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More Top-Level Domain Wildcards

With all of the recent excitement about *.cm, the Cameroonian wildcard that someone is using to collect vast numbers of mistyped .com addresses, I wondered how many other wildcards there were at the DNS top level. There's a total of 13. Half of the wildcards are harmless. The *.museum wildcard leads to a registry page that helps guess what you might have been looking for. ...The .mp page also claims that .mp is for Mobile Phone rather than for the Marianas Islands, but they're hardly the only small poor island to try to cash in on their ccTLD, and they at least run it themselves. more

ICANN and Its Responsibilities to the Global Public Interest

In 1998, the United States government might have taken a different path in asserting its control over the technical administration of the DNS. It might have asserted full U.S. governmental control, or it might have turned over the functions to an international body such as the International Telecommunications Union. Instead, it created a "private-public partnership", incorporated as a California "nonprofit public benefit corporation", with a charter giving the company a dual mission of quasi-governmental functions combined with responsibility for operational stability of the Internet. more

Reaction to VeriSign-NSI Break Up

On October 16, 2003, VeriSign announced the sale of its Network Solutions (NSI) business unit three years after its purchase from SAIC. This is a report on the historical snapshot of Network Solutions and a collection of commentaries made in response to this event...Network Solutions, Inc. was founded by Emmit J. McHenry as a joint venture with the National Science Foundation and AT&T... more

The World's Most Dangerous Country Code Top-Level Domains

If you want to know the world's most dangerous country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), ask an anti-virus software company. McAfee has released its list of most dangerous country codes. Here are the top five... more

Lawsuits Filed Against ICANN-VeriSign Settlement

The new organization called Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) has filed a lawsuit against ICANN and VeriSign in order to stop implementation of the proposed .com registry agreement. According to its description, "CFIT is a not-for-profit Delaware corporation based in Washington, D.C. CFIT’s supporters include individuals, organizations, institutions and companies who are committed to the core principles on which ICANN, the internet governing body is founded." more

TLD Registration Enforcement: A Call for Automation - Part I

The past year has brought a rise in so-called "open and chartered" top-level domains (TLDs). Like the traditional open TLDs of .COM, .NET, and .ORG, these namespaces encourage large-scale registrations, but they differ in that they limit who can legitimately register domains. So far, many thousands of their registrations seem to break the stated rules. It's therefore worth thinking through their respective enforcement efforts -- before the situation gets out of control. more

What Does the .CO Launch Mean for New gTLDs?

The .CO top-level domain made over $10 million in just a couple of months. What do the results of the .CO re-launch mean for new gTLDs? Remember, .CO is the country-code TLD for Colombia. Until this summer, you could only register names under .com.co, .net.co, etc. You couldn't register myname.co. Now anyone in the world can register a .co name, and register it directly under the top level. more

Where Did the .Root Top-Level Domain Come From?

It was pointed out to me the other day that the ICANN/NTIA/Verisign root zone file contains a previously undiscussed top level domain. The contents of this TLD suggest that it was created by Verisign, the company that actually constructs the root zone file used by the dominant set of root servers. (The same zone file is also used by at least one of the competing root systems.) That TLD is .root. It's existence is as real as any other TLD such as .com or .org... more

Release of IE7, Firefox 2.0 Will Drive Significant IDN Demand

The arrival IE 7, Firefox 2.0 and other browsers that offer built-in support for IDNs could open the floodgates to IDN sales and usage. ...VeriSign says more than 600,000 IDNs have been registered in .com and .net, and that these names are "experiencing double-digit growth in new registrations and high renewal rates," according to its Domain Name Industry Brief published in August.  more

Registrars File Lawsuit Against ICANN and VeriSign

Newman & Newman, the law firm representing an ad hoc coalition of ICANN-accredited domain name registrars, has filed a lawsuit today against ICANN and VeriSign to Stop 'Anti-Consumer, Anti-Competitive' Wait List Service Implementation. ...The complaint attacks ICANN and VeriSign based on 1) Unfair Trade Practices Act Violations; 2) Violation of California Business & Professions Code; 3) Unlawful Tying Arrangement; 4) Attempted Monopolization; 5) Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; 6) Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage; 7) Breach of Contract; and 8) Declaratory Relief. more

Rhetorical Questions on IDN TLD Approaches

With the IGF underway, there's a lot of discussion surrounding Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). There has been lots of great progress in IDN technology with IE7 and Firefox browsers now fully IDN-Aware, strong IDN registrations and websites behind them. Now that many of the hurdles to implementation have been addressed to where the technology is either currently available to most internet users, or shall be soon, we now focus to the other aspects of IDN... more

Should a Domain Name Registrar Run from a PO Box?

In 2008 KnujOn published a report indicating that 70 ICANN accredited Registrars had no publicly disclosed business location. The fundamental problem was one of community trust and consumer faith. Registrars extend their legitimacy to their domain customers who then transact and communicate with the public. more

Putting Some Circuit Breakers Into DNS to Protect The Net

There are a lot of bad, but smart, people out there on the net. They are quick to find and capitalize on vulnerabilities, particularly those vulnerabilities in mass market software. These bad folks are quite creative when it comes to making it hard to locate and shutdown the computers involved. For example, a virus that takes over a victim's computer might communicate with its control point, or send its captured/stolen information, by looking up a domain name. Normally domain names are somewhat static - the addresses they map to don't change very frequently - typically changes occur over periods measured in months or longer. more

The User Experience with New TLDs: How to Avoid the Junk Mail File or 'User Unknown'

As new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) are launched, the industry mustn't overlook the customer experience. A key question is this: Will the software applications we all use, recognize the new TLDs and know what to do with them in a timely fashion? Think email and even form-fill applications. I speak from experience here. In 2006 when we launched the .MOBI TLD, there were arguably only a handful of .MOBI email addresses in existence. To my dismay, I found that often emails sent only from my .MOBI account were not being received at the other end... more

Sweden Makes its TLD Zone File Publicly Available

Patrik Wallström writes to report that as of today, IIS (The Internet Foundation In Sweden) has made the zone files for .se and .nu domain names publicly available for the first time. "The underlying reason for making the zone files for .se and .nu available is our endeavour at IIS to promote transparency and openness. IIS has made the assessment that the zone files do not contain any confidential information and, therefore, there is no reason not to make this information available." more