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DNS Level Action to Address Abuses: New Tools for DNS Operators and Legislators

The ways in which the Internet is embedded in our daily lives are too varied and numerous to catalogue. The Internet delivers information, access to goods, services, education, banking, social interaction and, increasingly, work space. The global pandemic has only heightened our dependence on the online world, which is why efforts to ensure that the Internet remains a trusted and secure environment are more important than ever. Phishing, malware, botnets and other forms of online abuse not only harm users, but threaten to undermine confidence in the Internet, as a whole.

Launched on March 18th, the I&JPN Toolkit on DNS Level Action to Address Abuses identifies substantive and procedural thresholds to determine when acting at the DNS may be appropriate to address online abuse and provides a framework for coordinating the interactions between relevant actors.

Focused on DNS technical abuses, the Toolkit:

  • Identifies types of abuses that may be addressed at the DNS level, their corresponding thresholds for action, as well as the sequence of interaction between notifiers, registrars and registries.
  • Under what strict conditions might interruption of a domain name without consent of the registrant be envisaged/acceptable;
  • What actions should/would domain name operators be willing and able to exercise;
  • What rules and procedures could help establish or enhance the credibility of notifiers’ notifications (for information or action);
  • What possible mechanisms can help improve transparency in such processes.

Consideration of these factors may help DNS Operators to design and maintain comprehensive and Implementable anti-abuse programs while enhancing their outreach and education efforts toward users. Equally, a better understanding of how, when and what information to include when making abuse notifications will assist Notifiers—including law enforcement in crafting notices that are complete and actionable.

Finally, a better understanding of how the DNS functions, including its inability to selectively remediate abuse without disabling access to the entirety of the associated website and services such as email may assist Legislators in drafting and enacting sound policy and regulatory measures.

To be sure, the toolkit does not solve all of the problems one might encounter on the Internet. However, it contains practical information and solutions aimed at addressing technical abuse within the domain name system and is an example of what can be accomplished when responsible actors collaborate and cooperate in an effort to make the online world a better, more secure and more trustworthy environment.

Download the Toolkit here:
https://www.internetjurisdiction.net/domains/toolkit

References:
About the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network
About the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network Domains & Jurisdiction Program

By Elizabeth Behsudi, Director of the Domains & Jurisdiction Program at Internet & Jurisdiction Policy

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