Domain name registrars have been assured that ICANN Compliance will not pursue them for failing to implement the new Transfer Policy on privacy-protected names.
As we reported late November, the new policy requires registrars to send out “change of registrant” confirmation emails whenever certain fields in the Whois are changed, regardless of whether the registrant has actually changed.
The GNSO Council pointed out to ICANN a number of unforeseen flaws in the policy, saying that vulnerable registrants privacy could be at risk in certain edge cases.
They also pointed out that the confirmation emails could be triggered, with not action by the registrant, when privacy services automatically cycle proxy email addresses in the Whois.
This appears to have already happened with at least one registrar that wasn’t paying attention.
But ICANN chair Steve Crocker told the GNSO Council chair last week that ICANN staff have been instructed to ignore violations of the new policy, which came into effect December 1, in cases involving privacy-protected domains (pdf).
It’s a temporary measure until the ICANN board decides whether or not to defer the issue to the GNSO working group currently looking at policies specifically for privacy and proxy services.
Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi has told ICANN it no longer wishes to operate one of its dot-brand gTLDs.
The company has filed a termination notice covering its .mtpc domain, which stands for Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation.
The gTLD was delegated in February 2015, but Mitsubishi has never put it to use.
Registry reports show only two names ever appeared in the .mtpc space.
It’s the 19th gTLD from the 2012 round to voluntarily self-terminate — or to allow ICANN to terminate it — after signing a Registry Agreement.
All terminated gTLDs so far have been dot-brands.
Mitsubishi also owns .mitsubishi. That dot-brand appeared earlier this year but also has not yet been put to use.
The domain drop-catching arms race is heating up, with budget player Pheenix this week acquiring 300 more registrar accreditations from ICANN.
According to DI records, the company now has almost 500 registrar accreditations in its family.
More accreditations means more registry connections with which to attempt to acquire expired domains as they return to the available pool.
It also means that Pheenix’s dropnet (a word I just made up that sounds a bit like “botnet” in a pathetic attempt to coin a term for once in my career) is now a bit bigger than that of Web.com, the registrar pool behind Namejet and SnapNames.
It’s still a long way behind TurnCommerce, owner of DropCatch, which two weeks ago added a whopping 500 new accreditations, bringing its total to over 1,250.
An extra 300 accreditations would have cost Pheenix over $1 million in up-front ICANN fees and will incur ongoing fixed annual fees in excess of $1.2 million.
ICANN will hold its first public meeting of 2018 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was originally supposed to the venue for this October’s meeting.
ICANN moved ICANN 57 from San Juan to Hyderabad, India in May, at the height of the scare about the Zika virus.
Zika is spread by mosquitoes and sex and can cause horrible birth defects. An epidemic, beginning in 2015, saw thousands affected in the Americas and South-East Asia.
Puerto Rico was one of the affected regions. At the time of the ICANN postponement, numerous government travel warnings were in effect.
The World Health Organization announced last month that the epidemic is over.
It was always understood that Puerto Rico had been merely postponed rather than permanently canceled, and ICANN’s board of directors this week resolved to hold the March 2018 meeting — ICANN 61 — there.
Ninety-seven percent of Whois records contain working email addresses and/or phone numbers, according to the results of an ongoing ICANN survey.
The organization yesterday published the second of its now-biannual WHOIS Accuracy Reporting System reports, a weighty document stuffed with facts and figures about the reliability of Whois records.
It found, not for the first time, that the vast majority of Whois records are not overtly fake.
Email addresses and phone numbers found there almost always work, the survey found, and postal addresses for the most part appear to be real postal addresses.
The survey used a sample of 12,000 domains over 664 gTLDs. It tested for two types of accuracy: “syntactical” and “operability”.
Syntactical testing just checks, for example, whether the email address has an @ symbol in it and whether phone numbers have the correct number of digits.
Operability testing goes further, actually phoning and emailing the Whois contacts to see if the calls connect and emails don’t bounce back.
For postal addresses, the survey uses third-party software to see whether the address actually exists. No letters are sent.
The latest survey found that 97% of Whois records contain at least one working phone number or email address, “which implies that nearly all records contain information that can be used to establish immediate contact.”
If you’re being more strict about how accurate you want your records, the number plummets dramatically.
Only 65% of records had operable phone, email and postal contact info in each of the registrant, administrative and technical contact fields.
Regionally, fully accurate Whois was up to 77% in North America but as low as 49.5% in Africa.
So it’s not great news if Whois accuracy is your bugbear.
Also, the survey does not purport to verify that the owners of the contact information are in fact the true registrants, only that the information is not missing, fake or terminally out-of-date.
A Whois record containing somebody else’s address and phone number and a throwaway webmail address would be considered “accurate” for the survey’s purposes.
The 54-page survey can be found over here.