and “Excusers”……WEAK! The same crew that defends other wrong doing like Halvarez are again out in force. Mostly because their FRIENDS are involved and “I” am no friend.
    So those folks can stick it! You are on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of nearly every issue. And for the THICK…..the issue is NOT me. The issue is ANOTHER COVERUP! The issue is paying for something and maybe not getting it. The issue is who has access. The issue is why did it take weeks to come out and nobody from within doing it. The issue is contacting an employer. The issue is TRUST! The issue is accountability. The issue is are you going to allow the Industry that you make you livelihood in turn into a bunch of abusers and YOU are the ones being abused at EVERY turn.
    My advice to EVERYONE that does not understand or has to attack me or has to minimize it to protect their client or friend in 2011….is to GROW SOME BALLS! Start figuring out right from wrong. Defending wrong doing, minimizing it, sweeping it under the rug, shows your values not mine. WEAK or non existent. But hey….it’s your FRIEND and that makes everything you do justified in your mind. Well…..WRONG!
    I think any domanier that makes ME the issue lose all credibility going forward. No sense of right and wrong. Your HATE is much stronger. Legit guys, business people understand this. The rest of you need to understand the ramifications. Maybe you too would be outraged. But you are too agenda driven to be fair, so why bother?

  32. rob sequin

    Statement said
    “The employee has been placed on administrative leave while the company further reviews the matter.
    Only one employee and one customer registration were involved”
    Statement says the company is reviewing the matter but states that only one employee and one customer were involved?
    So they completed their review?
    Remember, no one gets caught the FIRST time.
    Don’t forget Craig Snyder was CEO of iReit when they were buying domains from Halverez.
    Not speculation, fact.

  33. Eric Borgos

    I have all my 9000 domains registered at, and have had it that way for many many years. Although this privacy breach is bad, the employee seems to have been doing what he thought was best, even if it was illegal and bad judgment. So, it does not worry me much personally, plus at this point I assume will be setting up some systems to prevent further abuses like this.
    I think it is great of you put all this info out there though, and be an advocate for your friend who had the problem. Moniker should have released all the details themselves, and now it makes them look even more guilty since you had to be the one to break the story. After the Halverez scandal, Oversee can’t afford more bad press, so they seem to be handling this very badly. After Halverez, they should have a setup a whole team or department just to handle potential problems before they snowball into a scandal, like this one seems to be doing.

  34. lee

    What a load of”pigeon shit” lol..
    You call your bank to query some account statements and a representative will access your account with all your personal details.. and occasionally there will be a rogue.. it happens.. will get dealt with internally and punishment as a warning to other employees of what will happen.. organisations have to put some trust in employees otherwise they can’t operate
    but”news to rock the domaining world” this is not, maybe more like”news to piss off people in my clique down the pub” .. pfffft.. a laughable 2011 starter post lol

  35. Gobble

    Yes, this is nothing. You always get a bad egg in any organization. Hence it is understandable the position of the registrar itself.
    A real scandal is when someone in a position of authority colludes with another person to rip of domain name owners etc etc. Intent by those in a position of trust.

  36. Blake

    Therefore, is it ok for said bank rep to disclose that bank customer’s financial/personal records, without authorization to that customer’s neighbors with the intent of damaging that person’s standing within the community?
    Is it ok for an office manager at a doctor’s office to disclose, without authorization the medical records of a patient to the patient’s landlord?

  37. Danny Pryor

    Well, this underscores why a situation like this can happen. What has transpired went far beyond the rogue employee, because Moniker let the issue”stew” in a”hidden cooker”.
    Of course there are specific laws governing how employers are permitted to treat employees, but the fact one does not find this to be a larger scandal is actually disturbing. I have very few names at Moniker, and none are on privacy, but I assure you I would be consulting with counsel by now, had this happened to me.
    The fortunate situation for the domainer in question is they happen to have some the best counsel in the world at their disposal. That should put the fear of God into the folks at Moniker, which makes this entire situation very disturbing, indeed.
    The larger question is this: What does Moniker think it can get away with? Just over a year ago it was Halvarez, and now it’s this. It’s beginning to look like a rogue registry, not just one rogue employee.
    Well, we’ll see what gets cooked up next. Damned lucky I’m not still a journalist or I’d bust this story wide open.
    Have a nice day!

  38. adam

    Maybe the person that owns the sucks name should”man up” too. Why limit the owning up to 1 person :)
    btw will the WADND be revoked like you did with Tucows ?

