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Domain Names / Recently Commented

Domain Enforcement in a Post-GDPR World

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and ICANN's conservative temporary policy, which favors privacy and limits registrar liability, has made domain enforcement against cybersquatters, cyber criminals and infringement more difficult, expensive and slow. With heightened concerns over privacy following high-profile breaches of consumer data and its subsequent illicit use and distribution, there is no question that consumer data protection practices would come under scrutiny. more

Celebrating Twenty Years of the UDRP

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, commonly known as the UDRP, was first introduced on October 24, 1999, by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The UDRP is incorporated by reference into Registration Agreements for all generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) and some country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs). more

Kenya’s .KE Domain Registrations Nearing 100,000 Mark, but It Can Do Better – Here’s Why

Over the years, the Kenyan Network Information Center (KeNIC) has struggled to reach the 100,000 mark in .ke Kenya country code domain registrations. Many reasons have been given for this shortfall, among them pricing, competition from generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) like .com and .org, and also competition from Geographic domains like the new .africa. Also, not opening up the second level for registration has been cited as one of the reasons for the low number. more

Business Email Compromised (BEC) Scams Explode Under the GDPR Implementation

Business email compromised (BEC) attacks targeting American companies are exploding, with an increase of over 476% in incidents between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018. Up as well is email fraud with companies experiencing an increase of over 226%. These highly targeted attacks use social engineering to identify specific company employees, usually in the finance department and then convince these employees to wire large sums of money to third-party banking accounts owned by the attackers. more

Domain Name System to Be Featured Prominently in Upcoming Review of EU Safe Harbor Rules

In July 2019, Netzpolitik and others leaked an internal document by DG Connect that outlines the European Commission's thoughts on an update of the E-Commerce Directive. Based on this document, it seems that the domain name system and its actors will be prominently addressed in the Ursula von der Leyen's Commission-cycle from 2019 to 2025. more

The Utility Formerly Known As WHOIS

Muscle memory is a funny thing. We don't even think about it really, but when we do the same thing over and over again, it just becomes second nature to us. This is how we've come to use WHOIS over the past two decades to get contact information for registered domain names. If you wanted to see who owned a domain, you'd simply do a WHOIS search. I've probably done hundreds of thousands of them during my time in the industry. Well as of this week, a major step in the retirement of WHOIS officially took place. more

The Ageless Warning of Icarus

It wasn't that long ago that, during a visit home, my brother asked me, "Why are you so stuck on this Internet thing?" His direct question caused me to realize that I had never actually stopped and considered why I was investing so much time – and in such a highly visible manner – into Internet governance when I wasn't being compensated for doing so and, in fact, was – not putting too fine of a point on it – flat broke. more

The Start of Something Big: ICANN Announces Planning for Round Two of New gTLDs

ICANN has published a short paper in advance of its 65th meeting in Marrakech which starts on 23 June 2019. Entitled, "ICANN Org's Readiness to Support Future Rounds of New gTLDs," it describes ICANN's working assumptions for "policy implementation and operational readiness for a subsequent round of new gTLDs". The document is necessary for ICANN to move forward with essential preparations for the next round. more

A New Project Called Handshake Wants to Decentralize DNS, Says It's Unlike Previous Attempts

An entity called the Handshake Network claims its newly developed open source project offers advantages over the traditional naming and signature systems. more

ICANN at a Crossroads: GDPR and Human Rights

The European Data Protection Board certainly has been keeping its records straight. Its 27 May statement starts with the following: "WP29 has been offering guidance to ICANN on how to bring WHOIS in compliance with European data protection law since 2003." All internet users have dealings with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, yet the vast majority have never heard of ICANN. more

Back to the Future Part IV: The Price-Fixing Paradox of the DNS

GenX-ers may remember spending a summer afternoon at the movie theater and seeing the somewhat corny but beloved antics of Marty McFly and Doc as they used a souped-up Delorean to travel the space-time continuum. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc and Marty travel into the future, where the bullying, boorish Biff causes a time-travel paradox when he steals the Delorean and takes a joyride into the past to give his younger self a sports almanac containing the final scores of decades worth of sporting events. more

The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains

ICANN is about to do serious damage to its reputation by making a precipitous, ill-considered leap into the unknown should it follow through on removing price constraints on several legacy extensions, most notably .org. Doing so would expose a global community of non-profits to the risk of quickly-escalating exploitative pricing. The rationale for eliminating price caps relies on three points, all of which are incorrect. more

How Much Could Businesses and Consumers Save if .com Price Cap Benefits Were Passed On to Consumers?

Recently, a blogger whose website features posts and ads from domain speculators wondered what the cost of registering a .com domain name would be if somebody else ran the .com registry. But this blog post asks the more relevant question: "How much could businesses and consumers save if the benefit of .com price caps were passed along to consumers?" Now is a good time to focus on this question, since Verisign and the US Department of Commerce just amended their Cooperative Agreement to allow limited, regulated .com price increases. more

ICANN Terminates AlpNames

AlpNames has been sent a notice of termination by ICANN. Unlike many termination notices that specify a future date, the one they were sent has an immediate effect. As reported in multiple fora over the last few days AlpNames had gone offline, and at time of writing still is. They've also become unresponsive. It's on the basis of this that ICANN decided to terminate their contract straight away. more

Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name

Let's take some crayons and draw a picture of the current state of affairs regarding single-character domain names (SCDNs), and specifically O.COM. During the public comment period for the current O.COM RSEP, ICANN's own Intellectual Property and Business constituencies recommended implementation of rights protections mechanisms (RPMs) for intellectual property, including Sunrise and Priority Access periods. It is curious that such hard-won protections are being so easily set aside by Verisign and ICANN. more