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Changes to the Transfer Policy

  • To: <transfer-comments-g@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Changes to the Transfer Policy
  • From: "Nevett, Jonathon" <jnevett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 16:24:41 -0500

Network Solutions believes that the Transfer Policy should be amended in
two important ways.  First, customers should affirmatively confirm their
authorization to transfer a domain name before it goes forward.  Second,
in the case of slamming - or the unauthorized transfer of a domain name
- there should be an expedited process to return domain name
registrations back to the original registrar. 


As Panix.com and other recent incidents show, slamming is a malignant
problem in the domain name registration industry.  Unfortunately,
ICANN's new transfer policy only exacerbates the slamming problem by
requiring registrars to transfer a name to a new registrar even if their
customers haven't confirmed with them that they actually want to
transfer.  Why shouldn't ICANN require registrars to seek and receive
their own customers' consent before transferring registrars?  The new
policy removes the customers' most commonly used method to prevent
fraudulent transfers - a required response.


Considering the costs associated with slamming, a mere no-response
should not be a sufficient basis to transfer a customer.  Slamming a
domain name is a much more disruptive and costly experience for
customers than even slamming a customer's telecommunications service.
As we saw with Panix.com, many individuals and businesses were without
their e-mail services for long periods of time.  Thousands of e-mails
were lost forever.  At a minimum, this kind of activity is disruptive
for individuals and could be crippling for businesses.  Who pays for
these costs?  This activity exposes a liability for gaining registrars,
as well as losing registrars if steps are not taken to protect their


We just hear about the high profile slamming activity.  Considering that
a majority of customers only have one domain name, what happens to them
if they are slammed?  There isn't a public outcry to transfer back the
names.  Absent expedited procedures to return wrongfully transferred
names, these customers, whose livelihoods may be at risk, are at the
mercy of the very registrars that slammed them in the first place to
return their domain names quickly.  It is a painful process for
customers to retrieve their names, often involving litigation. 


Network Solutions' Chairman and CEO, Champ Mitchell, warned ICANN in
writing of the very incidents of slamming that we have seen unfold in
the first two months of the policy.  See
With this concern in mind, we have taken steps to protect our customers
by automatically adding our Domain Protect service for virtually all of
our customers at no additional charge.  The service is easy to turn off
if customers want to, but we recommend that customers keep it turned on
as an added level of security against slamming.   Customers have other
arrows in their quivers that can be used to protect themselves against
slamming, including setting up separate user IDs and password for all
domain contacts, ensuring that account contact information is accurate,
and carefully review all information received about domain name


In order to preserve and enhance the reliability of the Domain Name
System, ICANN needs to protect customers from unscrupulous or negligent
gaining registrars (or their resellers) that can violate the policy and
slam customers.  ICANN also should help to mitigate the damage to
customers by expediting the return of slammed names.  ICANN should
reconsider its policy that a lack of response is sufficient to confirm a
transfer, and enact new procedures for customers to seek the return of
their slammed domain names.

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