Whois

Blogs

Where Domain Security Meets the Supply Chain Crunch

Over the last two years, we've all faced supply shortages on items we previously never thought could be in short supply. Most recently, the baby formula and semiconductor markets were hit. Before that, supply chain attacks on Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods showed us that an attack on one company through a singular point of compromise has the potential to disrupt an entire network of connected companies, products, partners, vendors, and customers. more

ICANN SSAD Proposal Poised to Succeed?

The GNSO Council and the ICANN Board both seem poised to grant sufficient runway to the community to refine an idea for a simple ticketing system designed to centralize requests for registrant information disclosures and provide meaningful data that is likely to help ICANN staff enhance its assessment of the SSAD proposal. This is very good news for those who advocate for consumer safety and trust on the Internet, and it is very good news for the ICANN multistakeholder model. more

ICANN SSAD Proposal Poised to Fail?

After years of work on a proposed standardized system of WHOIS data disclosures (referred to as SSAD), and over a year of operational assessment of the proposal by ICANN itself, the ICANN Board seems poised to reject the proposal. And rightly so. The proposed SSAD is entirely watered down, fractured, and affords no oversight powers to ICANN regarding disclosure decisions that would continue to be left to the complete discretion of individual registrars (the very parties ICANN oversees).  more

A Three-Step Process to Chase Compulsive Domain Brand Squatters

Domain brand squatting can be defined as the unauthorized or dishonest use of a brand or company identifiers in domain names. It is often linked to the use of look-alike domains in bad faith, and we see it all the time. The threat actors behind these domains are called different names, though a prevalent one would be “typosquatters.” The Hot on the Trail of Compulsive Brand Squatters webinar showcased how these people are infiltrating the Internet. The first page of PhishTank’s valid phish search alone as of this writing tells us that domain brand squatting is a real and present danger. more

WHOIS Policy at ICANN Continues to Fail

ICANN has once again acceded to the wants of contracted parties and is at risk of abdicating its duty to act in the global public interest when it comes to WHOIS policy. Its inability or unwillingness to date to reign in bad WHOIS policy, driven by contracted party interests, flies in the face of its previously-expressed policy goal “to ensure the continued availability of WHOIS to the greatest extent possible while maintaining the security and stability of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers.” more

Industry Insights: RDAP Becomes Internet Standard

Earlier this year, the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF’s) Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) announced that several Proposed Standards related to the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), including three that I co-authored, were being promoted to the prestigious designation of Internet Standard. Initially accepted as proposed standards six years ago, RFC 7480, RFC 7481, RFC 9082 and RFC 9083 now comprise the new Standard 95. RDAP allows users to access domain registration data and could one day replace its predecessor the WHOIS protocol. more

Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance Is Captured and Presumed Dead

Technical management of the Internet was delegated to ICANN by the U.S. government because it was believed that the private sector would be more agile and responsive to the needs of globally distributed stakeholders. However, this optimism and the faith it has produced has proven to be misplaced since ICANN's multi-stakeholder governance continues falling far short of the basic expectations set when it was created. more

ICANN, or ICAN’T or IWON’T?

We're halfway into ICANN71, and early interactions are posing questions about ICANN Org's capability to carry out its mission to maintain an orderly domain name system (DNS). Or, if that's not the case, ICANN leadership seems bent on a hands-off approach to its oversight responsibilities to the DNS. For years now - years - the ICANN community has raised the volume level about acute issues -- a workable Whois management and access system (including clearly delineated controllership)... more

The Risk of Descriptive Subdomains: Are We Revealing Too Much?

Subdomains help organizations sort different sections of their websites neatly. Looking at the subdomains of some websites, for example, we usually see subdomains like shop[.]domain[.]com and blog[.]domain[.]com, which help users navigate the sites efficiently. But we couldn't help but notice subdomains that might be revealing a lot about a company's Internet infrastructure and resources. more

10th Registration Operations Workshop (ROW), June 8th, 2021, Online

The Registration Operations Workshop (ROW) was conceived as an informal industry conference that would provide a forum for discussion of the technical aspects of registration operations in the domain name system and IP addressing. The 10th ROW will be held online on Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 at 13h00-17h00 UTC. Click to learn more about the discussion topics and registration details. more

Could Bulk-Registered Typosquatting Domains Be Connected to .ORG DNS Abuse?

