2017-08-27

News Review | Report: ICANN's New gTLDs As Global DNS Malware

News Review | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2017-08-27) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) Report: ICANN's New gTLDs As Global DNS Malware, 2) Names, Domains & Trademarks: .COM Still King, Verisign, GoDaddy, Ted Cruz, ICANN & NTIA, New gTLDs Reality Check, .GAY, .MUSIC, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Most Read Posts.

1) ICANN's new gTLDs as global DNS malware--see "Statistical Analysis of DNS Abuse in gTLDs" below--ICANN Public Comment periods closing in September:
Figure 23, Report p. 13
SIDN Labs and TU Delft deliver final report for ICANN study | sidnlabs.nl: "... An interesting finding of our study is a clear upward trend in the absolute number of phishing and malware domains in new gTLDs while these numbers remain relatively constant in legacy gTLDs. Also, we discovered that new gTLDs have affected the number of domains used for spam in legacy gTLDs: abused domains in new gTLDs do not increase the number of total malicious registrations. Instead we observe a shift from legacy gTLDs to new gTLDs. Our findings suggest that some new gTLDs have increasingly become a target for malicious actors. For example, Spamhouse blacklisted at least 10% of all registered domains in as many as 15 new gTLDs at the last quarter of 2016See the report [pdf] for more details ... We conducted the SADAG study for the Competition, Consumer Choice, and Consumer Trust Review Team. The CCT Review Team was established to review how the New gTLD Program impacts competition, consumer choice and consumer trust." (emphasis and links added)

Let's review all the ways ICANN's new gTLDs are now known to be global DNS malware:

1. New gTLDs are known to  "break stuff" and cause "collisions;"

2. New gTLDs are known to "fail to work as expected" on the internet--the so-called "Universal Acceptance" (UA) problem--which ICANN knew about long before (since at least 2003) it expanded the gTLDs from just 22 to over 1200 beginning in early 2014, which is why ICANN tried to absolve itself of liability--even though it has failed to warn consumers (registrants)--see Base Registry Agreement Section 1.2:
1.2   Technical Feasibility of String.  While ICANN has encouraged and will continue to encourage universal acceptance of all top-level domain strings across the Internet, certain top-level domain strings may encounter difficulty in acceptance by ISPs and webhosters and/or validation by web applications.  Registry Operator shall be responsible for ensuring to its satisfaction the technical feasibility of the TLD string prior to entering into this Agreement. (emphasis added)
3. Absolute unlimited monopolistic pricing powers granted to new gTLD registry operators, including the right to unlimited increases in domain name registration and renewal fees--ICANN and its "ICANN community" (which is effectively controlled by registry operators and registrars) rejected the recommendation and advice of the the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division to protect consumers (registrants). New gTLD Registry Operators are free to "rape and pillage" the global domain names marketplace and consumers (registrants) worldwide, thanks to ICANN.

4. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has warned registrants to avoid new gTLDs due to ICANN's new gTLDs' flawed and overreaching RPMs.

5. And now, the icing on ICANN's global malware cake, SIDN Labs and Delft University of Technology's report (pdf), characterizing new gTLDs as "phishing and malware domains."

Is it any wonder some desperate new gTLD registry operators have tried giving away new gTLD domain names for free? Is it any wonder that new gTLD domain name registrations are collapsing--new gTLD Statistics by Top-Level Domains | ntldstats.com--new gTLDs' registrations are now "falling off a cliff":
 New gTLDs' domain name registrations collapsing
This is what happens when you let special interests (a/k/a lobbyists) run internet governance via a governance model known as "multistakeholderism," limiting and excluding governments from their proper role in protecting the public interest. Add to that the dysfunctional ICANN organization which created for its new gTLDs, a new "Global Domains Division" (try to find any reference to that in the ICANN Articles or Bylaws), primarily staffed by incompetent cronies of ICANN's equally inept ex-CEO who quit 3½ years into a 5-year contract. As I've said before, ICANN has proven to be unfit for the purpose for which it was originally intended.

