icannHave you heard of ICANN? It’s the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and its terms went into effect at the beginning of last year. Registrars have since been held to higher standards when verifying the information supplied by registrants; seemingly a good thing, though it’s brought along with it some unintended consequences.

The New Rules

The 2013 RAA for ICANN went into effect on January 1st, 2015.  Previously the registrar accreditation agreement had been in effect for five years, and not all registrars are currently bound by the 2013 RAA. That prevents them from selling new, top-level domains. Many registrars are holding out for as long as possible, including many in the EU.

Why? Concerns have been raised about the data collection and retention required of registrars violating privacy protection laws. The 2013 RAA states that registrars must preserve IP addresses, transaction details and phone numbers of registrants for 180 days. This has raised a number of privacy concerns for some people.

Causing Problems

Those changes had effects that reached further than just the EU. Registrars are now facing the burden of forcing registrants to supply up-to-date and accurate WHOIS records of registered domains. That includes contacting them if the WHOIS data is inaccurate and forcing them to update it. This has resulted in interruption of service for some websites.

Email Verification

The mode of verification is a problem in itself; email. Today we’re trained to look out for phishing scams, and that reeks of one. Emails asking you to update your profile with bank or payment info have not been common practice for years, and many are simply ignoring the email prompts they’re getting because of it.

When emails aren’t responded to, though, the result is complete cessation of services until verification is achieved. Not surprisingly, that would be a complete disaster for any website.

Many argue that the practice even lends itself to hackers duplicating the emails and tricking victims into handing over personal information.

To learn more about ICANN, WHOIS, and how to ensure you’re in compliance but also staying protected – reach out to Digivie at info@digivie.com or by phone at (613) 277-2312 .