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Five gTLDs at risk as registry goes AWOL

Kevin Murphy, July 2, 2024, 14:27:51 (UTC), Domain Registries

The chance of five new gTLDs themed around the Middle East ever going live has substantially decreased after the registry seemed to disappear and got hit by a third ICANN breach notice.

The registry is Istanbul-based Asia Green IT System, which goes by AGIT or AgitSys, and the five gTLDs are .nowruz (Iranian New Year), .pars (refers to Persia/Iran), .shia (a branch of Islam), .tci (an outsourced dot-brand for the Telecommunication Company of Iran) and .همراه (.xn--mgbt3dhd, means “comrade” in Persian).

According to ICANN, the company is failing to provide Whois, data escrow and has not filed its monthly transaction reports since February. It is also past due with its ICANN fees, according to the breach notice.

The turnaround for the breach notice was incredibly fast. ICANN appears to have noticed that the Whois failures met the “RDAP-RDDS emergency threshold” — which is 24 hours of downtime in a single week — on Friday, called the registry the same day, and issued the breach notice on Monday.

The technical breaches may or may not be related to the fact that the company appears to have disappeared from the internet. None of its NIC sites resolve for me today, and its company web site returns a 404.

These things were also true in 2019, when AGIT received its first breach notice, which was later resolved. It received a second notice a year ago, which it also later resolved.

Only .nowruz, the only one of the five to launch, appears to have any third-party registrations in its zone file, counting in the single figures and all apparently defensive. I could get one of them to resolve, so the DNS appears to be functional.

AGIT used CoCCA as its back-end. CoCCA said that it terminated its contract with AGIT after a “breach” earlier this year and has been turning off features ever since.

RDAP, WHOIS, Reporting and Escrow deposits have been disabled by CoCCA incrementally.

ICANN has given AGIT until the end of the month to come back into compliance or risk having its contracts terminated.

This article was updated July 8 with comment from CoCCA.

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Comments (2)

  1. Garth MILLER says:

    For the avoidance of confusion, there haven’t been any technical failures of the back-end registry services provided by CoCCA. Earlier in the year CoCCA sent a breach notice and, after AGIT failed to remedy the breach, terminated the contract with AGIT.

    RDAP, WHOIS, Reporting and Escrow deposits have been disabled by CoCCA incrementally.

  2. Common Sense says:

    I understood Emergency Back End Registry operator as a tool to support registries where the actual technical function fails? Is the case technical an unintended use of EBRO when, in fact, the registry operator itself is awol (a business failure)? Now the EBERO has the burden of managing the technical services, no operator and no one to pay their bills. Seems like breach of contract and ICANN moving the TLDs to another RO would be the more logical step rather than disrupting the technical
    Services and then farming the TLDs out.

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