German ccTLD registry DENIC has been given ICANN approval to provide data escrow services to registrars.
It becomes the seventh company to receive this accreditation, the second in Europe after the UK’s NCC Group.
DENIC said the ICANN contract is unique in that it is governed by German or Swiss law, rather than Californian.
It also said that it is in compliance with European Union data protection legislation, which is much stricter than the US equivalent, for the first time.
The deal with ICANN does not extend to data escrow services for gTLD registries, but DENIC said it is working on such a deal.
All registrars are required by their ICANN accreditation to escrow registrant data, to protect customers from catastrophic business failures or de-accreditation.
Many domains ending in .de, Germany’s country-code TLD, have seen downtime today, after something went wrong at Denic, the registry manager.
Details are sketchy at the moment, but it appears from chatter on the DNS-Ops mailing list that several instances of the .de zone stopped serving addresses this morning.
It appears that the affected servers were responsible for .de domains beginning with F through Z, so facebook.de would have worked, but heise.de would not.
This is obviously a huge headache if you’re German or do business in Germany — I hate to think how many transactions could have been disrupted by the downtime — and I expect Denic will take a lot of flack at home over the coming days and weeks.
The problem, however, does appear to have been fixed. SANS estimates the outage as a little over an hour.
I’ve found Google Translate an invaluable tool for researching overseas news stories, but it’s a pain in the neck for reading about domain names in foreign languages.
The service seems to have developed the habit of turning all freestanding ccTLDs into “.com”.
Every instance of “.no”, Norway’s country-code domain, is translated into a .com, more specifically “. Com”.
Ditto for German. Translate this story about Denic’s troubles today to see all instances of “.de” translated into “. Com”.
However, the front page of Afnic sees .fr translated to “. Com”, leaving .re, for the Reuinion Islands, untouched.
I should point out that the service leaves domain names alone, so nic.fr is still nic.fr. But you’ve still got to wonder what Google’s designers were thinking.