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

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sun Jul 6 16:08:21 UTC 2014

Evan, one point. It is unclear to me whether the issue is 100% 
invalid addresses, or as some people have implied, valid addresses 
where the registrant has not replied in 15 days. The two situations 
are substantively different, and we need to get a handle on which is 
the cause of these suspensions, or if mixed, what percentage. If 
ssomeone on this list *knows* definitively what the answer is, it 
would be much appreciated.


At 06/07/2014 11:57 AM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
>I was actually surprised to hear Fadi's comments about this at the Fayre.
>I was both dismayed at the stance he took (I recall him saying the incident
>diminished the standing of "law enforcement") and his choice of venues (one
>of too many speeches delivered at a social event when many of the
>participants were winding down after a day of exhaustion).
>Had the issue been raised at a time where genuine interaction and
>thoughtfulness were called for, I suspect Fadi may not have received the
>anticipated response, as this incident clearly indicates how out of touch
>ICANN is with the rest of the world,.
>*Inside the ICANN bubble:*
>* "We are appalled that 800,000 domains were taken down for having
>non-responsive contact info" *
>*The rest of the world:* *"Did you just say that 800,000 domains have
>non-responsive contact info?"*
>The methods of verification and the speed of takedown could be tweaked to
>ensure that good actors with minor access problems (such as mail going into
>spam filters, increasing time to respond, forget to change after moving,
>etc) would not be adversely affected. But the end objective is absolutely
>welcomed from the non-registrant end-user point of view.
>So I personally have zero ethical qualms about the suspensions, noting that
>the issue has already been inflated for dramatic effect. A claim of 800,000
>domains becomes a million in the headlines. And then there was this gem:
>*"We have stories of healthcare sites that have gone down,"*, chimes Elliot
>Noss in the CircleID article
>I don't know about the rest of you ... but given the sensitivity of
>information at healthcare sites regarding privacy and accuracy, that
>category of site is amongst those *most* in need of accurate contact info
>IMO. So if such sites have non-functional contact info, frankly, I couldn't
>suspend them fast enough until things are fixed. This attempt at media
>manipulation backfires.
>The salient point is that a contact address is just that, a way to make
>contact. If it won't work from the registrant's own registrar or registry
>-- a body with which whom the registrant has a contractual and financial
>relationship -- it certainly won't work if someone from the public has a
>question, complaint, or warrant to serve. If policy indicates that contact
>info must be accurate and current, then that is what needs to be enforced.
>When the interests of ICANN and contracted parties are hurt by inaction of
>registrants -- notably non-payment -- enforcement such as suspension is
>immediate, automated and non-controversial. (Indeed, it was even once gamed
>by some contracted parties, which is what led to the PEDNR
><http://icannwiki.com/index.php/PEDNR> debate.) But here, the inaction
>indicates harm to the public interest while enforcement threatens financial
>loss to ICANN and contracted parties, so all hell breaks loose and Fadi
>lectures us at the Fayre.
>This isn't just a matter of law enforcement, and I am puzzled why that
>community is being singled out for recrimination. Sure, some chunk of those
>800,000 are bad actors in the sense of intending to have unusable contact
>info. But how many of the others have bad contact info because the domains
>themselves are neglected and unused, squatted or speculated names that
>their registrants have just locked away and forgotten? How does that serve
>the interest of end users to have so many extant but useless domains?
>So, by all means, let's engage in a proper dialogue -- not one initiated,
>almost in passing, at a social event more than halfway into the ICANN
>meeting. We may all look at this incident and see within it a deep problem,
>but the problems At-Large identifies may be far different from those seen
>by the registrars.
>Be careful what you wish for. While registrars complaining loudly may score
>power points inside the bubble (at the expense of public-interest
>advocacy), outside it just reinforces ICANN's detachment from the rest of
>the Internet-using world. If news broke that there were 800,000 cars on the
>road with unusable contact info related to their license plates, public
>reaction would be loud and ugly no matter what proportion of those cars
>belonged to criminals.
>I look forward to any debate going forward on the issue in At-Large's
>Regulatory Issues Working Group, which is where I believe any future ALAC
>stance must be discussed and first formulated.
>- Evan
>ALAC mailing list
>ALAC at atlarge-lists.icann.org
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