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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

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 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 Responsible Domain Industry Needs a Responsible Registrant Appeals Process

As the steward of .ORG, Public Interest Registry is committed to serving as an "exemplary registry" for the DNS. As part of that mission, PIR published our Anti-Abuse Principles last year that serve as our north star to address questions of abuse. As PIR has stated on many occasions, generally speaking, the DNS is not the appropriate place to address questions of website content abuse because of the blunt tool we as a registry have and the collateral damage that can be caused by suspending a domain name for a piece of content. more

TLD Maintenance Significantly Improved With the New Registry Maintenance Notifications for EPP

Three years ago, the first Internet-Draft on Registry Maintenance Notifications for the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) was published, which will become a Request for Comments (RFC). The IETF Registration Protocols Extensions (REGEXT) working group is the home of the coordination effort for standards track EPP extensions. They released eight RFCs over the last couple of years, and they are currently working on more than 15 Internet-Drafts. more

A CENTR White Paper on Creating More Standardized and Streamlined Domain Registry Lock Services

CENTR has published a white paper separating registry lock services into two standardized models. This categorization and the included recommendations can help top-level domain registries (re)design their registry lock services. The aim of the paper is to reduce fragmentation in implementation between registries to explain the value of registry lock to domain holders more easily. more

Reasons Why You Should NOT Apply for a .BRAND New gTLD

There are two kinds of new domain name extensions: those dedicated to selling domain names through the network of accredited Registrars and those dedicated to a personnel use. I call these "dotBRANDs" or ".brand" new gTLDs since they are used - most of the time - by Trademarks for their own benefit. This article focuses on .BRAND new generic Top-Level Domains. In the ICANN vocabulary, these are "Registry Agreements with Specification 13". more

Received a Questionable Email From NABP? It May Be Illegal Spoofing

Has your organization recently received an email claiming to be from NABP's Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program (IDOI)? If so, it is possible that someone is trying to trick you. The NABP IDOI team's email account has recently been illegally "spoofed" by unaffiliated persons or organizations. Email spoofing involves the forgery of an email header so that the email appears to have originated from someone other than the actual source. 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

The State of DNS Abuse: Moving Backward, Not Forward

ICANN's founding promise and mandate are optimistic -- ensure a stable and secure internet that benefits the internet community as a whole. Recent months, however, have highlighted the uncomfortable truth that ICANN's and the industry's approach to DNS abuse is actually moving backward, ignoring growing problems, abdicating on important policy issues, and making excuses for not acting. Further, the impending failure of ICANN's new WHOIS policy to address cybersecurity concerns will add fuel to the fire, resulting in accelerating DNS abuse that harms internet users across the globe. more

9th Registration Operations Workshop (ROW), June 16th, 2020, Online

The Registration Operations Workshop (ROW) was conceived as an informal industry conference that would provide a forum for discussion of the technical aspects of registration operations in the domain name system and IP addressing. The 9th ROW will be held online on Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 at 13h00-16h00 UTC. more

What's Next for Dot-Org

When I began writing about the dot-org sale, it was out of concern for the loss of what I felt strongly was long understood to be a unique place in the Internet's landscape. Like a national park, dot-org deserved special protection. It turns out lots of people and organizations agreed. On April 30th, 2020, The ICANN Board upheld these values. They unanimously withheld consent for a change of control of the Public Interest Registry to a private equity firm. more

Even a Pandemic Isn't Enough

The most incredible thing about the dot-org sale is no longer the billion-dollar price tag. It's not surprise fait-accompli announcement. It's not the republican billionaires. It's that the proponents have continued to advocate for it in the midst of the worst crisis the world has faced since the second world war. The biggest crisis in almost a hundred years. One that will reverberate for generations. more

Preserving ICANN's Independence Through Bold Action – Not Inaction

This week, the ICANN Board will vote on whether to approve the transfer of control of the .ORG domain to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. This is a weighty decision for ICANN, since in order to approve the sale, it will have to convince itself that this is the right choice in the face of tremendous and widespread opposition, including from those who will be most affected by the sale. more

News Briefs

Donuts to Acquire Afilias

Verisign Extends COVID-19 Wholesale Restore Fee Waiver

ICANN Board Rejects the Proposed Sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital

The .ORG Acquisition Delayed Following California's Attorney General Letter to ICANN

GoDaddy Acquires Neustar's Domain Name Registry Business

Public Interest Registry, ICANN Agree to Extend Deadline on Review of Proposed Acquisition of .ORG

Over 50 Domain Operators in China Ask ICANN for Immediate Fee Waivers Due to Impact from Coronavirus

American University Washington College of Law to Hold Open Discussion on the .ORG Sale Controversy

California Attorney General Asks ICANN for Detailed Information On the .ORG Sale

CENTR Reports Decreased Growth in European ccTLDs

Vint Cerf Says He Is in Favor of .ORG Acquisition, Explains Why

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning the .ORG Sale

Internet Society CEO Responds to Concerns Raised Over the .ORG Sale

EFF and 26 Other Organizations Send Letter to Internet Society Urging It to Stop Sale of .ORG

Internet Commerce Association Calls for ICANN to Withhold Approval of .Org Sale

Ethos Capital to Acquire .ORG Top-Level Domain

Colombian Government Releases Action Plan for the Selection of .CO Domain Registry Operator

New Zealand's Top-Level Domain Manager Seeking New Registry Service Provider for .nz

Legacy TLD .ORG Takes On New Branding Focus as Part of a New Transformative Journey, Says PIR

Irland Leads Europe's .eu Domain Registrations in Q2

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Most Commented

Taking Back the DNS

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid

Ask Vint Cerf: The Road Ahead for Top-Level Domains

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

Afilias Updates – Sponsor

Donuts Inc. to Acquire Afilias, Inc.

Donuts Inc., the global leader in next generation top-level domains (TLD) and digital identity, today announces that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Afilias, Inc. for an undisclosed sum. more

Combating COVID-19 Cybercrime – What Internet Infrastructure Providers Like Afilias Are Doing

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has been fertile ground for scams and misinformation. Social platforms have been in the news for their efforts to protect users from such problems. What are Internet infrastructure providers like Afilias doing to keep spammers, phishers and other criminals from preying on Internet users? more

Afilias Thanks Desiree Miloshevic for 12 Years of Service to ISOC

Afilias, the world's second largest domain name registry, today thanks Desiree Z. Miloshevic for her leadership and service to the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society. more

101domain Launches MMX & ICM Registry's New AdultBlock Service

101domain, the domain registrar known for carrying the largest selection of top-level domains in the industry, is expanding their brand protection offering with a new domain blocking service from MMX's ICM Registry. AdultBlock and AdultBlock+ is a solution to reduce cybersquatting and abuse in the adult digital landscape. more

Puerto Rico's .PR Domain Turns 30!

Gauss Research Laboratory, Inc, the registry operator for .PR, Puerto Rico's top-level domain (TLD), and Afilias, its technology partner, announced today that the .PR domain will reach the milestone of 30 years of service to both the Puerto Rican internet community and the public relations industry as of August 27, 2019. more

Afilias to Acquire .GLOBAL Top Level Domain

Afilias, the world's second largest domain name registry, today announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Dot Global Domain Registry Limited in Dublin, the registry operator for the .GLOBAL Top Level Domain. more

Afilias Appoints Keith Lubsen as Chief Business Officer

Afilias has promoted Keith Lubsen to the newly created position of Chief Business Officer, responsible for general oversight of finance (including profitability), mergers and acquisitions, and legal aspects of the company, all areas he has been involved with for some time. more

Industry Updates

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