An Argentinian man who briefly owned Google’s entire web presence in Argentina after a man for 270 pesos ($2.77.)
Nicolas Kuroña, 30, who lives in Buenos Aires, was alerted by friends on WhatsApp that Google’s services were down. Kuroña immediately headed to the Argentinian domain name registry, NIC Argentina, to figure out why the services were down. After a quick search for Google’s URL, google.com.ar, he discovered that the domain name was available.
“The domain expired, I was able to buy it legally,” he tweeted. “I have the purchase invoice, so I’m calm.”
Speaking to the BBC, Kuroña explained that he knew there would be repercussions for his hot purchase.
“When the purchase process was completed and my data appeared, I knew that something was going to happen … I was really anxious. I could not believe what had just happened.”
He says he meant no harm.
“I want to make it clear that I never had any bad intentions. I just tried to buy it and the NIC allowed me to.”
It seems the outage of Google’s service was the sole reason the domain name was up for grabs as the license was not set to expire until July. The domain name was transferred back to Google and Kuroña is out 270 pesos.
On the upside, his new “hero” status has skyrocketed his Twitter followers to over 10,000 followers.
Domain name squatting is the act of purchasing a generic top-level domain (gTLD) to block someone else from registering it, to profit from reselling it, or for selling ads. This is entirely different from domaining, which is the practice of buying domain names with potential value to any number of buyers based on habits, interests or trends. The domain owner will then auction them on the domain aftermarket to the highest bidder or through a domain broker.