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

Christian de Larrinaga cdel at firsthand.net
Thu Jul 3 13:56:15 UTC 2014

I hope At Large puts a stop to this nonsense.

Yes there are bad actors.. deal with them but don't just assume a
bounced email = bad. Let's please argue for some substantial investment
in education, awareness, practice improvements by which I mean
simplifications so that user registrants have tools and services they
need to keep on top of these issues. It's not as if ICANN does not have
hundreds of millions of USD and clearly is looking to turn that into
billions in the not too distant future.

DNS is a bottom up managed protocol but it seems all the governance
instincts are only top down. Then people wonder why there is a mess on
the floor.

I also think AT Large should complain vociferously about those domain
name seizures that Microsoft recently found a court to do its bidding.
Turfing millions of bona fide users out of their Internet services that
have nothing to do with Microsoft or even use its software just because
a corporate behemoth can't get its software quality control in order -
and let's face it Microsoft has only had forty years to do that - is an
abuse of legal process at best. Somebody there needs to say sorry and
mean it.


Rinalia Abdul Rahim wrote:
> 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,
> Rinalia
> ---------- 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>
> Cc:
> 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
>>  http://pinstand.com - http://punkcast.com
>>  VP (Admin) - ISOC-NY - http://isoc-ny.org
>> --------------------------------------------------------------
>> -
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Christian de Larrinaga
@ FirstHand
+44 7989 386778
cdel at firsthand.net

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