News and Updates

Oral History of the Early Days of ICANN: A Perspective From Europe

Domain industry news - 10 hours 24 min ago

This essay is part of a series of posts CircleID will be hosting from the ICANN community to commemorate ICANN's 20th anniversary. CircleID collaborated with ICANN to spread the word and to encourage participation. We invite you to submit your essays to us in consideration for posting.

Essentially everyone in the computing field has heard how the creation of ICANN absolutely changed the development of the Internet and the organization of the Domain Name System (DNS). Consequently, the growth of ICANN promoted the deliberation about New Internet Trends. The blog is structured as an interview with Eugenio Triana who was one of ICANN's nine initial directors in October 1998. Further info about him is available online on official web page of ICANN and BoD

The dialogue covers the early origins from the perspective of European institutions. It covers the conceptualization and governance transmitted by a member of the European Commission, Deputy Director General, and the person responsible for the Commission's relations with the Information and Communications Technology user interests.

I want to show a great gratitude to Eugenio Triana for his voluntary contribution to this interview specially prepared for ICANN63 in recognition to the 20th anniversary of ICANN.

Interviewed by Oscar M Bonastre on 30 July 2018 from Alicante, Spain with Eugenio Triana, one of ICANN's nine initial directors in October 1998.

Chair of Standards, Technical and Professional Activities. BoD IEEE Spain Section
Email: ombonastre@ieee.org
Prof. Advanced Distributed Systems
Dept. of Statistics, Mathematics and Computing
Operations Research Centre, University Miguel Hernandez

Written by Oscar M Bonastre

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New TLD Subsequent Procedures: A Proposed Model to Move Forward

Domain industry news - 12 hours 17 min ago

Back in February 2017, I published the article "Next gTLD Round — A Seven Year Itch" on CircleID advocating for the Board, ICANN Community, and ICANN org to reach a common understanding of what needed to be accomplished in order to identify a date to open the next application window for new gTLDs.

In the past 18 months, there has been considerable movement toward the goal of opening the next application window for new gTLDs. The ICANN Board acknowledges their responsibility to opening a second application window "as expeditiously as possible”, and the community is working on a number of efforts in parallel that are considered pre-requisites to make this happen.

Neustar is actively engaged in the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group (PDP WG), which is an important work effort and one of the pre-requisites that needs to be completed in order to bring the next application window to reality. The PDP WG reached an important milestone on 26 September 2018, when it published its Initial Report for public comment. Neustar was one of many who submitted comments, and we would like to take the opportunity to highlight our response to the section that addresses "Applications Assessed in Rounds". We spent a long time discussing this approach internally and believe that it has the potential to address more than just the question of how to introduce the next round(s) of new gTLDs. We believe that our proposal can address issues of pent-up demand in a deliberate way and provide a number of other benefits such as:

  • Enable the ICANN Board to deliver on its commitments to introduce the next application window "as expeditiously as possible";
  • Allow the community to finalize the prerequisite policy and other work efforts in accordance with the phased application process;
  • Provide ICANN org with a process that would allow them to develop the requisite systems and processes over time rather than needing everything in place on a single date;
  • Reduce the resourcing impact on ICANN staff and third-party vendors by not undertaking the phases concurrently;
  • Provide predictability and certainty for potential applicants; and Reduce the risk of excessive demand by spreading applications over three distinct phases.

The Neustar proposal is consistent with the PDP WG recommendation that the next introduction of new gTLDs be conducted in the form of a "round" but expands on that notion by recommending that the round is conducted in three phases — the details of which are provided below. We note that the dates we use may be unreasonable to some, but for Neustar, we believe they are reasonable target dates to aspire to, particularly given the time that has transpired since the last opportunity for anyone to apply for a new TLD.

A three-phase approach to the next application window

In our comments, Neustar proposed the following three-phased approach, opening separate application windows for each TLD category, six months apart:

  • Phase 1: Brand TLDs
    Indicative application period: 1 October 2019 – 12 January 2020
  • Phase 2: Geographic TLDs
    Indicative application period: 1 April 2020 – 31 July 2020
  • Phase 3: Generic and Community TLDs
    Indicative application period: 1 October 2020 – 12 January 2021

These phases could then be followed by an "Open Round", which would ultimately be followed by a process whereby applications are evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis.

