Google Is Battling a Russian Spammer Over the Use of the Letter 'G'
Vitaly Popov wants to keep control of his domain that looks nearly identical to Google.com, MotherBoard report.
Google is probably pretty pissed off. An alleged Russian spammer recently used a domain strikingly similar to Google.com to flood websites' analytics with unwanted pro-Trump messages, and Google is now trying to wrest control of the URL.
But Vitaly Popov, the site's owner, is not giving up without a fight, no matter how unlikely he is to win.
Late last month, Google filed a complaint with an arbitration forum over Vitaly's ɢoogle.com domain. As you might notice, the "G" in ɢoogle.com looks a little off. That's because Popov registered the website back in March 2016 with the Latin version of the letter, meaning he can produce a URL that looks very similar to Google.com, but that sends visitors elsewhere. Popov has done the same for the "K" in lifehacĸer.com.
"Google requests that the Panel issue a decision that the Domain Name registration be transferred to Google," the company's complaint, provided to Motherboard by Popov, reads. (A member of the arbitration forum, called ADR Forum, confirmed that there was an ongoing dispute between Google and Popov).
In its complaint, Google claims that Popov's phony domain redirects visitors to a landing page with a slew of dodgy pop-ups, including one that asks for a Windows username and password.