[At-Large] Fwd: A million domains taken down by email checks

Rinalia Abdul Rahim rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com
Thu Jul 3 10:36:55 UTC 2014

Dear ALAC,

In reference to Joly MacFie's mail to the At-Large (see forwarded), the
topic was also raised by Registrars during their meeting with the ICANN
Board in London.

Fadi posed a question to the Registrars on whether they have engaged with
the At-Large on the matter. Fadi then raised the issue to the At-Large
during his ATLASII Fayre speech.

It would be important that the At-Large articulates its position on the
issue (possibly via an ALAC statement) as it is being presented as a
problem for Internet users.

Best regards,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Joly MacFie" <joly at punkcast.com>
Date: Jun 26, 2014 1:00 AM
Subject: [At-Large] A million domains taken down by email checks
To: "At-Large Worldwide" <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>

Fwd over from the NCSG list. I underdtand that this would have been
> discussed in today's EWG and privacy sessions. Any comments?
> http://domainincite.com/16963-a-million-domains-taken-down-by-email-checks
>  A million domains taken down by email checks
> <
> http://domainincite.com/16963-a-million-domains-taken-down-by-email-checks
> >
> Kevin Murphy <http://domainincite.com/about>, June 24, 2014, 14:34:25
> (UTC), Domain Registrars
> <http://domainincite.com/category/domain-registrars>
> *Over 800,000 domain names have been suspended since the beginning of the
> year as a result of Whois email verification rules in the new ICANN
> Registrar Accreditation Agreement.*
> That’s according to the Registrars Stakeholder Group, which collected
> suspension data from registrars representing about 75% of all registered
> gTLD domain names.
> The actual number of suspended domains could be closer to a million.
> The 2013 RAA requires registrars to verify the email addresses listed in
> their customers’ Whois records. If they don’t receive the verification,
> they have to suspend the domain.
> The RrSG told the ICANN board in March that these checks were doing more
> harm than good
> <
> http://domainincite.com/16375-are-whois-email-checks-doing-more-harm-than-good
> >
> and today Tucows CEO Elliot Noss presented, as promised, data to back up
> the claim.
> “There have been over 800,000 domains suspended,” Noss said. “We have
> stories of healthcare sites that have gone down, community groups whose
> sites have gone down.”
> “I think we can safely say millions of internet users,” he said. “Those are
> real people just trying to use the internet. They are our great
> unrepresented core constituency.”
> The RrSG wants to see contrasting data from law enforcement agencies and
> governments — which pushed hard for Whois verification — showing that the
> RAA requirement has had a demonstrable benefit.
> Registrars asked at the Singapore meeting in March that law enforcement
> agencies (LEA) be put on notice that they can’t ask for more Whois controls
> until they’ve provided such data and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade said
> <
> http://domainincite.com/16375-are-whois-email-checks-doing-more-harm-than-good
> >
> “It shall be done by London.”
> Noss implied that the majority of the 800,000 suspended names belong to
> innocent registrants, such as those who had simply changed email addresses
> since registering their names.
> “What was a lovely political win that we said time and time again in
> discussion after discussion was impractical and would provide no benefit,
> has demonstrably has created harm,” Noss said.
> He was received with cautious support by ICANN board members.
> Chair Steve Crocker wonder aloud how many of the 800,000 suspended domains
> are owned by bad guys, and he noted that LEA don’t appear to gather data in
> the way that the registrars are demanding.
> “We were subjected, all of us, to heavy-duty pressure from the law
> enforcement community over a long period of time. We finally said, ‘Okay,
> we hear you and we’ll help you get this stuff implemented,’”, he added.
> “That creates an obligation as far as I’m concerned on their part.”
> “We’re in a — at least from a moral position — in a strong position to say,
> ‘You must help us understand this. Otherwise, you’re not doing your part of
> the job’”, he said.
> Chehade also seemed to support the registrars’ position that LEA needs to
> justify its demands and offered to take their data and concerns to the LEA
> and the Governmental Advisory Committee.
> “They put restrictions on us that are causing harm, according to these
> numbers,” he said. “Let’s take this back at them and say, hey, you ask for
> all these things, this is what happened.”
> “If you can’t tell me what good this has done, be aware not to come back
> and ask for more,” he said. “I’m with you on this 100%. I’m saying let’s
> use the great findings you seem to have a found and well-package them in a
> case and I will be your advocate.”
> Director Mike Silber also spoke in support of the RrSG’s position.
> “My view is if what you are saying is correct, the LEA’s have blown their
> credibility,” he said. “They’re going to have to do a lot of work before we
> impose similar disproportional requirements on actors that are not proven
> to be bad actors.”
> So what does this all mean for registrants?
> I don’t think there’s any ongoing process right now to get the Whois
> verification requirements overturned — that would require a renegotiation
> of the RAA — but it does seem to mean demands from governments and police
> are going to have to be much more substantiated in future.
> Noss attempted to link the problem to the recommendations of the Whois
> Expert Working Group (EWG), which propose a completely revamped,
> centralized Whois system with much more verification
> <http://domainincite.com/16855-whois-killer-is-a-recipe-for-a-clusterfuck>
> and not much to benefit registrants.
> To paraphrase: if email verification causes so much harm, what harms could
> be caused by the EWG proposal?
> The EWG was not stuffed with LEA or governments, however, so it couldn’t
> really be characterized as another set of unreasonable demands from the
> same entities.
> --
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Joly MacFie  218 565 9365 Skype:punkcast
> WWWhatsup NYC - http://wwwhatsup.com
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