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Whois / News Briefs

New Domain Name Registrar Accreditation Agreement Approved by ICANN Board

ICANN Board of Directors today approved a new Domain Name Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) following over a year of negotiations between ICANN and its Registrar Stakeholders Group - last RAA was approved in 2009. more»

ICANN Working Group Is Seeking Input on a Replacement for the Current WHOIS System

An ICANN working group is seeking public input on a successor to the current WHOIS system for domain names. The Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) has issued a report that recommends a radical change from WHOIS. more»

ICANN Board Starts New Initiative to Tackle gTLD Registration Data Challenges

The ICANN Board of Directors has directed the Chief Executive Officer to launch a new effort to re-examine the purpose of collecting, maintaining and providing access to generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) registration data. The move follows the recommendations of a review team that examined implementation of WHOIS data policy. more»

Garth Bruen Discussing Whois, DNSSEC and Domain Security

NameSmash has interviewed Garth Bruen, Internet security expert and creator of Knujon, on some key issues under discussion during the recent ICANN meetings in San Francisco. Topics include Whois, DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) -- issues of critical importance particularly with ICANN's expected roll-out of thousands of new gTLDs in the coming years. more»

Google, Microsoft, Others Join Obama to Fight Phony Pharmacies

Garth Bruen writes to report: "On Tuesday, high-tech heavy hitters -- including Google and Microsoft -- announced support for a new non-profit organization pledged to back the Obama administration's effort to crackdown on illegal internet pharmacies. The group, composed of companies that service 'choke points' on the internet, is being formed in response to the President's call for private efforts to police online drug peddlers, according to Bloomberg/Businessweek." more»

Domain Registrars Warned by Law Enforcement Agencies, Demanding Better Enforcement

Kevin Murphy reporting in The Register: International police have called for stricter rules on domain name registration, to help them track down online crooks, warning the industry that if it does not self-regulate, governments could legislate. The changes, which are still under discussion, would place more onerous requirements on ICANN-accredited domain name registrars, and would likely lead to an increase in the price of domains. more»

GoDaddy Announces Plans to Stop Domain Name Registrations in China

World's largest domain name registrar, Godaddy.com Inc., today announced that it will no longer offer chinese domain name (.cn) in reaction to China's increasing intrusion on registrants. "GoDaddy is the first company to publicly follow Google's example in responding to the Chinese government's censorship of the Internet by partially retreating from the Chinese market," Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) told the Washington Post in a statement. "Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." more»

WHOIS Privacy Considered "Material Falsification"

Garth Bruen writes: Sedo reports that a "recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has determined that using WHOIS privacy on domains may be considered 'material falsification' under federal law. The defendants in US v. Kilbride (9th Cir., 2009) were convicted under the CAN-SPAM Act in a case that involved criminal charges of intentional email spamming. Enacted by the US Congress in 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits false or misleading transmission information, deceptive headers, and requires email solicitations to give an easy opt-out method and be labeled as an advertisement, including the senders physical post address. Commercial emails that use false or misleading headers, or violate other CAN-SPAM provisions, such as falsified registration information, are subject to fines of up to $11,000 for each unsolicited email sent." more»

Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales

Garth Bruen reports on a paper published by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics of Boston University School of Law authored by Bryan A. Liang and Tim Mackey titled, "Searching for Safety: Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales". From the paper: "Online sales of pharmaceuticals are a rapidly growing phenomenon. Yet despite the dangers of purchasing drugs over the Internet, sales continue to escalate. These dangers include patient harm from fake or tainted drugs, lack of clinical oversight, and financial loss. Patients, and in particular vulnerable groups such as seniors and minorities, purchase drugs online either na├»vely or because they lack the ability to access medications from other sources due to price considerations. Unfortunately, high risk online drug sources dominate the Internet, and virtually no accountability exists to ensure safety of purchased products."  more»

Spam-linked Chinese Domain Registrar Caught in Porn Cleanup

Owen Fletcher of IDG News Service reports: "A Chinese domain registrar long criticized for serving malicious domains promised stricter oversight on Tuesday after being censured in a government crackdown on Internet porn. China's own domain registry regulator last week became the latest source to criticize Xinnet.com, a Beijing-based registrar, as the agency stepped up efforts to stop false user information from being used to register new domains." more»

Domain Name Companies Continue to Spend Millions Lobbying Representatives in Washington

Andrew Allemann of the Domain Name Wire reports: "Domain name related companies continue to spend millions of dollars lobbying representatives in Washington, a study by Domain Name Wire shows. The analysis used public records filed with the U.S. Senate to calculate lobbying expenses by domain name companies and other companies regarding domain name issues. By far the biggest spender is VeriSign, which spent $1.4M in the first half of 2009..." more»

ICANN Launches Whois Accuracy Study

ICANN in coordination with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago ("NORC") has undertaken a study of domain name Whois contact data accuracy. Over the years, ICANN constituencies and others have observed apparent inaccuracies in Whois contact data provided by registrants when registering and maintaining domain names. This, according to ICANN, is an attempt to contribute to community discussion regarding Whois policy and inform ICANN compliance activities. more»

ICANN Upgrades Domain Name Whois Inaccuracy Reporting System

Today ICANN announced the launch of a new Whois inaccuracy reporting system (WDPRS) in an effort to improve the reporting system that allows general public to file reports against active domain names with inaccurate Whois information. The new WDPRS, which was first introduced in 2002, has a number of advantages over the previous system ICANN reports in a statement on Friday. "Since its implementation in 2002, ICANN has seen a significant rise in the number of Whois inaccuracy reports filed through this system," reports ICANN. "In 2002, approximately 24,000 Whois inaccuracy reports were filed using the WDPRS. In 2008, over 200,000 reports have been filed since 1 March 2008." more»

ICANN Says It Is Not an Internet Enforcement Agency

ICANN says domain name issues are not always a matter of contractual compliance... "There remain occasional misconceptions about ICANN's authority. Some appear to believe ICANN is an Internet enforcement agency, with broad power to shut down websites, restrict website content, and penalize Internet users for unethical behavior. This is not the case," says a section from ICANN's July magazine. more»

Canadian Domain Whois Policy Changes Face Opposition from Law Enforcement

Sweeping changes to Canada's country code top-level domain, .ca, will put the country on the vanguard of Internet privacy. But while law enforcement isn't happy about potentially losing an important investigative tool, the half-million Canadians whose personal information is currently publicly available on the Internet shouldn't rest easy that they are safe from wired snoops. more»