I appreciate this approach will raise a number of questions, so I will do my best to address these as well as possible.

Why Brand TLDs first?

We believe .brand TLDs are the lowest risk category because in the 2012 application process they had the lowest level of contention sets, brand TLDs have historically low rates of abuse and concern for ICANN, and have clearly defined eligibility criteria and requirements that distinguish them from other TLD categories via Specification 13. Not only this, but there is established public demand which assists in creating predictability for the required ICANN resources. This public demand for .brand TLDs also creates great potential for building public awareness of the process which in turn supports the communications for other categories in Phases 2 and 3.

Why Geographic TLDs in Phase 2?

Geographic TLDs, we expect, will also have clearly defined eligibility criteria and consistent with the 2012 application window, we anticipate low to almost non-existent contention sets. The geoTLDs from the 2012 application window are offering localized content and community benefit that we believe should be available on a much wider scale. Providing a six-month window between Phase 1 and 2 should ensure there is a sufficient buffer for Worktrack 5 of the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures process to complete its work and obtain community consensus.

Why Generic and Community TLDs in Phase 3?

Whilst Generic and Community TLDs are highly successful in terms of adding competition and choice, these categories historically have the most challenges from the 2012 application process. Some reasons for this are the increased likelihood of contention, difficulties in resolving contention and public concern around the auction process, highly complex and inconsistent results regarding Community Priority Evaluation, and challenges in determining the right approach for handling some of these concerns in future application windows. Providing a 12-month period before this phase allows substantial time for the community to determine solutions to some of these challenges, reduce the resourcing issues by avoiding including geo and brand TLDs simultaneously, and provide greater data points and confidence around market demand.

Taking steps forward

This is just a snapshot of our proposed model. There are significant details yet to be determined, further questions to be answered, and much more work to be completed.

To be clear — this is by no means an alternative to or replacement for the PDP New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group's efforts, but rather, a proposal that we hope will be considered and assessed on its merits by the PDP WG and potentially reach consensus around this idea as a path forward
Collectively, as the ICANN community, I do believe we have an obligation to be responsive to our policy decisions of the past and work together to ensure that "as expeditiously as possible" doesn't mean 10 years between application windows. ICANN's core values encourage us to, among other things, operate with efficiency and excellence and at a speed that is responsive to the needs of the global Internet community. If an ICANN Board commitment to opening the next application window for new gTLDs "as expeditiously as possible" ends up being 10 years between application windows, then I think we as a community have failed to live up to the expectations of those core values.

I look forward to seeing you all in Barcelona and discussing your thoughts on our proposed path forward.

Written by Donna Austin, Policy & Industry Affairs Manager at Neustar

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US Senators Urge Canada to Drop China’s Huawei Technologies in Building Future Telecom Networks

Domain industry news - Sun, 2018-10-14 19:34

U.S. Senators Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, both critics of China, have urged Canada to consider dropping China's Huawei Technologies from helping to build next-generation 5G telecommunications networks. A letter obtained by the Globe and Mail dated October 11 was submitted to Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada which stated in part: "We write with grave concerns about the possibility that Canada might include Huawei Technologies or any other Chinese state-directed telecommunications company in its fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications network infrastructure. As you are aware, Huawei is not a normal private-sector company. There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party − and Huawei, which China's government and military tout as a 'national champion,' is no exception." Huawei Canada has assured that it works openly and transparently with the Canadian government in order to satisfy national-security concerns. Prime Minister's Office has not commented on the matter.

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KSK Rollover, Elliptical Curve Vulnerabilities, Surveillance and Privacy. Are We Building Trust?

Domain industry news - Sun, 2018-10-14 04:33

ICANN just recently performed a Root Zone DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover. The recent KSK Rollover that took place on the 11th October 2018. The KSK Rollover has been successful and congratulations are in order.

