Monday, November 03, 2008

Cyber Crime: Where Are the Registrars?

Matt Hines writes on the eWeek "Security Watch" Blog:

That's the big question that some people think needs to be answered, or at least one of them, if ICANN is indeed to play a more active role in helping to keep larger numbers of cyber criminals and schemers offline.

As notorious registrar Estdomains sits in limbo waiting to see if ICANN is going to pull its accreditation, based on the fact that its CEO is believed to be a convicted felon (credit card fraud, money laundering and document forgery), some market watchers are postulating that even more shady registrars could be kept from going into business in the first place if ICANN would force the companies to provide accurate, verifiable information upfront about their physical locations and corporate officers.

Garth Bruen, the mind behind anti-spam effort/portal KnujOn, someone who was calling for Estdomains to be taken offline months before ICANN moved to do so, is one of the people leading the effort to push ICANN to further formalize its registrar registration efforts.

"We have before us rare opportunity to close a big Internet policy loophole. You may not be aware but Registrars (companies authorized to issue domain names) are not required to publicly disclose their ownership or location," Bruen said in a letter to supporters on Monday. "It is my firm belief that this policy failure has helped criminals to get a foothold within the Internet infrastructure."

More here.


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