  39. Jason

    because the *********** owner did not breach a Privacy Agreement and he did not disclose private/protected information to a 3rd party — he is a victim.
    This Moniker Employee must resign or be terminated.

  40. Josh

    Customer Service started going down hill at Moniker when Monte left. I guess ethics have too…

  41. Danny Pryor

    I’m curious why you think the person who wants privacy service on their domain name should”man up”. The implication is, of course, that utilizing that service somehow puts one into the same category as the questionable character who violated the privacy policy.
    This appearance of cover-up, on the part of the registry, is the reason this situation has become what it is. Rick’s second post, herein above, makes that clear. This would not be an issue, save for the fact someone at Moniker thinks it is worthy of hiding.
    That’s where the issue is.
    And how, exactly, does WADND come into play here? Tucows is a separate situation and completely unrelated.

  42. Landon White

    @ Rick
    And then there is this Posted to someone downplaying the incident.
    “WHO’s Corporate Cubicle do you WHORE for ??” (That’s a GREAT line! Seems a lot of the Whores are here and there in this industry and maybe TIME for domainers to see which team these whores are on)
    “WHO’s Corporate Cubicle do you WHORE for ??”
    Yes, I WROTE that line for all the phoneys that come on every Domain industry blog and pretend they are”just a Domainer”
    voicing a personal opinion when it fact they are Corporate Stooges or affiliated associates with a hidden agenda to mislead REAL Domain Buyers/Sellers with untrue facts/misinformation and basically try to uphold ways that …
    screw you out of your money.
    TIME for domainers to see which team these whores are on …
    If you run across these Worms in Sheep’s clothing on any blog feel
    free to SHINE a light on these Sluts and ask …
    “WHO’s Corporate Cubicle do you WHORE for ??”

  43. lee

    err no.. it’s not ok. But shit happens. You can vet your employees, but there has to be an element of trust on some level..
    What I am saying, is shit like this happens, and companies deal with it, either internally or legally. But it ain’t news to rock the domaining world.. just Rick’s.

  44. jim

    But they weren’t dealing with it, were they? Two weeks after the event the employee hadn’t even been disiplined. That’s the point.

  45. Anunt

    Everybody, please stop acting like little bit*ches…he said this…she said that…he done this…she done that…this is NOT a freaking murder case…stop with all the bull*shi*t.

  46. adam

    @danny The smily face emoticon clearly indicated a joke. Ease up. Moving on to the WADND issue. Tucows had their”seal” revoked for a different matter, yes, so I’m wondering if the current issue gives grounds for Moniker’s to be revoked in the same manner.
    oh and btw Moniker’s a registrar, not a registry (at this point). This is pretty important terminology and there’s still a big distinction between the two, so can we try and pick our words correctly when writing about important issues like whois privacy. You’ve made the mistake a couple times.

  47. Dave Zan

    I somewhat have a question for some folks here.
    If you offered the service and something like this happened, how would you handle this? I take it you’re prepared for the worst case scenario, if ever?
    Of course, it’s understandably and maybe conveniently easier to tell others how it should be done, considering this probably won’t ever happen to some of you. Just be glad it won’t, I guess.
    Anyway, good luck to all those involved. What a way to end 2010 and start 2011, sheesh.

  48. Bob

    This is very disturbing. If Moniker wants to keep my business, they will have to do a lot better than come up with a”we changed our policy” type of statement.

  49. Mike

    I think the fact that this person has failed to man up, come forward and issue an apology (it’s far too late now) is a very telling indicator of his lack of class and conscience.

  50. Andrew Douglas

    I am not a lawyer, but I was curious what Moniker’s potential liability was in this case. You can read their full legal disclosure here –
    Highlights include that it would appear that their only liability potentially would be to refund the cost of privacy protection and they are actually legally allowed to disclose your contact information to third parties at their sole discretion – in fact they don’t even need to provide notification to the customer that they are doing so. So, anyway, thought I’d share in case anyone else wanted to see it for themselves.
    I’m not saying that any of the actions described by Rick are in any way okay, but if you are a customer of their services you should know what your agreement with them actually covers.

  51. Dave Zan

    “But they weren’t dealing with it, were they? Two weeks after the event the employee hadn’t even been disiplined. That’s the point.”
    From what I understood here, we don’t really know if that employee was disciplined AFTER this was brought out. It’s possible Moniker already handled that soon after it happened, but they chose not to publicly discuss this until Rick and others eventually blogged about it.

