back to article Telco forgot to renew its web domain, broke deaf folks' video calls – now gets a $3m paddlin'

A US telco will cough up $3m after a web domain screwup caused it to drop potentially emergency and other essential video calls from deaf and hearing-impaired people. Sorenson Communications in Utah will pay America's comms watchdog, the FCC, a $252,000 fine as a result of the blunder. It will also reimburse $2.7m to the …

  1. Keef

    Here in the UK...

    I've never had a failure to connect to an emergency number.

    Getting an emergency service to attend, well that's a different story.

    I'm not criticising the emergency services as such, just their ability to respond which is probably down to funding.

    I have no affiliation to any emergency service or any organisation that funds them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here in the UK...

      There's a reason for that,

      Police-only-investigate-burglaries-at-even-numbered-homes

      1. Bruce Ordway

        Re: Here in the UK... off topic

        >>Police-only-investigate-burglaries-at-even-numbered-homes

        >>no noticeable impact on victim satisfaction,

        >> and nor did it affect the overall ratio of scenes visited and suspects identified

        Interesting article - it tells me it is too difficult for police to solve most simple theft in modern cities.

        In the US don't police really investigate the site of burglary either. They file a report and with luck, stolen goods may pop up later and assuming your property includes unique identifiers, might even be returned. Maybe it's time for some online crime reporting.

        1. Eric Olson

          Re: Here in the UK... off topic

          In the US don't police really investigate the site of burglary either. They file a report and with luck, stolen goods may pop up later and assuming your property includes unique identifiers, might even be returned. Maybe it's time for some online crime reporting.

          I think it depends on the jurisdiction. Burglary is actually considered a pretty violent crime, at least when it happens in a residence.

          We had a break-in where the perp used our (stupidly) unlocked car to gain entrance into our garage. They proceeded to learn that we don't keep the service door locked and came inside to steal a couple of laptops, a PS4, my wife's wallet, and the old, inactive cell phone we kept for the kids. Ignored the cash on the counter, though.

          Reported the theft after they woke us up after setting off our other car's alarm, and we had four cops show up, plus the county crime lab to look for prints and DNA. Sadly, no luck yet, mostly because Sony continues to ignore the search warrant served (for almost two months now) after my wife got an email thanking her for her PS4 purchases of free games a couple of days after the theft.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Here in the UK... off topic

          "it is too difficult for police to solve most simple theft in modern cities."

          Simple theft is apt to leave few clues. You stand more chance of getting the culprits when they do something stupid. That doesn't, however, mean that there shouldn't be a preliminary investigation otherwise the opportunities will be missed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Here in the UK... off topic

            If they really wanted to solve burglaries then they would force cash converters and cash generator to log all purchases with the local constabulary.

            You don't even need serial numbers as if a house is robbed you look at the combined items. TV + Camera or Camera + Bluray player for example. Put that with your log of robberies and you have a powerful tool that allows you to find suspicious people. You could go one further and get the mobile operators to release the imei number once a phone is stolen.

            Pass a law that upon purchase of big ticket items they are marked at point of sale.

            There are literally hundreds of ways to stop theft and catch these people.

            I'll add a top tip as well for the victims of these crimes, if they don't take your car go and check the local fields and bushes, no vehicle means no way of getting said goods where they want in the middle of the night. I recovered a hifi system and tv that way and gained a baseball cap which then enabled me to identify the person. It's lucky the smack got him before I did.

            1. Eric Olson

              Re: Here in the UK... off topic

              Eh?

              Even an idiot knows (well, many of them) that they should break up their haul into multiple locations. Here in the US, pawn shops (the typical item for cash location) are everywhere. In my part of the country, most pawn shows participate in a system where all transactions, including timestamp, customer info, and video are logged to a database for the law enforcement to search (it's run by the main city's police dept). Items are held for 30 days before they can be released for sale, allowing time for things to reported as stolen.