Public Interest Registry (PIR) announced the creation of the DNS Abuse Institute about two months ago as it believes that "every .ORG makes the world a better place" and "anything that gets in the way of that is a threat," notably in the form of Domain Name System (DNS) abuse. To show support for the initiative, WhoisXML API analyzed monthly typosquatting data feeds for December 2020, January 2021, and February 2021 to identify .ORG domain trends... more

The Insult and Injury of the U.S. Government’s Failure to Enforce ICANN’s Contractual Obligation

Someone recently observed that many stakeholders have fallen victim to a "chilling effect" resulting from fear of retaliation by the rich and powerful bullies currently infecting the multistakeholder community, ICANN, and Internet governance. I related to what I was hearing because I've been personally targeted and libelously attacked and it is deeply dismaying enough having to worry about threats to revenue and reputation along with other harmful effects of such thuggery. more

Is ICANN Running a Racket?

On March 13, 2019, I published an article on CircleID, Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name, that explored the proposed release and auction of o.com, a single-character .com domain name that was registered in 1993 and assigned to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) by Dr. Jon Postel. Although the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has since raised serious objections... more

Cybersecurity Tech Accord: 98% of Registrar Whois Requests Unrequited

When a brand goes so far as to ask a domain name registrar for Whois (the registration contact details) of a potentially abusive domain name, there's likely a lot at stake. Most often, the request is prompted by consumer safety concerns, such as the risk to consumers posed by a malicious site. Other times, the demand has a simple goal: to have a dialog with the registrant about the use of trademarks or other intellectual property in order to avoid extreme action. more

The Internet Isn’t Privatized Until .com Is Put Out for Bid

Previously, this series tackled the terribly awful Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement and also made the case that the tainted presumptive renewal currently included in registry agreements is inherently anti-competitive. But renewing legitimacy and integrity of Internet governance requires accurately understanding the unique and significant role retained by the U.S. government following the IANA transition. more

News Briefs

Trump Admin Ramping Up Attacks on GDPR – Says It Helps Cybercrime, Threatens Public Health

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission Wins Appeal in Lawsuit Against US DomainTools

Domain Registrars Given a Six-Month Deadline to Implement Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)

EU Should Not Be Setting US WHOIS and Privacy Policy, Says MPAA

Easy Access to ICANN, IP Address Data Beats Info on Encrypted Data, Says Telstra Cybersecurity Head

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission Wins Injunction in a Lawsuit Against DomainTools

Special Interests Circulating Draft Legislation to Cut Short ICANN’s Whois Policy Process

Former ICANN Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz to be Named Chair of Whois Group

DomainTools Sued for Misusing New Zealand’s .NZ Domain Name Registration Information

Anti-Phishing Working Group Proposes Use of Secure Hashing to Address GDPR-Whois Debacle

European Data Regulators Throw ICANN Back to the Drawing Board for a Third Time on Whois Privacy

ICANN Files Legal Action Against Domain Registrar for Refusal to Collect WHOIS Data

Domain Name Registrars Ask ICANN for a “Moratorium” on Its New GDPR Policy

A Short-Term Suspension of GDPR Enforcement on WHOIS May Be Necessary, Says U.S. Government

ICANN Releases Temporary WHOIS Specification Plan for GDPR Compliance With Deadline Two Weeks Away

ICANN CEO “Cautiously Optimistic” EU to Provide Clear Guidance for Domain Industry GDPR Compliance

ICANN’s GDPR Compliance Model for Whois Unlikely to Be Implemented in Time for May 25 Deadline

Dutch Geographic TLDs Refuse Public Access to Whois Data

Thick Whois Policy for .COM Goes Live

U.S. Bypassing ICANN on Whois Privacy With Closed-Door Meeting in Paris

Most Viewed

North Dakota Judge Gets it Wrong

Network Solutions Responds to Front Running Accusations

Help! My Domain Name Has Been Hijacked!

Whois Privacy vs. Anonymity

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

Most Commented

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

Domain Name Registrar Allows Completely Blank WHOIS

Industry Updates

Participants – Random Selection