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GDPR: Registries to Become Technical Administrators Only?

On 11 December 2017, about 25 participants from Europe and the US attended the public consultation for the brand new GDPR Domain Industry Playbook by eco (Association of the Internet Industry, based in Germany) at the representation of the German federal state Lower Saxony to the European Union in Brussels. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) poses a challenge for the Registries, Registrars, Resellers and ICANN. more

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

The Catalonian Matter: Law and Order, Democracy and Freedom of Speech, Censorship and Trust

I'm an engineer, and I firmly believe that Internet matters and, in general, Information Society, should be kept separate from politics, so usually, I'm very skeptical to talk about those and mix things. Let's start by saying that I'm Catalonian. Despite the dictatorial regime when I was born, forbidden teaching Catalonian, I learned it, even despite, initially for family reasons and now for work reasons, I live in Madrid. However, I keep saying everywhere I go, that I was born in Barcelona... more

Spanish Police Raid the Offices of .cat gTLD Registry

The offices of the .cat gTLD registry Fundació puntCAT were raided by the Spanish police this morning. The company reported the incident via a series of tweets as the raid was being carried out. more

Making Sense of the Domain Name Market - and Its Future

With ever more TLDs, where does it make sense to focus resources? After four years and a quadrupling of internet extensions, what metrics continue to make sense in the domain name industry? Which should we discard? And how do you gain understanding of this expanded market? For registries, future success is dependent on grasping the changes that have already come. For registrars, it is increasingly important to identify winners and allocate resources accordingly. The question is: how? more

Upcoming Brands and Domains Conference to Explore Various Views on DotBrands

After its first edition in Valencia, Brands and Domains will travel this time to the Netherlands where the second conference will take place from the 2nd to 3rd of October 2017. This time, Dot Stories, the main organizer, chose the Hotel Amrath Kurhaus for the event. Nowadays, more than 600 applicants hold already the right to start their own dot brand, but there are not so many who have been brave enough to use it. more

Slovaks Worry About the Future of Their Country's .SK TLD

Almost every country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) has had some kind of rough and clumsy start at its sunrise. Internet was young, everything was new, and whoever took the national TLD first, got power over it. The situation eventually sorted out, and now most ccTLDs are drama free, well-operated for the benefit of people and the Internet communities in those countries. Unfortunately, not in Slovakia. more

Some Whois Lookup Services Might be Broken

There are thousands of sites and services on the 'net that offer domain name whois lookup services. As of last night, many of them may have stopped working. Why? Many of them rely on fairly rudimentary software that parses the whois from Verisign (for .com and .net) and then relays the query to the registrar whois. The site or service then displays the whois output from the registrar's whois server to you. more

Next Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (NG RDS) - Proposed Successor to WHOIS

The information in WHOIS database is very important to Law Enforcement Agencies, Intellectual Property Owners, and all Internet Users in general, who use this data to locate/contact domain name owners for various purposes including but not limited to enforcing laws or addressing grievances related to cybercrime and other cases of DNS abuse like Spam, Phishing, Malware etc. However, Privacy and Proxy Services are also available for many Top Level Domain Registries... more

.Pharmacy Registration Policy Restrictions Harm Legitimate Pharmacies

The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) recently commented on the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review Team (CCTRT) Draft Report of Recommendations for New gTLDs. In particular, on the primary questions posed: The CCTRT is seeking input on its Draft Report, which assesses whether the introduction or expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust and consumer choice in the DNS... more

Commodifying Words and Letters in the .Com Space

Words (and by extension their constituent letters) are as free to utter and use as is the air sustaining life. No one owns them. There is no toll fee to be paid to dictionary makers who curate them. There are, however, two carve-outs from this public domain, namely words and letters businesses use as designations of origin for their marketplace presence, protected by trademark law; and words and letters arranged expressively by authors, protected by copyright law. more

A Case for Further DNS Registrar Industry Self-Regulation

In most industries, businesses that blatantly act against the interests of their customers to favor their own internal profit centers would either not be allowed or else subject to controls and oversight by the government. It is universally regarded as an unfair and deceptive business practice. In the domain name registrar business, however, the normal practices of legitimate business dealings and customer protection seem woefully wanting. Kelly's Case described here illustrates the point... more

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more

Narcotics Traffic Is Not Part of a Healthy Domain System

A stack contrast is emerging within the DNS between providers who tolerate blatantly illegal domain use and those who do not. Our study, just published here focuses on five U.S.-based providers, their policies, and their response to reports of opioid traffic within their registry or registrar. There are many providers, not covered here, who removed hundreds of domains selling opioids and I applaud their efforts. more

A Q&A on Google's New gTLD Solution, Nomulus

Nomulus is the code for the backend domain name registry solution offered by Google which requires the use of Google Cloud. This solution is the one used for all of Google's new gTLDs and the solution works. An announcement for this solution can look like a potentially "simple" solution for future .BRAND new gTLD applicants, but is it truly the case? more