A web designer in Argentina recently managed to buy Google’s domain name for the country when it was idle for just two hours.
30-year-old Argentinian Nicolas Kurona explained to the BBC that he was able to purchase google.com.ar through normal legal process last week. However, he never expected that he could actually buy the domain name.
Kurona was working from home designing a website for a client on the outskirts of Buenos Aires when he started receiving messages on WhatsApp indicating that Google was down in Argentina. He browsed the site and when it didn’t work he thought “something strange was going on”.
After confirming that the Google Argentina website was down, Kurona then went to the website of the Network Information Center Argentina (NIC) which is responsible for operating the .ar country code. He then searched Google and saw that Google’s domain in Argentina was available for purchase.
While Kurona didn’t think it would work, he took the necessary steps and then received an email with a purchase invoice for google.com.ar. In total, he only paid 270 Argentine pesos or just under three US dollars ($ 2.90 / £ 2.08) for the site.
After acquiring the site, Kurona opened a browser and navigated to google.com.ar where his personal data appeared. In a statement to BBC, he explained that he had no bad intentions and just wanted to see if it would work, saying:
“I want to make it clear that I never had any bad intentions, I just tried to buy it and the network card allowed me to do so. When the purchase process was completed and my data appeared , I knew something was going to happen … I was really anxious. “
Google Argentina has since regained control of its domain name. However, the reason why Kurona was able to purchase the estate has yet to be discovered. Although many believed that Google had simply forgotten to renew its domain name, the company said the domain was not going to expire until July of this year.
Via the BBC