The Root Zone DNSSEC Key Signing Key "KSK" is the top most cryptographic key in the DNSSEC hierarchy. The KSK is a cryptographic public-private key pair:

  • Public part: trusted starting point for DNSSEC validation
  • Private part: signs the Zone Signing Key (ZSK)
  • Builds a "chain of trust" of successive keys and signatures to validate the authenticity of any DNSSEC signed data

As with passwords, the cryptographic keys used in DNSSEC-signing DNS data should be changed periodically. This ensures infrastructure can support key change in case of emergency. This type of change has never before occurred at the root level. There has been one functional, operational Root Zone DNSSEC KSK since 2010.

However there is an aspect though of the Rollover that concerns cyber security that merits discussion in the wake of vulnerabilities, and protection of privacy deserves discussion.

Given the history of Surveillance orders both domestic within the US and foreign that have passed through the United States Foreign Intelligence Courts where telephone call records and metadata have been submitted on a daily basis, what guarantee is there that surveillance is not being done from the root zone level.

We have over the last decade seen the vulnerabilities such as the Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) where the NSA has a significant advantage in breaking the ECC (Schneier, 2013).

The Root Zone KSK Rollover Plan Design (RSPK) Team Report March 7, 2016 (ICANN, 2016) stated that the RSPK Design Team considered the question of whether there were sufficiently compelling grounds to consider a change in key size or algorithm for the KSK. The RSPK Design Team found no compelling ground to consider a key size or algorithm for the KSK.

The Team noted that a compelling reason might stem from questions regarding the cryptographic strength of the chosen key size or algorithm.

With the initial publication of SP 800-57, "Recommendation for Key Management, Part 1," in 2005, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the intent to raise minimum cryptographic strengths.

Two Options that the RSPK Design Team identified were the 2048-bit Asymmetric RSA key that the Design Team says would be safe to use for another 5 years, with the other algorithm option available for DNSSEC is the Elliptical Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) that is defined in RFC 6605.

The US National Security Agency, which comes under US Department of Defense came under the public spotlight when in June 2013, Snowden exposed the extent of surveillance communication. The New York Times (Savage, Wyatt, 2013) reported that the NSA was collecting telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.

A secret court order that was published by the Guardian (2013) signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court applied by the Federal Bureau for Investigation ordering Verizon Business Network Services to produce all call detail records and telephone metadata created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad; or wholly within the United States including local telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis revealed the extent of the surveillance.

The NSA Surveillance reforms, described as the most significant surveillance reforms since 1978, which Congress and Senate passed in the form of the USA Freedom Act was the direct result of the pressure of Snowden's revelations. The Freedom Act establishes a de facto privacy advocate to argue against the government on behalf of certain privacy rights. In 2015, an independent analysis of 225 terrorism cases in the US concluded that the NSA's collection of phone records had no distinguishable impact on preventing acts of terrorism.

Ensuring security and stability within the internet ecosystem is essential for fostering trust in the digital space so that people can feel sufficiently safe online. Stakeholders within the internet ecosystem need to be able to establish mechanisms to increase trust within the ecosystem rooted in the public interest.

Written by Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro, Director of Pasifika Nexus

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More under: Cybersecurity, DNS, DNS Security, Policy & Regulation, Privacy

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New Namecheap Domain Insights & Trends Report Has Some Surprising Results in TLD Rankings

DN Journal - Fri, 2018-10-12 20:58
Namecheap has issued their first Domain Insights and Trends report breaking down a variety of data including their most popular TLDs. There are some surprises in their findings.
Categories: News and Updates

Domain Capital successfully defends H.co.uk domain

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2018-10-12 18:47

This story is brought to you by the letter H.

Domain name financing firm Domain Capital has sucessfully defended (pdf) its domain names H.co.uk and H.uk in a cybersquatting dispute.

.UK manager Nominet auctioned off many valuable one letter domains in 2011 and a Domain Capital Client bought H.co.uk in the auction for £16,000. The buyer later defaulted and Domain Capital took over the domain.

The cybersquatting complaint was filed by a UK company called H Limited. The company seems to believe it is the only company in the UK that could legitimately use the domain.

This runs contrary to what the Complainant stated in correspondence with the Respondent in 2015, when the Complainant’s representative proposed splitting the .CO.UK and .UK domain names among different purchasers, stating, “I can imagine a number of individuals to whom ‘H.UK’ would have the numerical value you describe”.

