It’s become common for DNS providers to redirect users to third-party pages upon entering an incorrect URL. Called NXDOMAIN substitution, many ISPs practice this to make money. ICANN is calling out against this practice, however, citing its harmful effects:
- If an email is accidentally sent to an incorrect domain and redirected, a failed-delivery message might take days to arrive.
- Users experience greater wait times because of redirects.
- Hackers can exploit third party redirect sites.
- There are legal issues, as well. What if a user attempts to visit a certain site, but types it in wrong and is redirected to a website containing content illegal in his or her jurisdiction?
ICANN is considering banning NXDOMAIN substitution on new gTLDs. As far as I’m concerned, it shouldn’t be allowed at all.