Reduce DNS abuse and protect the Internet

The Internet is a beacon of global communication and information, but it has also become a battleground where malicious actors exploit vulnerabilities for various unethical purposes. The state of Domain Name System (DNS) abuse has proven to be a constant in the Internet threat landscape, posing a risk to overall digital trust. Understanding the importance of robust mitigation strategies is not just a matter of technological progress. This is a fundamental necessity to protect the integrity of the online world we rely on every day.

GoDaddy embarked on a journey to demystify the complex world of DNS abuse, revealing the intricacies of this persistent digital threat. We outlined the nuances, challenges, and implications of DNS abuse and addressed its multifaceted nature. As we continue to explore, it is critical to recognize the profound importance of reducing DNS abuse in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

This blog builds on our previous insights, and sheds light on the challenges DNS abuse poses for registries, registrars and the wider Internet community. Providing a comprehensive understanding of the proactive measures taken by industry leaders, including GoDaddy, is essential so that Internet users can more safely navigate, search, transact, communicate and learn with greater confidence.

Lost in translation when reporting a violation

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the global multilateral governing body responsible for managing the domain name space and developing policy. ICANN’s governance is exercised in part through contractual relationships with registrars and registries of domain names. These agreements set the rules for how registrars and ICANN-accredited registrars (known as “contract parties”) operate and interact with each other, as well as with DNS customers and users.

To date, the contractual requirements for contracting parties regarding DNS abuse have been limited, mainly asking for contact information to report abuse and waiting for a “response”. While the intent was to provide contracting parties with maximum flexibility and authority to address reported violations, often, the interpretation of contractual requirements was to acknowledge receipt of reports without requiring action on abuse. While some contracting parties are making significant investments in their efforts to reduce DNS abuse, there is still a gap as not all are fully committed to these measures.

Step towards change

In December 2022, a historic milestone occurred at ICANN. For the first time, Registry and Registry Stakeholder Groups (RySG and RrSG) voluntarily began negotiations with ICANN to propose amendments to their contracts. These proposed amendments, in Section 3.18 of the Registry Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and Base General Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registration Agreement (Base RA), aim to clarify that the contracting parties must take the necessary actions after receiving good. -DNS abuse reports

As Chair of the RrSG, I would like to emphasize that the main purpose of these changes is to create a basic obligation for contracting parties to take reasonable and appropriate measures to combat malicious registries involved in DNS abuse. ICANN, along with the RySG and RrSG, have been working rapidly on these targeted reforms over the past nine months. These changes create important requirements that we are confident will have a significant impact on reducing DNS abuse.

Next steps in the fight against abuse

Our collective efforts strive to continuously increase the integrity of DNS. To this end, ICANN’s global community of stakeholders continues to take initiatives to combat DNS abuse. This year, ICANN held several information sessions with contracting parties to discuss DNS abuse amendments, voting processes and procedures, and to answer questions. At a recent session at the ICANN DNS Symposium in Vietnam, GoDaddy’s vice president of government and industry affairs, James Bledel, represented the company at a panel discussion discussing the components of the contract. To address the issues of DNS abuse and the issues related to the abuse of DNS have been placed, the focus of the conversation, participated. How do they plan to meet these commitments?

Following those constructive discussions in Vietnam, setting the stage for decisive action, on October 9, 2023, ICANN opened a 60-day voting period for all ICANN-accredited registrars and gTLD registry operators to vote on the proposed amendments. to give To RAA and RA base. This course is a significant step in our collective efforts to combat DNS abuse. We are pleased that GoDaddy wholeheartedly supports these amendments and voted “Yes,” which demonstrates our commitment to doing our part to create a safer and more secure online environment.

Enabling a safer online future

In the face of the challenges of DNS abuse, our collective effort to strengthen online safety has never been stronger. This journey, from uncovering the intricacies of DNS abuse to creating important, critical reforms, underscores our determination to protect the integrity of the Internet.

As we stand on the precipice of change to reduce malicious activity in DNS, the joint steps taken by ICANN and all industry leaders, including GoDaddy, demonstrate our commitment to creating a safe, resilient and reliable online space for all.


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