Attorney John Berryhill, who represented Domain Capital, noted that the Complainant’s imagination has become much more limited in the intervening several years.

(The Complainant replied to this assertion with an explanation I don’t really understand.)

The Nominet panelist noted:

[T]he Complainant cannot claim all-encompassing rights in the letter H on the basis of the evidence put forth (and indeed it is highly unlikely that any brand owner could ever claim exclusive rights in a single letter of the alphabet, even a huge conglomerate), and the Respondent certainly does have a reasonable justification for having registered the Domain Names, namely resale.

and

Trading in domain names can be lawful, and indeed there is a thriving domain name aftermarket. What is prohibited is attempting to profit from another’s goodwill and reputation in a name and, as explained above, the shorter that name, the more difficult it is to convincingly evidence abuse. In the case at hand, the letter H could relate to just about anything, hence its value when used as a .CO.UK or a .UK domain name.

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Categories: News and Updates

The geoTLD GDPR Survey 2018

Domain industry news - Fri, 2018-10-12 16:55

The application of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to the DNS is a hot topic within the ICANN community. However, since the implementation of the GDPR on May 25th, 2018, there has been little public data on: How many WHOIS data requests have been made at the registry level, and; How the registries are handling them.

To further the factual and evidence-based discussion within the ICANN community, we gathered quantitative data about WHOIS access post-GDPR, by surveying the geoTLD registries. As these registries operate under the authority of their respective governments, geoTLDs have a particular responsibility to the public interest of their target communities, including in respect of data protection.

Participants

39 geoTLD Registries from around the globe participated in the survey. 25 out of the 39 participants are geoTLD Registries within the European Union (EU); 14 are from the rest of the world. The participating geoTLD Registries represent over 600,000 domain registrations.

The survey was performed with SurveyMonkey.com. Answers were collected between 15 Aug and 04 Oct 2018.

Findings

The GDPR has been in effect for several months, but little information has been published on its operation at the registry and registrar level. Unfortunately, this has opened up space for speculation and even "alternative facts" being used to incorrectly influence ICANN, governments and other community members in their decision-making. This study aims to provide data-driven evidence of how GDPR is working in practice, in order to ground the debate at ICANN in facts, not hypotheticals.

Overall, our findings are that while EU-based geo TLD registries take GDPR seriously and have enacted measures to protect citizens' personal data, the number of requests to access the data is vanishingly small, and these requests are being dealt with efficiently. This study of the geoTLD registries shows there is no evidence-based need for a universal access model, based on how GDPR is working in practice.

The survey results can be summarized as follows:

  • All EU-based geoTLD registries have implemented operational measures to limit the publication of registrant data by the WHOIS, in-line with national legislation.
  • Almost all EU-based geoTLD Registries have implemented measures to allow for access to unpublished registrant data by legitimate interests.
  • Although the geoTLD registries account for over 600,000 registrations, less than 50 WHOIS data access requests have been received so far.
  • The vast majority of requests was dealt with in a response time of 1 – 2 days. Only one request waited for 7 days.
  • The majority of geoTLD registries have received no requests for WHOIS data access since 25 May 2018; 76% of EU geoTLDs received no access requests, and 79% of the non-EU geoTLDs received none.
  • Of the geoTLDs that received access requests, most received fewer than ten requests. Four registries received fewer than 10 requests and two received more than 10 requests, but less than 20 each.
  • A majority of EU-based geoTLD registries (60%) consulted with their local ccTLD to harmonise their WHOIS publication and access with the ccTLD practices, while non-EU geoTLD mostly (17%) have not.
  • Across all requests, over 50% were legitimate. They came in equal parts from law enforcement, right holders, lawyers, registrants and other parties.

More Details

More details on the list of questions asked and answers received, with separate recognition of EU-based geoTLD Registries and the of participating geoTLDs Registries can be found here.

CENTR, the association of European country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries has also issued a survey which can be found here.

Written by Dirk Krischenowski, Founder and CEO of dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG

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Holding cash for buying opportunities

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2018-10-12 15:36

It’s a curious time in the financial markets. What about the domain market?

It’s hard to believe that the greatest stock market crash and economic recession of our generation is now a decade old. Since then, at least as far as the stock market is concerned, it’s been nowhere but up. There have been some blips, such as this week, that serve as a reminder. But those have usually been followed by a continued march upward.