  52. Landon White

    @ Andrew Douglas said…
    I am not a lawyer, BUT
    Then Shut UP…
    LOL ….
    ( Reference: see Above )
    Why are YOU linking to Monikers policy last updated in 2008
    to defend moniker in the first place.(2 DAYS LATER)
    “WHO’s Corporate Cubicle do you WHORE for ??”
    Why would YOU try to interpret Monikers policy to TRY and discourage
    folks from filing POSSIBLE legal actions IN THE FIRST PLACE.
    “WHO’s Corporate Cubicle do you WHORE for ??”
    I Guess its obvious … WHO!

  53. Landon White

    I Wonder:
    Is a bored someone viewing your portfolio
    (Policy: states at there discretion) as we speak?

  54. Dave Zan

    Actually, Landon, one doesn’t really need to”interpret” Moniker’s policy when it’s stated pretty much to the point there. Just read it where Andrew linked it to.
    Oh, and not”whoring” for Moniker or whoever. Not that anyone has to believe that, of course.

  55. Danny Pryor

    Yep; I should have said registrar, as that is an important distinction from a registry. It’s sort of like a WordPress template-administrator versus a developer. Not the same thing.

  56. Adriaan

    This is the third time Moniker has made a decision that I as a client am not happy with.
    First they hired Don Lyons who threats his clients in a very unprofessional manner to say the very least.
    Then there was the way they handled the Halvarez situation.
    Now, it seems they haven’t learned any lessons from the past.

  57. Adriaan

    I think the fact that Moniker has not addressed this publicly and that their reps are downplaying what happened is very disturbing.

  58. Mason Cole

    This is a human resources matter. Accordingly, Oversee is unable to discuss it publicly.

  59. Landon White

    The NEW Invisible Man Jeff K …
    Oversee is going to fully hide behind the Human Resource cloak,
    and this Mason jar Guy now that there damage control has failed …
    In short … this is none of your Business, Dumb Customers! …

  60. Former Moniker Client

    I get it if Oversee HQ wants to not do the right thing, I would expect them to want to hide this and sweep it under the rug.
    But what shocks me is the Moniker Employees. I for one have been moving my domains out of Moniker for fear it was my account manager. I cannot believe that they did not mutiny against this one person and get them out of there.
    Imagine how much business the account managers are going to lose from clients leaving over this? And for what? To protect a Moniker employee over your clients.
    I will gladly move domains back to Moniker ones I learn that the employee has been terminated, but they have lost out on my 2011 business, and maybe forever if the employee is still working there.

  61. Marcia Lynn

    I want to know the name of the employee who violated our trust and maneuvered around the whois privacy for personal reasons.
    I believe every one of us who have names registered with Moniker are entitled to his identity, to know he’s not still handling clients and accessing our information.

  62. Rick Schwartz

    This was going to be my next post but I will just use it as a comment for now. I may upgrade it later or in the morning.
    There are a few hundred of us that will be making a living with domain names until the day we die. There are thousands just passing thru trying to make a quick buck at any expense. OUR expense! Most have no values, no morals and would not know right from wrong if it slapped them upside the head.
    I have done as much bell ringing as I care to do at the moment. I think it is on domainers to DEMAND the information. I have taken arrows for even this. Time to step up if you want to know, DEMAND answers. Many I am sure already know. But I can testify as I write this that I have never told anyone more information than I have revealed here.
    Can you cover your ass and protect your customer at the same time if those things are at odds?
    If not, who is the default winner and the default loser????
    It’s a crime to watch a company that Monte built with GREAT and LOYAL folks be held prisoner to some corporate nonsense. I have read it was a bad call, a mistake, bad judgment by this employee. Fine, I never asked the employee to be fired. I did ask him to come forward. His employer hides behind some mumbo jumbo and he just hides.
    So each event by itself may not be huge. But when you add them all up, there is a pattern and the picture it paints offends me. It sickens me. It is a visceral affect. I can’t control an emotion that foundational.
    Sorry. When I see something bad going on, I can’t just walk away and believe it did not happen. I am happy so many can. I just am not wired that way.
    So those that choose can lower their standards as much as they want but don’t count me in. I won’t sellout to what clearly are the boundaries one does not cross. So if folks do it wrong when all eyes are on them, what do they do in the dark of night? When nobody is watching? When they think they can get away with it? Under the cover of THEIR privacy??
    This is NOT the way to be doing business. It stinks more than I can really stomach. Silence is a vote for continuing business as usual and the only losers are domainers. (What else is new?)
    I never thought I would move my domains from Moniker. During the Halvarez scandal I moved 250 as a protest. But now, now I have to seriously consider going thru the ordeal of moving nearly 5000 others. This time not in protest. This time because I don’t trust the mother ship to make the right decision when faced with hard choices because they can’t even make the easy calls.
    Are you an Ostrich or an Eagle? Sorry, that’s how I see it when wrong doing is going on and you close your eyes because it is not you or it is a friend involved. Just don’t expect much when it is you. I ask you as fellow domainers that will be doing this for the rest of their lives to stand up. Stand up because it is my turn to sit down.

