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TMCNet:  GoDaddy problems result in Augusta economic authority losing web site

[January 02, 2013]

GoDaddy problems result in Augusta economic authority losing web site

Jan 02, 2013 (The Augusta Chronicle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Heading to the Web site for Augusta Economic Development Authority, you'll instead see a site in Japanese that loosely translates to an interest in flier printing.

The authority spent the New Year's holiday transferring to a new Web site and changing staff e-mail addresses after its domain registration company failed to renew www.augustaeda.com, said executive director Walter Sprouse.

The authority is now at www.augustaeda.org, a domain that it already possessed, Sprouse said.

The loss of the old Web site address seems to be a consequence of the Sept. 11 crash of GoDaddy, the site's registration agent.

"It screwed up millions of e-mails for a day, including us," Sprouse said. "What GoDaddy told us was that about 2,000 accounts did not get put back on the automatic renewal. And we were one of them." So when the Web site didn't renew on the day before Christmas, it was snapped up by another entity. Sprouse said he didn't know of the non-renewal until his e-mails stopped and then he checked with GoDaddy.

"Apparently this happens often, where someone will buy a domain name and holds onto it," Sprouse said.

A person affiliated with the hacking collective Anonymous claimed responsibility for taking down the Web hosting company for several hours on Sept. 11. GoDaddy, which hosts about 53 million domain names, later claimed that the issue was a series of internal network errors, not hacking.

GoDaddy is in the process of getting the old Web site back, but it is a process that would take the rest of the month. Sprouse said the decision was made to transfer from the ".com" to the ".org" Monday because the authority couldn't wait that long without a Web site or the ability to have e-mail.

Sprouse said the fortunate part of the snafu is that it happened during the Christmas and New Year's holidays, which is the quietest part of the year for the authority staff.

"It had no impact on our operations ... If it happened during a busy week in August, we would have been seriously affected," Sprouse said.

When the authority reclaims www.augustaeda.com, Sprouse said the technical staff will set up a redirect to www.augustaeda.org.

___ (c)2013 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.) Visit The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.) at chronicle.augusta.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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