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New TLDs and Malicious Conduct

  • To: 3gtld-transition@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: New TLDs and Malicious Conduct
  • From: Antony Van Couvering <avc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2009 18:10:35 -0500

It is the position of many of those who oppose new TLDs that economic demand 
must be proven, and safety and stability of the root servers must be proven.

Is it not therefore incumbent on those who ask that the unknowable future must 
be proven to also prove their predictions? 

Today, malefactors have no trouble finding good domain names (unlike all other 
sectors of domain name users).   For instance:

- Phishing scams mask their real domain names, or they rely on third-level 
domain names to insert their "bait," for instance www.nameofyourbank.xyz.com.  
- Spammers hardly use domain names at all; it's not a big part of their 
ecosystem and it's trivially easy to fake a "from" email address

In fact, there is substantial evidence that scammers are not constrained in the 
least by the current domain name setup; they thrive under it.  In contrast, new 
TLDs will have significant new protections (e.g., rapid takedown procedures) 
which make it *less* likely that malicious conduct will be conducted under the 
flag of a new TLD. 

Therefore, ICANN needs to ask those who predict an increase in malicious 
behavior from new TLDs to produce some evidence.  I submit that there is none 
to be had.  

While there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about new TLDs, the 
"malicious conduct" issue is a canard.   There is not a shred of evidence to 
support it.


Antony Van Couvering
CEO, Minds + Machines

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