A couple of interesting developments on the issue of whether registrars should be required to verify the identity of the registrant of every domain name.
First today the authority charged with running the .Ru ccTLD, the Coordination Center for TLD RU, announced that effective April 1, 2010 all registrants of .RU domain names, must file proof of their identities with their registrars in order to maintain their existing domain names or to obtain new ones.
If the registrant is an individual the registrar must obtain proof of his or her full name and address. This requirement can be satisfied by submitting a copy of the registrant’s passport.
Where the registrant is a corporation or other legally registered entity, the registrar must obtain a copy of its corporate or other state registration.
The Terms and Conditions specify that a registrar may cease to process an application for a new domain name if the applicant fails to provide proof of identity.
Furthermore, the registrant of an existing domain must satisfy a request for proof of identification within two months, or risk losing its registration.
Now before you just dismiss this as a Russian thing, there is a few stories out today where the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in the UK, and the FBI in the US have teamed up and is asking ICANN to require that all domain registrants verify their identity in the same fashion that .RU just passed.
“”Now it is “ridiculously easy” to register a domain name under false details, said Paul Hoare, senior manager and head of e-crime operations at SOCA.
“”Domain names can be used for all kinds of criminal activity, ranging from phishing to trademark abuse to facilitating botnets. Law enforcement often run into difficulty when investigating those domains, as criminals use false details and stolen credit cards.””
CADNA is of course in favor of such a requirement.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to have privacy on your registration, but that your registrar and ultimately law enforcement would know who actually owed every domain name.
The day is not here yet, but put this issue on your radar.