  63. Landon White

    @ Marcia Lynn
    I want to know the name of the employee who violated our trust and maneuvered around the whois privacy for personal reasons.
    Yours Customers are talking but your not listening!
    P.S. In the weeks before this scandal there you were AT THE TOP
    of the Blog page, NOW you have the muzzle on, under a rock ,,,
    and i bet it is because there are more people involved OR
    its one of your highly promoted team players (ha)

  64. Tia Wood

    What’s sad is I held high respect for Moniker. Until now. I guess it might be time to see what needs to be moved away from my portfolio as well.

  65. Dave Zan

    BTW, Rick, I might have missed this but…any word from that domainer or so if Moniker or that employee at least apologized since then? I guess not?

  66. Adriaan

    Unless Moniker has done the right thing by the end of this week, I am moving the first batch of 500 domains away from them to Fabulous.

  67. Amazed
    every Wednesday 7:00pm ET Lets see if they have anything to say..

  68. Rick Schwartz

    This morning I received an email from the customer/victim with the time line of events and who he contacted and the remedy or lack of it.
    I am not going to publish it at this time. I think it should come direct from that person as a comment here. All I can do is verify the authenticity of the customer or not.

  69. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    For whom it may Concern. You know who you are. We as U.S. citizens pride ourselves on transparency. We as U.S. citizens do not want our registrars to look like they are based in China where transparency does not exist! Give it up already before eveyone makes good on their threats to desert ship.
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Metal Tiger)

  70. Rick Schwartz

    Enough Bullshit. Enough Cover ups. Enough LIES!!
    The folks at Oversee have a hard time actually doing the right thing time and time again. This is not my responsibility or fight. But ENOUGH!
    I will not be a party to this any longer. I should have exposed this from DAY ONE. I was told story after story after story and hard to find facts or the truth in any of it.
    I did everything I could to have either the victim post or the employee to come forward. Or Oversee just do the right thing and lay out the facts. I just got mislead at best by Oversee!
    Chef Patrick needs to FINALLY stand up and Oversee needs to stop the LIES and COVERUPS!!
    I have nothing against the Chef. I know he is a young guy trying to get ahead. But he did one wrong thing and then was not a stand up guy and never came forward. The coverup is always worse than the act. This is a perfect example.
    I think it is time for him to clean this up because I am DONE with this issue and let the folks involved sort it out now that it is in the open.
    Somebody has to make a stand in this industry because I REFUSE to turn a blind eye. So let the haters come out. But I am nothing but the messenger and everyone in this industry has a RIGHT to know about this MESS!
    Chef, I had to do this for a number of reasons. I know our paths will cross in the weeks ahead and I can’t live with holding YOUR secret and feeling good about it. It makes me feel a bit dirty. I have NEVER held a secret like this in 15 years online. I just let the chips fall where they may. You should have come forward yourself instead of this route.
    So to have a good future, you need to clean up the past. I wish you no ill. But I am not carrying around YOUR BURDEN or OVERSEE’s BURDEN any longer. This skeleton has been in the wrong closet and today that has been corrected.

  71. Tim

    So is this the reason for the parting ways, and not what he was telling? If so, that is a poor action, followed by a cover up and not coming forward, followed by a lie. Things happen in three. Better not submit any real info on, who knows how it may be used against you.

  72. Phil

    Wise words Rick. It would be wise if Patrick, aka the chef, came clean. The masses need to know the truth. Looks like alias”Dough” is fully aware of the situation on Sully’s blog and is trying to get the word out as well. Thanks Rick for speaking the truth!

