On Wednesday, an Argentine internet user quickly bought the country’s Google domain after its registry apparently lapsed in renewal by Google Argentina. The purchase caused a temporary closure of the search engine google.com.ar.
The person who seized the domain, Nicolas Kuroña, only paid 540 Argentina Peso, which equals about $5.80 USD. Kuroña tweeted “I want to clarify that enter http://nic.ar I saw the name of http://google.com.ar available and legally buy it accordingly!” The purchase might have been an instance of cybersquatting—the practice of registering names, especially well-known company or brand names, as internet domains, in the hope of reselling them at a profit.
Quiero aclarar que entre a https://t.co/XtzUy8WL36 vi el nombre de https://t.co/cK20BdyuxB disponible y lo compre legalmente como corresponde!
— Nicolas David Kuroña (@Argentop) April 22, 2021
There were multiple reports of the domain being down for about three hours, but soon after Kuroña tweeted, Google Argentina successfully restored the domain and reopened service to users across the country. While there is still some debate over whether or not this all occurred due to a glitch or an actual lapse, it had no effect on the international www.google.com domain.
Let this be a lesson: go make sure your domains are all on auto-renew.