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ZADNA under fire over “heavy-handed” new rules

Kevin Murphy, September 2, 2022, Domain Registries

There’s an increasing outcry in South Africa over new regulations on the .za domain that many believe are burdensome and likely to harm the namespace.

The country’s Internet Service Provider Association today became the latest group to express dismay about the proposed new rules, which among other things would require all registrants to verify their identity before registering a name.

ā€œZADNA’s draft regulations and procedures as they stand threaten to undo 34 years of local and international goodwill towards domains ending in .ZA. The regulations are heavy-handed and cumbersome and as such will disincentivise adoption of .ZA registrations,” William Stucke, chair of ISPA’s domain name working group, said in a press release.

The organization, which counts many .za registrars among its members, believes the new rules will make local brand owners choose easier options like .com rather than jump through ZADNA’s hoops and pay inflated registrar prices.

Registrars have also criticized the proposed new registrar licensing regime, which would allow ZADNA to terminate registrars at very short notice.

ZADNA also announced today that it has picked ZA Registry Consortium as its back-end operator. ZARC is made up of incumbent back-end ZACR, a non-profit, and its commercial arm Domain Name Services. The new contract will run until October 2027.