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Domain Research and Monitoring: Keeping an Eye on the Web for You

Reverse WHOIS: A Powerful Process in Cybersecurity

WHOIS History API: Powering Domain Investigations

Whois / Most Commented

KnujOn Releases Internet "Doomsday Book"

Reporting from Brussels, Belgium. Since January KnujOn has been conducing its own audit of ICANN Registrar contractual compliance and illicit commerce within the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) space. Our findings are shocking. more

Whois: If You Want Privacy, Pay For It

Netchoice, a lobbying group for the e-commerce industry had a strange reaction on the failure of the GNSO working group on Whois to reach a consensus. After all, they say, "Privacy concerns with Whois that were identified years ago have already been addressed by in the marketplace"... more

Help! My Domain Name Has Been Hijacked!

They are out there. In Internet Cafes and dark rooms from New York to Hong Kong to Iran, the domain name hijackers are plotting to steal your domain names. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself against losing your domain names. ...Registrars are often skeptical of claims of domain hijacking, and the hijackers often "launder" the domain names to look as if they have sold them to third parties... By the time you discover that your domain name has been stolen, it may be at its third or fourth different registrar in the name of a completely different party... more

ICANN and the DOC

ICANN today issued a press release and a series of documents about its relationship with the U.S. Department of Commerce. ...ICANN is no longer bound by the specific set of milestones that were in its prior MoU with DOC. With this freedom comes great responsibility. Without detailed government oversight, and without market competition for policymaking for domain names, ICANN (and the ICANN Board) has a great obligation to be accountable to its community. more

Answers from Vint Cerf: The Road Ahead for Top-Level Domains

Earlier this year we requested your questions on one of ICANN's most heated discussions -- issues involving top-level domains (TLDs) -- which we passed on to Vint Cerf, Google's VP and Chief Internet Evangelist and chairman of the board of ICANN. Despite an understandably heavy schedule, Vint Cerf has taken the time to personally respond to more questions than we had originally anticipated. So with our special thanks, here are his responses. more

ICANN and Your Internet Abuse

In spite of the material we were presented with in Durban something has gone very wrong inside of ICANN Compliance. KnujOn has published a report which demonstrates that ICANN Compliance appears to completely collapse between September 2012 and December 2012. Following December 2012, ICANN seems to stop responding to or processing any complaints. It is around this time certain compliance employees start disappearing. This was not limited to the Sydney office as some would have us believe... more

Search Engines and Registrars Getting Creative with Whois Database?

One of the best sources of information about sites on the web is the Whois database. A trio of patent applications from Go Daddy, published last week at the US Patent and Trademark Office, explores whether adding additional information to the Whois database might help reduce spam, phishing, and other fraudulent practices and improve search engine results. The patent filings from Go Daddy would add reputation information to the published Whois data to let others use it for a number of reasons, including enabling search engines incorporate it into their ranking mechanisms. ...The patent application from Google focuses upon fighting web spam using a wide range of data, including that associated with domain names. ...We can't really be certain that Google is presently using this information, but there are some indications that they may be... more

The End of the Road: ICANN, Whois, and Regulation

There's a well-documented crisis facing the domain name system: very few who rely on domain name registration data from the Whois database to perform vital functions can do so any longer, which is escalating consumer harm and abuse on the internet worldwide. And the problems, thanks to ICANN's overly restrictive policy post-GDPR and a failing policy process, are piling up. more

The Fight Is on to Save Access to WHOIS: A Call to Action for Brand Owners

Late last week, ICANN published the guidance from the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) that we have been waiting for. Predictably, WP29 took a privacy maximalist approach to the question of how Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to WHOIS, a tool widely used by cybersecurity professionals, businesses, intellectual property owners, consumer protection agencies and others to facilitate a safer and more secure internet.  more

Avoiding an ICANN Monopoly on Policy

With all the focus in the TLD world on the imminent arrival of more than a thousand new TLDs and the still unfinished discussions within ICANN on what policy framework those TLDs will need to follow, it is often forgotten that there are hundreds of other TLD policy frameworks that are mature, stable and well tested. These of course are the ccTLD policy frameworks that have been actively developed over 20 years. more

At the ARIN Meeting

I have been attending the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) meeting in Toronto. ARIN is one of the RIRs, i.e., the Internet address registry and policy making authority for North America. Although I have observed and participated on RIR lists for some time and interacted with RIR representatives at ICANN, WSIS and IGF, this is the first time I have been able to attend a meeting. I'm glad I did. more

Do We Need Title Insurance for Domain Names?

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I read an article in Forbes (November 13, page 148) about real estate title insurance. The article was about how real estate title insurance is a joke and overpriced. But as I read in the article how titles are investigated, in dawned on me that a title check service for domain names would be helpful. Title checks and title insurance would prevent you from losing money when you bought a stolen domain. Last year I almost got bilked for $5,000 buying domains...before I discovered they were stolen... more

Sponsored TLD Unnecessary? Ron Andruff Responds to Forrester Research

A recent report released by Forrester Research last week has put the .travel sponsored top-level domain under the microscope -- calling the sTLD "Nice, But Not Necessary". Although this 4-page report (sold for US$49.00) has singled out the .travel domain, its critical arguments might very well apply to the nature of most sponsored top-level domains currently in existence -- or under review: '.mobi', '.jobs', '.museum', '.coop', '.xxx' and others. CircleID has invited Ron Andruff, President and CEO of Tralliance, the registry for .travel, to respond to arguments made in this report. more

ICANN Proposed Interim GDPR Compliance Model Would Kill Operational Transparency of the Internet

ICANN has consistently said its intention in complying with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to comply while at the same time maintaining access to the WHOIS domain name registration database "to greatest extent possible." On February 28, ICANN published its proposed model. Strangely, while ICANN acknowledges that some of the critical purposes for WHOIS include consumer protection, investigation of cybercrimes, mitigation of DNS abuse, and intellectual property protection, the model ICANN proposes provides no meaningful pathway to use WHOIS in those ways. more

WHOIS Review and Beyond 3.7.8

We have posted our support of the WHOIS Policy Review Team Report with two important comments. First, on page 79 of the report it is confirmed that the RAA is unenforceable on WHOIS inaccuracy (we wrote about this while at the last ICANN meeting) because the language of RAA 3.7.8 has no enforcement provision. It is now time for ICANN to confirm this problem officially.  more

Industry Updates

Using WHOIS Domain Lookup Tools to Identify Malicious Domains and Prove Misuse

Fight Against Phishing: Email Address Verification as a Cybersecurity Process

How to Avoid IP Spoofing with a Reverse IP Address Lookup Service

Online Brand Protection Tips with Domain Brand Protection Software

What Services Should Be Part of Your Domain Brand Protection Strategy?

The Perils of Typosquatting: The Likely Targets and the Price They Pay

Domain Squatting Disputes: How WHOIS Lookup Tools Can Help

Post-GDPR WHOIS Domain Search: Are Cybercrime Investigations More Difficult to Do?

How to Avoid Fraudulent Classifieds Sites with WHOIS Domain Name Search Tools

How Domain Reputation API Can Help Detect HTTPS-Protected Phishing Sites

How to Avoid Fake Product Support Pages with WHOIS API's Help

How to Safeguard Against Domain Look-Alikes with Domain and Brand Monitoring Services

Reverse Domain Hijacking and the Use of WHOIS and Domain Brand Monitoring Tools

Addressing Cybersquatting Dangers Using Brand Alert API and WHOIS Lookup

Retrospective: Post-GDPR Compliance Rates for Domain Enforcement