It can be easy to become complacent in such environments. I personally like to keep cash on the sidelines to buy into opportunities when the market dips–whether that’s for stocks or domain names. Unfortunately, you can’t time these things. I ended up keeping way to much cash on the sidelines over the past five years as the market soared.

That said, some of the best domain investments I made were when people were hungry for cash during the great recession.

Although the domainer-to-domainer market is a bit soft right now, it seems like some of the valuations people are putting on domains in the expiry stream are rather frothy. The prices don’t seem sustainable when you consider the typical domain investment practice of selling 1%-2% of a portfolio per year. That doesn’t work if you buy at prices that you can only get a 5x return on when the domains finally sell.

I’m continuing to hold cash on the sidelines for the true buying opportunities. But my conservative approach is probably why I don’t drive a Bugatti.

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Categories: News and Updates

Domain stocks hit hard in market

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-10-11 21:39

Domain name stocks haven’t been immune to the market rout.

It’s been a rough week in the stock market, especially yesterday and today. The NASDAQ shed 4.7% in the past two days.

There aren’t that many publicly traded domain companies anymore on the big exchanges, but here’s a look at how the remaining ones fared over the past two days:

Endurance International Group (NASDAQ:EIGI) -0.9%

GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) -3.9%

Tucows (NASDAQ:TCX) -3.9%

Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) -5.7%

Overall, the domain stocks did better than the markets as a whole. It’s worth noting that GoDaddy, Tucows and Verisign have had significant gains over the past couple of years.

Web.com officially went private this week. What timing!

 

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Categories: News and Updates

Automattic readies CrowdSignal survey platform

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-10-11 17:21

Company acquires CrowdSignal.com and applies for trademarks.

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, is getting ready to launch an online polling/survey platform.

The company recently acquired The CrowdSignal.com domain name and has registered many variants of domains with “CrowdSignal” in them. CrowdSignal.com currently resolves to a WordPress site that is protected.

At the end of September, Automattic applied for two intent-to-use trademarks for ‘CrowdSignal’. The Goods and services are listed as:

Application service provider (ASP) featuring software in the field of online voting, surveys, polls, quizzes, questionnaires, assessments, and ratings for use with websites, blogs, email and social media.

It will be interesting to see if CrowdSignal is primarily a tool for use with WordPress or if it’s a standalone survey and polling solution.

The CrowdSignal.com domain name was listed on domain sales platform Undeveloped.com with a $25,000 asking price prior to its transfer to Automattic.

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Categories: News and Updates

11 more end user domain name sales

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-10-11 15:07

A clothing Designer, a project management company and a discount travel site bought domain names last week.

This week we have a rarity: a .net domain name was the second highest sale among end user sales I found at Sedo. Mahjong.net sold for $10K.

That and B13.com were the only 5-figure sales from last week that I was able to find. There were several sales at $5K and above including UHive.com, a social network with an interesting twist. Uhive has been using a new TLD.

Take a look at some of the end user sales at Sedo this past week, and you can view previous weeks’ lists here.

B13.com €13,000 – This domain forwards to the .DE version of the site for a German online digital communications agency. The agency’s name is b:dreizehn; dreizehn translates to “thirteen”, so they now own the shorter numeric .com version of their domain.

Mahjong.net $10,000 – This forwards to the .Com version of this gaming site that offers free Mahjong games online playable on desktop, tablet and mobile.

UHive.com $9,999 – This site forwards to UHive.life. It claims to be a comprehensive social network, the “World’s First Social Network With Physical Dimensions. Combining technology with Human psychology to deliver a new, remarkable and unique user experience.”

Norlha.com $5,500- Norlha is a clothing company based in China that works with high-end Paris fashion houses. They use the domain NorlhaTextiles.com, so this shorter domain was a nice pickup for the company.

TheWorldTour.com $5,000 – This looks like the landing page for a travel adventure club. Their tagline is “A social, member driven, international travel club of fun people. Awesome trips since 2000!”.

QUWI.com €5,000- This 4L .com has a preview page with the message: “World’s easiest project management system with screenshots.”