              Amusingly enough, our PS4 was just pawned the other day, nearly 3 months after it was stolen. Not sure it was actually the person who stole it, or if it's been handed off a few times and finally someone decided they needed the cash more than the system. Sony dragged their feet for months on the search warrant served by our police department, only finally responding last week with the IP that related to the purchases made less than 24 hours after it was stolen. Of course, we now need to wait for the ISP to provide a physical location for the PD to serve a warrant against. Hopefully, a few people get snared and lose their shit over the idea of spending years in jail because they have an item associated to a felony that has a 20 year prison sentence, then roll on the actual criminal who broke into our house.

              Unfortunately, the PS4 wasn't really the item we cared about; we want the two laptops back because they have years of professional data that my wife never backed up (a discussion for a different day).

  2. frank ly

    Raking it in?

    "The $2.7m will be used to pay back money Sorenson received from the TRS fund while its service was down."

    That's a lot of money for three days of service!

    1. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: Raking it in?

      Apparently, they are paid about 900K (2.7m/3) per day to provide the service and they were down for three days.

      Seems appropriate to me.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Raking it in?

        Refunding for a service they didn't provide ? Appropriate.

        A fine of $252,000 : less than 8 hours income for cutting off an emergency service for 3 days ? Not so appropriate.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Raking it in?

      And it happened in a country which doesn't have OFCOM....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Raking it in?

        No they have the FCC

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    FAIL

    Three days to renew a DNS registration? THREE DAYS?

    According to the FCC, on June 6, 2016, Sorenson suffered a three-day outage that began when it forgot to renew its domain name registration.

    Three days to renew a single DNS registration? Really????

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three days to renew a DNS registration? THREE DAYS?

      No, that's probably three days for the problem report to reach somebody with a clue, plus 5 minutes to renew.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three days to renew a DNS registration? THREE DAYS?

      I could tell you a DNS joke but it'll take you 86400 seconds to get it.

  4. aldolo

    wow. this service seem an italian fraud

    900000$/day seem a big ticket...

  5. Camilla Smythe

    Here's a crap idea....

    Someone else can explain why it is crap.

    Why not grant DNS registration for perpetuity to companies that provide critical services?

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Here's a crap idea....

      It was a simple task - renew the domain registration, why they even let it get to the point where it was a year away from renewal is beyond me ... clearly they are incompetent to be running this service. I wonder if they are run by the same folks as Equifax?

  6. JJKing Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I notice that the users don't seem to get a mention for compensation but the Treasury gets a cut of the action. Those who need get shit on again.

  7. Dave Foster

    So the FCC and the regulator get a payout, what about the poor sods who were really inconvenienced ie the customers?

    1. teebie

      I guess the customers who were affected by the outage - the survivors at least - will have an easier time suing for damages now the fine has been issued.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait a minute. So that $2.7 million was for 3 days of outage?

    They're getting $330 million a year in tax money, just to run a subsidised phone service for the deaf?

    Fuck sake, corporate wellfare is out of control. Buy all the deaf people a fucking ipad and tell them to FaceTime it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hi Bob, you accidentally ticked the AC box.

  9. Amplex

    The real crock of shit - 2.7M for 3 days of service? How bloody much does that cost per minute? Oh yeah, it's a government contract with automatic taxing authority. The more inefficient we can make it the more we can charge.

  10. Duskic

    Which domain name is it?

    Does anybody know which domain name exactly was it that they forgot to renew?

  11. wyatt

    Maybe my ignorance, why not use IP if it's a static address?

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Static address

      That's how I would do any service like this - DNS fails (for any reason) - and your kit falls back to using the IP it received from the last sucessful DNS query.

      With the assumption that your IP won't change regularly (it shouldn't for a service like this) then it won't break, but new devices won't be able to use the URL to setup in a friendly way.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      what happens when you want to migrate to a new system?

      Oooo the number of devs I could slap here that have hard coded ip addresses .

  12. Jim 59

    Stale web domain - that's a paddlin'.

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