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Wait and See Approach on Abuse

Wait and see approach on abuse attracts ICANN Stakeholder attention:

A few weeks ago I made a detailed argument as to why product safety applies to domains, just like it does to cars and high chairs. I also argued that good products equal good business or “economically advantaged” in the long run. Then I really made a strong statement, I said if we don’t actively engage other Internet stakeholders—those that interact with our products, we would eventually lose the opportunity to self-regulate.

Currently there is a volunteer group (Spec 11 Security Framework) discussing and working out what details need to go into abuse monitoring, reporting, and actions taken. ICANN has recently released a draft framework document to the group’s mailing list (not posted on the ICANN site as of yet). Currently Spec 11 requires the Registry Operator to monitor and analyse abuse, keeping reports for a period of time. It lacks implementation details, and a defined form for that reporting. Now, to their credit, most Registry Operators are trying to fulfil this requirement in anticipation of those details—some actually have proactive abuse management programs—but some are taking a wait and see approach.

The wait and see approach is already stirring up other ICANN stakeholders—see letter to the ICANN board.

The Spec 11 Security Framework effort is a chance to bring the stakeholders together and ensure domain names are a responsible consumer product. The consequences of failure will have dire impacts to both Internet users, and those managing domains names—involvement is key.

By Michael Young

He built the first modern EPP Top Level Domain registry in 2001 (.info) and subsequently built and operated the backend systems for numerous gTLDs, ccTLDs, IDN enabled registries and sponsored TLDs such as .org, .mobi, .in, .me and others. Architelos provides new gTLD application guidance and registry management services for clients in the DNS and IP industry. Mr. Young can be reached directly at [email protected].

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It depends if a registry wants to be viewed as a trust brand Thomas Barrett  –  Dec 16, 2014 7:24 PM


It is great you’re raising awareness of this issue.  The main question seems to be whether it should be mandatory or optional for registries to follow them.

Currently, they appear to be optional.  In other words, a “business decision” left up to each individual registry.

In my view, this is about the brand that each Domain Registry is creating around their extension.

In the free-market Internet, consumers are going to gravitate naturally to those domain extensions that they feel they can trust. 

Many of the smarter registries realize that embracing many of the recommended safeguards is essential to building trust in their brand.

The registries who view the safeguards as simply a barrier for doing business will struggle to build the trust that is required for success.

Tom Barrett

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