An Argentine internet user claimed realized ownership of the google.com.ar domain had expired Wednesday, April 21 and since it was available, he decided to purchase it for reportedly AR $ 540 (around the US $ 3.85 at the unofficial exchange rate) leading to a temporary shutdown of the search engine ending in “.ar”.
These actions, however, had no impact on the international “www.google.com” version.
It would seem that Google Argentina forgot to renew the site google.com.ar and a user seized the opportunity to register it in his name. The technical term for this type of manoeuvre is called Cybersquatting in English.
Nicolás David Kuroña said in his Twitter account @Argentop that «I want to clarify that I entered nic.ar I saw the name of google.com.ar available and I legally bought it as appropriate!». Domains listed on nic.ar expire every year and must be renewed, but this time Kuroña was faster. “It is all legal !!,” Kuroña said.
However, minutes later after the manoeuvre, it was confirmed that Google has already recovered the domain.
Users complained about the failure of the website for at least three hours, but when everyone suspected that the server had crashed, as is often the case, Kuroña's posting on Twitter revealed the truth.
Neither Google nor the nic.ar registry has commented on the incident. In fact, the nic.ar site was out of service around 11 pm Wednesday due to the flood of visitors who found out about the case through social media. By that time, Kuroña was no longer the registered owner of “google.com.ar” .
According to the Open Data Córdoba group (which is dedicated to tracking expired Argentine domains) Google's domain had not expired and, in fact, the expiration date was in July. But the group too was unable to explain what had happened or why.