Man buys Google Argentina website for Rs450, it goes offline

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BUENOS AIRES: Even if for a brief moment, it may be remembered through decades that Google Argentina’s domain landed in the hands of a 30-year-old graphic designer from Buenos Aires who bought it for just an amount that translates to Rs446 in Pakistani currency.

The giant of search engines lost its entire web presence across the country a couple of hours earlier this month as the web address would instead redirect surfers to a man named Nicolas Kuroña. He claimed to have bought ‘Google.com.ar’ domain through a normal, legal process.

Nicolas told this entire happening to a media channel interviewing him, where he explained how he managed to buy Google’s Argentina domain name and that absolutely legally… at least according to him.

One night, Nicolas started getting messages that Google was down. And when he saw that for himself, he logged on to the Network Information Center Argentina (NIC), which handles .ar domain names in the country.

To his surprise, ‘google.com.ar’ popped up as available for purchase for just 270 Argentine pesos (Rs446).

“I want to clarify that enter http://nic.ar I saw the name of http://google.com.ar available and legally buy it accordingly!” his tweet translates that has gone viral already amassing over 80k likes.

“When the purchase process was completed and my data appeared, I knew that something was going to happen … I was really anxious,” he told the BBC. “I could not believe what had just happened.”

Google Argentina confirmed to the BBC that the domain was indeed acquired by someone else, but added that they were able to seize control very quickly.

Although the incident has yet to be fully explained, it’s possible that Google had simply forgotten to renew its domain name. But then again, the search giant claims that its license was not due to expire until July this year.

But the bottom line of the story is that for at least 30 minutes Google did lose control of its website to a 30-year-old Argentine graphic designer.

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