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Domain Transfers… Domain Hijacking… Make Your Voice Heard

Michele Neylon

ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) has formed a working group to consider changes to the domain transfer process to enhance security and reduce hijacking. The working group consists of registrars, aftermarket players, domainers and other members of the ICANN Community. The group published its preliminary recommendations at the ICANN meeting in Brussels two weeks ago and the 20-day comment period has just begun.

The key areas of focus for the working group are as follows:

a. Whether a process for urgent return/resolution of a domain name should be
developed, as discussed within the SSAC hijacking report (http://www.icann.org/announcements/hijacking-report-12jul05.pdf; see also http://www.icann.org/correspondence/cole-to-tonkin-14mar05.htm);

b. Whether additional provisions on undoing inappropriate transfers are needed, especially with regard to disputes between a Registrant and Admin Contact. The policy is clear that the Registrant can overrule the AC, but how this is implemented is currently at the discretion of the registrar;

c. Whether special provisions are needed for a change of registrant near a change of registrar. The policy does not currently deal with change of registrant, which often figures in hijacking cases;

d. Whether standards or best practices should be implemented regarding use of Registrar Lock status (e.g., when it may/may not, should/should not be applied);

e. Whether, and if so, how best to clarify denial reason #7: A domain name was already in "lock status" provided that the Registrar provides a readily accessible and reasonable means for the Registered Name Holder to remove the lock status.

Comments by registrants, registrars and other interested parties are strongly encouraged and can be viewed at:


The deadline for submitting comments is 25 July.

Disclosure: I chair the working group

By Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions. More blog posts from Michele Neylon can also be read here.

Related topics: Cybercrime, Domain Names, Registry Services, ICANN, Policy & Regulation, Security, Whois

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