Feeds

Domain registrars push back on law enforcement changes

Changes through the backdoor?

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The companies that sell domain names have pushed back on proposals made by law enforcement yesterday to change their contracts to make cybercrime more difficult.

Calling the proposals “policy by the back door”, the registrars complained to members of ICANN’s Board in Brussels that the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) should only be changed through the organization’s official policy-development process. And they asked for the Board’s help in making sure they weren’t used as the fall-guys for online crime.

In a main session yesterday at the ICANN meeting in Brussels, the international police, including the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, argued for changes to the contract that defines what registrars are obliged to do, in an effort to make sure there were “mandatory minimum standards” in the registration of domain names.

But the registrars themselves feel that publicizing changes to their main contract without going through the proper processes put them into a defensive position and made their business environment difficult.

Contracts need to remain stable for periods of time, argued Rob Hall, the CEO of Canada’s largest registrar, Momentus, and there needed to be a clear process for making changes to it. Shifts in the rapidly changing domain name system could be done instead through more-flexible best practices.

Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows, the third largest registrar in the world, agreed, complaining that the good actors — who represent the vast majority of domain names in existence — risk being punished for the behavior of a few bad actors. “No one in this room [i.e., a member of the registrar constituency of ICANN] has ever had a complaint held against them or been de-accredited,” he pointed out.

The changes suggested by law enforcement would cause registrars to have to make potentially costly changes to their businesses, with some of that cost likely passed onto everyday Internet users.

Instead of “forcing through” changes to the RAA and making registrars figure out how to change their business models, others within ICANN — including governments and law enforcement themselves — could do more work at their end to ease the headaches, Noss said. This might include producing a clear definition of whom would be entitled to access to private data for defeating cybercriminals and how this would work.

Hall also argued that some of the changes being proposed would never make it through the rigorous policy development process and so were being pushed through a different route.

In response, ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush agreed strongly with the point that significant changes to the RAA should only come through the approved policy processes and vowed to make sure that happened.

Board member and CFO of another registrar, Melbourne IT, Bruce Tonkin, agreed and argued that ICANN occasionally confused what was a policy decision with what was an implementation of existing policy.

All that said, the chair of the registrars' constituency, Mason Cole from Oversee, pointed out that the registrars had had a very productive meeting with the law enforcement officials earlier in the day and would be actively working with them to find ways to cut down on cybercrime.

So long as it doesn’t contractually oblige them to fix the problem, that is. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.