  73. Andrea

    So sad to hear that Chef Patrick was the employee… He left Oversee and just published a post:
    “I will continue to broker premium domain names. […] If you have a domain name for sale above $50,000 and would like to hire me please reach out”
    But now, he lost his credibility. And Oversee too.
    It’s sad because they both had a good position in this industry before this scandal…

  74. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    Whoa ! The Chef has been in the mix of people I have been in contact with. We all make mistakes at times in our lives, and this by no means is condoning whatever happened. We all get mixed up with emotions and alliances that are sometimes messy. Been there done that.
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  75. Julia Child

    What are the full & complete details of the infamous Whois Privacy Breach… Such as:
    What was the domain name(s) involved ? — Who was the victim..and the employer called by culprit ? — Who was the culprit ? — What exactly was the”administrative leave thing” all about ?
    Anybody ?


    the short of the long on how i see it…
    someone”builds” up a reputation thru associations with other high-profile domainers to make themselves appear legit and successful.
    then they eventually get a position with a top domainer registrar and use that access to undermine another individual.
    thereby not only making those who help elevate that person look foolish, but could also deminish the credibility and trust that this registrar has established in the industry.

  77. No Spam Please

    It was very obvious it was Patrick Ruddell aka Chef Patrick. Now that we all have confirmation, let’s see what Patrick does next.
    If you notice the timeline, he’s since parted ways with Moniker, relaunched his blog and setting sail for another DNCruise, plus there’s rumors of him trying to launch his domain incubator (?) (?). I wonder if will make enough to cover what is owed to Domain Capital (as you can see the domain is still owned by them.)
    Maybe now Patrick Ruddell aka Chef Patrick will crawl out from under his rock and try to justify what he did. Maybe he’ll finally apologize for his lack of integrity and malicious breach of privacy. I understand why he didn’t come forward. From my initial conversations with Patrick Ruddell, I knew right away that I didn’t want to do business with him. The domain industry is small enough that this news will travel very fast.

  78. Julia Child

    It would be best for EVERYONE for Chef to fully explain his version of things about the WHOIS Privacy controversy and lingering questions ?
    Some people may feel that you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes or insulting their intelligence by just”going” with that”possibly” sugar-coated and self-serving & cushy version spun in your”Chef Patrick is Back” post on your blog …. and the hows & whys of that long administrative leave thing from your prior employer.
    Chef … Please help the industry and yourself out here..and speak up…. The truth may set you free.

  79. Wanna

    I am sure he will come out and say he is sorry and everyone will forgive him and then Morgan will back him up and and then everyone will suck each others cock. Back to biz as usual.

  80. No Spam Please

    If he had apologized BEFORE he got called out, then perhaps people would’ve forgiven him. But to own up to your mistake ONLY because Rick told the world you did it means very little to me. Rick gave him weeks, months, to apologize. But if you read Chef Patrick’s blog, he said that he and Moniker parted on good terms:

    “Moniker and I part on good terms. Unfortunately there was no way to continue, beyond the fact that I strongly dislike working out of an office and working for a boss, I just have too many projects going on that need my full attention.”
    ~ Patrick Ruddell; Posted on 11 March 2011

    Now Patrick is trying to align himself with Frank Schilling for his DNCruise. Let’s see how long it takes before sponsors stop supporting his blog and his cruise. I, for one, would personally boycott any sponsor who supports this guy after what he’s done. If he apologizes and takes time to do some serious damage control, then maybe he can begin to repair his reputation. But for Patrick to declare to the world that HE’S BACK and now wants to broker our high-end domains: No Thank You.
    Let’s not forget what Chef Patrick actually did to deserve this spotlight. Re-read Rick’s original post and look at the dates/times to see just how much time Rick gave both Oversee & Patrick Ruddell to come clean; and Chef Patrick chose NOT to take the high road.

  81. The New Guy

    What exactly did he do.I am new to this and have had contacts with Patrick.What should I need to know about this person.NG

  82. Marcia Lynn

    New Guy,
    Don’t give the c[r]ook any of your money and don’t give him any private, confidential information. It’s documented that he takes both and does whatever he wants with them.

  83. gary heamaroid

    Oversee is sponsoring the cruise. I think you are wrong? Why would Oversee AND Frank Schilling back this non-producing sales rep?

  84. The New Guy

    I had a conversation with him when he was at Moniker and he said he could broker my names and he would charge 80% and give me 20% for my names and I was like is this how the domaining business works.I thought it was the other way around me 80 and him 20.He said because he was doing all the work and could move them quick.I realized the smell of bullshit and thought that was not cool.I won’t be doing business at moniker anymore.

