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[gnso-whois-study] ICANN Compliance system working to correct Whois and other issues

  • To: gnso-whois-study@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: [gnso-whois-study] ICANN Compliance system working to correct Whois and other issues
  • From: "GNSO.SECRETARIAT@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <gnso.secretariat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 12:31:24 +0200

"Worst Spam Offenders" Notified by ICANN

Compliance system working to correct Whois and other issues

23 May 2008

In order to clarify the system for dealing with incorrect “Whois” domain
name registration information, and deal with community concern, ICANN is
releasing the following information regarding its compliance work.

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.: ICANN has sent enforcement notices and notices
of concern to certain registrars, including those reported this week as
being the registrars for the majority of websites advertised in spam emails.

Earlier this week, an investigation by KnujOn, widely reported online,
publicly identified 10 registrars as being the companies used to
register the majority of domain names that have since appeared in spam
email messages.

More than half of those registrars named had already been contacted by
ICANN prior to publication of KnujOn’s report, and the remainder have
since been notified following an analysis of other sources of data,
including ICANN’s internal database.

With tens of millions of domain names in existence, and tens of
thousands changing hands each day, ICANN relies upon the wider Internet
community to report and review what it believes to be inaccurate
registration data for individual domains. To this end, a dedicated
online system called the Whois Data Problem Report System (“WDPRS”) was
developed in 2002 to receive and track such complaints.*

"ICANN sends, on average, over 75 enforcement notices per month
following complaints from the community. We also conduct compliance
audits to determine whether accredited registrars and registries are
adhering to their contractual obligations," explained Stacy Burnette,
Director of Compliance at ICANN.** "Infringing domain names are locked
and websites removed every week through this system."

Although the majority of registrars offer excellent services and
contribute to the highly competitive market for domains, ICANN’s
compliance department has developed an escalation process to protect
registrants and give registrars an opportunity to cure cited violations
before ICANN commences the breach process.

However, while registrars are responsible for investigating claims of
Whois inaccuracy, it is not fair to assume a registrar that sponsors
spam-generating domain names is affiliated with the spam activity. A
distinction must be made between registrars and an end user who chooses
to use a particular domain name for illegitimate purposes.

"But if those registrars, including those publicly cited, do not
investigate and correct alleged inaccuracies reported to ICANN, our
escalation procedure can ultimately result in ICANN terminating their
accreditation and preventing them from registering domain names," Ms
Burnette said.


* For more information on the WDPRS system, please review the April
edition of the ICANN’s Contractual Compliance Newsletter, available at:

** Figures on notices sent out by ICANN are updated monthly and are
available online and in a newsletter than anyone can subscribe to
(subscribe to this and other newsletters at:

Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat - ICANN

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