2) Names, Domains & Trademarks
•  .COM Still King10 tips for choosing the perfect domain | SearchEngineLand.com August 22, 2017: "... 3. Go for a .COM [domain name]--If you are serious about building a long-term brand online, there is nothing better than a .com. Using a 301-redirect to drive traffic to a .net or .org is totally fine, but owning the .com or the equivalent TLD for your target market country is critical ..."

•  VerisignWarren Buffett's Stake In The Internet--"VeriSign [domain: verisign.com, NASDAQ: VRSNis the manager of the .com and .net domain registers - they serve as a monopolistic gatekeeper to the Internet. There are three catalysts for this company's stock appreciation: pricing powers, the Internet's global expansion, and share buybacks. I believe this stock's long-term risk/reward ratio is greatly weighted towards reward ..."--SeekingAlpha.com  Aug. 22, 2017.

•  GoDaddy (domain: godaddy.com) (NYSE: GDDY) announced Tuesday that CEO Blake Irving would retire effective December 31, 2017, and Scott Wagner, GoDaddy President and COO, would assume the CEO role thereafter. Irving will continue to serve on GoDaddy's Board of Directors through June 2018.

•  Ted Cruz, ICANN & NTIATed Cruz should stop obstructing Trump’s [NTIA] nominee [David Redl] for telecom chief | rstreet.org by Joe Kane, Aug 22, 2017: "... Redl has been the subject of a largely unrelated fight waged by the junior senator from Texas over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA]. Cruz continues to raise objections about the now-completed transfer of stewardship of IANA functions from NTIA to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers [ICANN]. ICANN is a private, nonprofit company ..." [Editor's note: Cruz has said he wants "assurances" from Redl, and frankly, I would have expected no less.]

•   New gTLDs Reality CheckThe Great Domain Correction of 2017? | pinkybrand.com"... China. China is HARD. You will not be successful there, as a foreign registry operator, at a minimum, unless you understand that you will likely lose money or barely break even for several years and are prepared to deal with that reality. You must be in it for the long term. Long term, at a minimum, is 5 years of sweating it out (flying back and forth on a near monthly basis) before things *might* work out. Over the short to medium term the domain industry is likely to shed inefficient registry and registrar operators and investors, especially some of those who banked on new domain extensions (new gTLDs) that have no real consumer traction—which are many— and can no longer, or are just unwilling, to fund the basic holding/operating costs, let alone fund any marketing team or person. For sure there is an easily foreseen correction—if not outright registration numbers recession—going on right now for some in the domain industry ... This includes ICANN, that may need to shed some personnel as a result of what may be "The Great Domain Correction of 2017"..."

•  .GAYRequest 17-3: Dotgay LLC | BAMC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 17-3 | ICANN.org 23 Aug 2017: "BAMC [Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee] recommends that the Board deny Request 17-3."

•  .MUSIC:  Request 17-2: DotMusic Limited | BAMC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 17-2 - ICANN.org 23 Aug 2017: "BAMC recommends that the Board deny Request 17-2."

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
  • "We’re currently living in a time digital strategists have deemed the data wild west. The next decade the data policies set could determine the basis of digital rights for the foreseeable future."--TechCrunch.com
  • Inciting Violence vs Freedom of Speech | Namecheap.com: "... The real danger in my opinion is what lies invisible yet is the most dangerous force that anyone of us will ever know. That is the insidious and dangerous force of power. The power to control our thoughts, our privacy, our opinions and most importantly our speech that lies within the dark nature of absolute power itself and takes over seemingly well meaning politicians, presidents, governments, movements that then use this power against us. This is the real danger that we must all be watchful for ..."--Richard Kirkendall, Namecheap CEO

[Editor's note: Investing has moved to the weekly Tech Review.]

5) Most read posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
1. News Review: Last Round of ICANN New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation?
2. Explaining Swings in Bitcoin’s Price, Cryptocurrency Primer (video)

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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