Viagens.com.br $3,300 – Forwards to Leblon.com.br, a travel booking site for Brazil where you can reserve discounted hotels, cars and airline tickets. Viagens translates to travels so this is a  keyword term.

ConnectingHelp.com $3,000 – This site is in development for a Montessori school in London called Over the Rainbow.

MyFellow.com €3,000 – This domain was purchased by Towerview Health, which also operates PillBox.com, a prescription medication subscription service and “personal assistant” for medications. Perhaps My Fellow will be an offshoot service for this company.

Inlogy.com $2,500 – Forwards to the .DE version of this site for a German software engineering company.

MachineCafe.fr $2,000 – This site operates as a French music forum where users can make comments on albums.

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Categories: News and Updates

Web.com is now a private company

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-10-11 13:20

Siris Capital takes Web.com private.

It’s official: Web.com is now a private company.

Shareholders approved an acquisition by Siris Capital Group yesterday. They got a bit of a bump from when the deal was originally announced at $25.00 per share; all shareholders received $28.00 per share. The deal was about $2 billion including debt.

Web.com owns Network Solutions and Register.com, two high-priced registrars. It also owns SnapNames and a 50% stake in rival expired domain service NameJet. Web.com owns a portfolio of domain names it has captured from the expiry stream as well.

The company has struggled to find its footing of late and was facing investor pressure.

Web.com traded under the symbol WEB on the NASDAQ.

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Categories: News and Updates

Former ICANN GDD President Akram Atallah Named CEO at New gTLD Giant Donuts Inc.

DN Journal - Wed, 2018-10-10 16:58
Donuts, the world's biggest operator of new gTLDs, has a new CEO. Former ICANN exec Akram Atallah will take over from Bruce Jaffe on November 12.
Categories: News and Updates

How GDPR is impacting Whois in the European Union

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-10-10 15:09

CENTR releases data on how ccTLD managers are treating Whois under GDPR.

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has had a big impact on the domain name business, particularly with the display of domain ownership information in WHOIS. While the long arm statutes of the law mean registries and registrars around the world must pay attention, European country code managers must be even more careful.

Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR), an association for country code domain managers in Europe, published survey results today about how ccTLD managers are handling the law.

This chart shows how the ccTLDs handle collecting data and presenting it in Whois:

There is also a big difference between which data points within the contact types are published in Whois. For example, only 11% of the registries publish an individual registrant’s email address. 47% publish the email address if it’s a corporate registrant.

It’s worth noting that many EU ccTLD managers already had restricted Whois information prior to GDPR in order to conform with local laws.

The report can be downloaded here.

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Categories: News and Updates

Akram Atallah to lead top level domain company Donuts

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-10-10 14:38

Atallah moves from senior ICANN role to contracted party Donuts.

New top level domain name company Donuts has named Akram Atallah as its new CEO. The news was first reported on DomainIncite yesterday.

Atallah was President of ICANN’s Global Domains Division where he oversaw much of the new top level domain name program. It was Atallah who urged his former colleague Fadi Chehade to join ICANN as CEO. Chehade later left ICANN and joined Abry Partners, which acquired Donuts last month. Now Chehade had a chance to hire Atallah.

This will be the third CEO of Donuts in the past two years. Founder Paul Stahura stepped down at the beginning of 2017 and was replaced by Bruce Jaffe. Jaffe has a deal-making background. He helped Donuts acquire Rightside and a few other small businesses and facilitated the sale to Abry Partners.

It strikes me that Stahura, Jaffe and Atallah all have very different backgrounds and personalities. This latest change might be a bit jarring for Donuts staff. It will be interesting to see what changes the company makes under private equity ownership with Atallah at the helm.

There might also be a bit of controversy with this hiring given Atallah’s former role overseeing new TLDs at ICANN. There was a lot of pushback when MMX (then Top Level Domain Holdings) hired Peter Dengate-Thrush in 2011. Dengate-Thrush was the former Chairman of ICANN’s board. That hiring was particularly striking because Dengate-Thrush has just pushed through approval of the new TLD program and the application process was just beginning. I’m not sure it will be as big of an issue with Atallah given where the program is in 2018.

