Rogers Hijacks Typos to Branded Search, Ads

Under the category of “what’s Rogers done this week?” and via Blamcast, comes word that Rogers has been redirecting DNS errors to their own “error page”. Whereas typing an invalid or misspelled domain name should give you a “can’t find the server” error, Rogers users will be redirected to a Rogers-branded page with advertisements, Yahoo search results, and headlines for Maclean’s and Chatelaine (both Rogers-owned). This also works on subdomains that don’t exist, for example, trying “” (nonexistant) would take you to Rogers’ page, despite being a valid site. While this behaviour isn’t illegal, and certainly allowable under their Terms of Service, it is shady and creates unexpected results for folks that are used to getting a plain error message. This behaviour is not unique to Rogers, as various US ISPs have dabbled in similar “functionality”. The technique was brought to the forefront in 2003 when VeriSign, who isn’t an ISP but operates 2 of the 13 DNS root servers, began redirecting misspellings to their own page. This didn’t last very long before public outcry and ICANN’s wrist slapping put an end to it. Blamcast invites Rogers customers and domain owners alike to give Rogers a call and let them know how you feel about this bonus service: 1-888-764-3771. In the meantime, I’d like to thank Shaw for having provided me with eight years of reliable, fast, no-bullshit Internet service, and only nagging me once about pushing bandwidth limits.