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Domain Names / Recently Commented

ICANN Should Keep Content Regulation and Other Arbitrary Rules Out of Registry Contracts

The domain name system is not the place to police speech. ICANN is legally bound not to act as the Internet's speech police, but its legal commitments are riddled with exceptions, and aspiring censors have already used those exceptions in harmful ways. This was one factor that made the failed takeover of the .ORG registry such a dangerous situation. But now, ICANN has an opportunity to curb this abuse and recommit to its narrow mission of keeping the DNS running... more

ICANN Doubles Down on Technical Internet Governance Label: What Are the Implications?

Back in September of 2020, ICANN CEO Göran Marby wrote a blog post discussing the implementation of "a common strategy for Internet governance (IG) and technical Internet governance (TIG)", raising the question of whether the ICANN org. intended to pursue this distinction moving forward, as debated in a previous article. This was proven to be the case during the 2020 IGF's Open Forum #44: "ICANN Open Forum - Technical Internet Governance", organized by ICANN itself... more

A Look at DNS Trends and What the Future May Hold

We used to think of computer networks as being constructed using two fundamental common infrastructure components: names and addresses. Every connected device had a stable protocol address to allow all other devices to initiate a communication transaction with this device by addressing a data packet to this protocol address. And every device was also associated with a name, allowing human users and human use applications to use a more convenient alias for these protocol addresses. more

A Brief Look at the Domain Attack Surface of Streaming Media Companies

The term "attack surface" is often heard in cybersecurity conversations. It refers to the sum of all possible attack vectors or the vulnerabilities that threat actors can exploit to penetrate a target network or damage an organization somehow. An unused and forgotten subdomain, for instance, can become an attack vector when taken over. Certain categories of companies have very large attack surfaces. Such is the case of streaming media businesses like Netflix and HBO Max. more

2020 Hindsight After 20 Years at ICANN

After two decades of involvement with ICANN, I am stepping down from the Board of Directors, where I served for nine years. I have spent considerable time of late reflecting on the past 20 years, and I have isolated some memories that help frame my time with ICANN. ... November 2000, ICANN07 in Marina del Rey, California - With only a scant idea of what ICANN is all about, I am warmly welcomed by the flag-wearing country code top-level domain (ccTLD) community, who come to ICANN to ensure that nothing happens to affect the independence of ccTLDs... more

Phishing 2020: A Concentrated Dose of Badness

How much phishing is there? Where is it occurring, and why? How can it be reduced? I and my colleagues at Interisle Consulting have just published a new study called Phishing Landscape 2020, designed to answer those questions. We assembled a deep set of data from four different, respected threat intelligence providers and enriched it with additional DNS data and investigation. The result is a look at phishing attacks that occurred in May through July 2020. more

The Whois Wars Go On

There is a lot of discussion about the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 report on evaluating a System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to non-public gTLD registration data after the decisions taken by the GNSO Council on September 24th. Notably, the Business Constituency (BC) and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) have voted against the adoption of the Final Report of the EPDP team. more

The Competition to Become the Next .eu TLD Registry Is Now Open

I am glad to announce that the European Commission has officially launched the process to select the next Registry for the .eu Top-Level Domain (TLD). This is done through a competitive procedure that will be concluded, by October 2021, with the signature of a service concession contract between the European Commission and the entity that will be entrusted with the organisation, administration and management of the .eu TLD. more

Innovation, Launches and Email: New gTLDs Deliver in Q3 2020

As the third quarter of 2020 winds down, the domain industry continues to show development and progression amid uncertain global economic conditions. From improvements in products and additional TLD launches to growth in .brand email usage and upcoming virtual meetings, the Q3 2020: New gTLD Quarterly Report from our MarkMonitor team has a little something for everyone. more

A Failed Whois Policy

ICANN's two-year effort to purportedly preserve the Whois public directory to the greatest extent possible while complying with GDPR has failed. Under the latest proposal, the Whois database, once a contractually-required directory of domain name registrants, will be gutted to the point of virtual worthlessness, as registrars, registries, academics, and hand-wringing others ignored the public interest and imposed ever-higher barriers to legitimate, GDPR-compliant access to registration data. more

Only Bad Actors Should Worry About the URS

With DNS abuse a topic of increased concern throughout the community, any controversy over adopting the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) for all generic top-level domains (gTLDs) seems misplaced. The URS was designed as a narrow supplement to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), applicable only in certain tightly defined circumstances of clear-cut and incontrovertible trademark infringement involving the registration and use of a domain name. more

Uniform Rapid Suspension Not Appropriate for .com Domain Names

The Internet Commerce Association has been actively involved for the last four years on the ICANN Working Group reviewing the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Working Group is currently wrapping up its review of the URS. The UDRP will be reviewed in an upcoming second phase. more

Too Little, Too Late? Why ICANN's Proposed WHOIS Access System Isn't Worth It

After two years of grueling, complex and contentious debate, the ICANN EPDP team delivered its Phase 2 Final Report on July 31st, 2020. Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the policy recommended for the so-called "System for Standardized Access/Disclosure" (SSAD) fails to meet the needs of the users it supposedly is designed to benefit. more

Afilias to Protect TLDs Against Potential "Orphan Glue" Exploits

Afilias has informed registrars and registry clients that it is taking steps to remove orphan glue records from 200+ TLD zones in its care. This will eliminate the potential for a handful of domain names to be misused. "Glue records" enable websites and other uses of domain names to work on the internet. They are related to DNS domain name delegations and are necessary to guide iterative resolvers to delegated nameservers. more

Why the Pandemic Makes Domain Names More Valuable Than Ever

In the United States, at least 25,000 brick and mortar businesses will close in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (source: Coresight). I believe this will only be the tip of the iceberg. The businesses that fight to stay alive will become 100% dependent on the Internet to generate their revenue. No longer able to rely on foot traffic to their old brick and mortars, the popularity and brand-ability of their websites will solely dictate their ability to survive in the coming years. more