Atallah will join Donuts on November 12. That’s after this months ICANN meeting in Barcelona.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Namecheap releases interesting data about domain registrations

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-10-10 13:00

Report looks and recent and historical data on domain registrations at the registrar.

Namecheap released a report today with data about its customers and their choice of top level domain names. The report includes data from the past ten years as well as more recent data incorporating new top level domains.

It can be difficult to compare registration data that doesn’t take into consideration the price of domain names; indeed, Namecheap excluded .xyz and Famous Four Media’s domains from some of its calculations.

Here’s what I found interesting:

1. .US was within the top three most-registered country code domains among Namecheaps customers from January 2017-June 2018. That’s not a huge surprise. The surprise is that it’s among the top three for registrants from Asia, Europe, Africa and South America in addition to the United States. It’s the #1 country code domain amongst Namecheap’s Asian customers. Perhaps promotions played a role.

2. Over the past ten years, June has been the most active month for domain registrations at Namecheap. November and October are #2 and #3, respectively.

3. Nearly half of Namecheap’s customers have registered just one domain with the company:

The full report is available to download on Namecheap’s website.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

First Round of GDPR Fines Coming by the End of the Year, Says EU Data Regulator

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-10-09 22:28

The EU's privacy regulator is predicting that the first round of enforcement actions under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be exercised in the coming months. Reuters reports: "The new rules, designed for the digital age, allow consumers to better control their personal data and give regulators the power to impose fines of up to 4 percent of global revenue or 20 million euros ($23 million), whichever is higher, for violations. Enforcers have since then been deluged by complaints about violations and queries for clarification, with France and Italy alone reporting a 53 percent jump in complaints..."

European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli told Reuters he expects first GDPR fines by the end of the year. "Not necessarily fines but also decisions to admonish the controllers, to impose a preliminary ban, a temporary ban or to give them an ultimatum."

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More under: Policy & Regulation, Privacy

Categories: News and Updates

Photos & Highlights from the Closing Day of the 1st Domaining Americas Conference in Brazil

DN Journal - Tue, 2018-10-09 22:00
The 1st edition of the new Domaining Americas conference in Brazil is now history. We have photos & highlights from the closing day Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.
Categories: News and Updates

Atallah, ICANN's Global Domains Division Joins Donuts as CEO

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-10-09 20:49

Akram Atallah, head of ICANN's Global Domains Division, has left the organization to join leading gTLD registry Donuts Inc. as its new CEO. Kevin Murphy reporting in Domain Incite: "While neither company has announced the move yet, I gather that ICANN staff were informed by CEO Goran Marby today. The news comes just a month after private equity firm Abry Partners, which counts former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade among its partners, acquired Donuts for an undisclosed sum."

Erik Brooks, managing partner at Abry Partners and Donuts board member in a press release issues later today: "[Atallah's] deep experience in managing global organizations and rapidly-growing technology companies will be essential to driving Donuts' next phase of growth. We are confident that Akram's proven track record in and outside the domain name industry will broaden Donuts' reputation as the innovative industry platform for new top-level domains and will enable the company to pursue rapid growth along multiple pathways."

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More under: ICANN, Registry Services, New TLDs

Categories: News and Updates

Google Drops Out of Pentagon’s $10B Cloud Competition, Says Deal May Clash With Its AI Values

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-10-09 19:51

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has announced that it will not compete for the Pentagon’s cloud-computing contract with an estimated value of $10 billion; says the project may conflict with its corporate values on artificial intelligence. Aaron Gregg reporting in the Washington Post: "The contract, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI for short, calls for a massive cloud-computing infrastructure that can handle classified U.S. military data and enable new defense capabilities. Bids are due Oct. 12. In a statement to The Washington Post, Google said it is dropping its bid for ethical reasons and because it lacked certain government certifications."

According to Tech Workers Coalition, an advocate for giving employees a say in technology company decisions, Google’s decision to withdraw from the cloud competition was due to pressure from thousands of workers, not AI principles. Tweeted today: "Google had every intention of bidding for, and possibly winning, the JEDI contract. They spent considerable resources and hours of top executive time courting military officials to do exactly this. They only dropped out due to sustained employee pressure."

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More under: Cloud Computing

Categories: News and Updates

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