  85. Mark Halpern

    Good for you Rick for having the balls to always do what’s right. It’s clear that Chef Patrick was cooking more than he should have been. As usual the cowards at Oversee are trying to hide another scandal under the rug like Halvarez.
    I will never register a domain at Moniker or park a domain at Oversee. Once a ganef always a ganef.
    Now with Chef Patrick on their side they not only steal money but privacy information as well.
    Chef Patrick, you should be ashamed of yourself and you are a disgrace to the domain community, go crawl under a rock.

  86. Rick Schwartz

    Chef Patrick responds on Facebook with this:
    “Thank you everyone that has pointed out Rick Schwartz’s post today. I also want to send a big thank you to everyone that has sent emails, texts and messages of support, it’s greatly appreciated. I am with my family at Busch Gardens and will respond publicly tomorrow with the TRUTH, not a third party version of it. Family first!!!”
    That was what should have happened from day one and it was NEVER my decision to sweep the TRUTH under the rug! Never my decision to hide the TRUTH. Never my decision to spin the TRUTH! Never my decision to delay the TRUTH because of pending deals. Never my decision to be anything other than factual with the TRUTH.
    I am glad you will extract me from this conversation! But please don’t play the victim here. This was very hard to do believe it or not. It was just something bad rotting in my gut and I finally had to spit it up!

  87. No Spam Please

    He should have done this from the start. You gave him plenty of time and he failed to come clean.
    We ALL know he is ONLY doing it now because he has been EXPOSED. I can’t wait to read his version of the”truth”; how he can justify his actions and why it took him so long to come forward. I have lost any & all respect I had for him.
    First the Halvarez scandal & now the Patrick Ruddell aka Chef Patrick scandal: more damage to the already tarnished Oversee/Moniker brand. If true, I find it ridiculous & hilarious that people are sending Patrick their support as if he has been vicitimized. Let’s see how many of his”supporters” continue to sponsor his Cruise, Blog, Radio Show, Video Show, future business endeavors, etc – Let’s see whether or not Frank Schilling continues to”support” Chef Patrick. I would NEVER want my business aligned with this pariah.

  88. Rick Schwartz

    And to friends of the Chef and fans of Oversee, don’t be angry at me. I am sorry it had to be me of all people to bring this to light. I tried for nearly 3 months NOT to be the one. Opportunity after opportunity passed and just MUM!
    I knew this may not play well, but screw it, I just have to live with things and this was one thing I could not live with. Sorry. But I will never feel bad by doing the right thing no matter the peer pressure.

  89. Stan

    Obviously this isn’t good for the Chef and clearly he stepped way over the line and then to pretty much lie about his reasons for leaving Moniker sort of ruins his credibility a lot. But let’s dig a little deeper shall we? Why would someone register in the first place it seems a little odd unless there was already some bad blood between these two the question is what. You wouldn’t think something like a silly domain name would provoke such a reaction unless there was more to the story…. that’s just my view.

  90. gtld

    as the years go past more and more of these stories will appear , it seems to be human nature to ‘stuff up’ ….. we are at their mercy

  91. Bruce Tedeschi

    Greed never wins… I hope the domainer that did this realizes, his rep is sunk and he will never be trusted again. We have to call it for what it is, by doing that he digitally did a home invasion. I hope karma punishes him. I have my ideas who it is and I knew sooner or later greed would sink him. By the way, this is same company that had the shill bidder.

  92. Mark Halpen

    Patrick, you are a disgrace to the domaining community. You broke laws and blame others. Good luck getting another job in the domain industry.
    Breaking Privacy Laws – $10,000 Fine
    Getting fired and pretending you left – $15,000 Fine
    Blaming Rick Schwartz for exposing you as a crook – @20,000 Fine
    Embarasing your wife and kids – $30,000 Fine
    Not refunding deposits for people that couln’t make dncruise – $40,000
    Bad mouthing Oversee when you took the job – $45,000
    Loss of reputation – Priceless
    Your a crooked man Patrick Ruddell. Good luck getting people to ride the Titanic(Dncruise) with you.

  93. premium identity

    Too bad to know if It’s chefpatrick. since he’s been a nice person for some domainers. But that would be a great lesson: angriness can blow everything. including our own career. control it then :)

  94. Eddie

    Hi Anon,
    I just stumbled across this blog (nothing better to do).
    I’m rather amused by all the comments.
    I tried just before to register a Domain with Godaddy believe it or not”” and it told me it is the wrong info I put into the Domain search


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