A 30-year-old web designer briefly owned the Google Argentina domain name for a legal price of 270 Argentine pesos (Argentine pesos, about 215 rupees) after the website was closed in the country for nearly two hours. He said he could not believe “what just happened.” A media report said that because of concerns about what might happen to him, he quickly posted a message on Twitter to clarify how the incident proceeded. Nicolas Kurona told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that he received a lot of news that the search engine had been shut down last week. After verification, he found that it actually didn’t work.

He said that when he started receiving news on WhatsApp that the Google website had been closed, he was working at a desk in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, to design a website for a client. When he tried to enter www.google.com.ar, this operation did not work.

Considering that “strange things” were happening, he decided to check with the Argentine Network Information Center (NIC). On his website, he searched Google and surprisingly found that the company’s Argentine domain name was available for purchase. Not sure if it is feasible, he followed the steps to purchase the domain name, and after the completion of the process, he received a purchase invoice of 270 Argentine pesos in the email. Nicolas shared the invoice with the BBC. Nicholas said that he has no malicious intentions, he just wants to buy the domain name, and NIC has allowed it. He also posted a tweet in Spanish to clarify what happened. The tweet was translated into English, “I want to clarify that I entered http://nic.ar. I see that the name of http://google.com.ar is available and it is legally purchased!”

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The BBS report said that the tweet received 80,000 likes, but Nicholas said he has not recovered the money he spent on buying the domain name.

Google Argentina confirmed the news, saying that its domain name was acquired by others “in a short time”, but it quickly regained control. It is not clear why Google’s domain name can be purchased, but the company said it is investigating the matter.


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