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Fighting Fake Profiles on icann.org

In response to questions from the community, ICANN is looking into reports of fake or spam-related profiles on icann.org. We want to give you an update on what we've found and what we're planning to do.

What is a profile on icann.org and what does it allow you to do?

Anyone in the world can register a public profile on icann.org. These profiles include a photo, name, title, short biography, social media handles, location, and other information. Registering a profile on icann.org also allows you to sign up for and receive automated alerts and other content.

What problem are we having with ICANN profiles?

Currently, there are over 40,000 profiles on icann.org. However, we believe that many of these profiles are fake. Despite instituting security measures like two-factor authentication and CAPTCHA, our profiles page is flooded with these fake profiles. ICANN is not the only organization that faces this very public problem.

The number of fake profiles on icann.org is problematic – and is growing all the time. And while we can apply technological tools to ensure the authenticity of some profiles, these tools are insufficient to tackle the large volume of profiles. Unfortunately, ICANN is not in a position to dedicate sufficient resources to manage the current number of public profiles and the number of new profiles added each month.

What risks do fake profiles pose to the ICANN community, Board, and organization?

The open nature of these digital accounts does mean that some will take advantage of this openness to promote inappropriate, obscene, or potentially harmful content. ICANN is then inadvertently involved in promoting such objectionable content.

The profiles can inflict harm on our community, Board, and organization by:

  • promoting or posting content that is divisive, derogatory, or disruptive to the community.
  • posting inappropriate advertising.
  • distributing malware, ransomware, or other malicious content.

What is ICANN doing to prevent profiles from being used for spam?

To ensure the integrity of content on icann.org, and to mitigate the risks from fake or spam profiles, we have decided that the best short-term solution is to turn off the public aspect of profiles. This change will take effect on 23 June 2017.

This temporary fix will afford us the time to work on a better solution, while ridding the site of inappropriate and obscene content. We have already deleted 6,000 of the most egregious and obvious fake profiles.

Will you still receive alerts and other content from ICANN?

Yes, if you have signed up, you'll continue to receive automated alerts and content. The only difference is that you won't have a public profile. New visitors will continue to have the ability to create a profile, but again, the profile will not be public.

What about the profiles of the leadership of Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, ICANN Board members, and the ICANN organization?

The profiles of the ICANN Board can be found here:
https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/board-of-directors

The names or profiles of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees leadership can be found here:

Address Supporting Organization (ASO)
https://aso.icann.org/advisory-council/address-council-members/

Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
https://ccnso.icann.org/about/council.htm

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
https://gnso.icann.org/en/about/gnso-council.htm

At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
https://atlarge.icann.org/alac/explore-profiles

Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)
https://gacweb.icann.org/display/gacweb/GAC+Representatives

Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)
https://www.icann.org/groups/rssac

Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
https://www.icann.org/groups/ssac

The ICANN organization maintains and uploads icann.org profiles belonging to employees of the ICANN organization. For reasons of accountability and transparency, these will remain public.

We know that this is not an ideal solution for our community members who enjoy having access to public profiles. We thank you in advance for your support and patience in helping us combat this problem.

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments section below and we will do our best to answer them.

Comments

    fesfporyi  23:59 UTC on 30 June 2017

    you not show my profile

    Neo Blue  05:55 UTC on 03 July 2017

    So you post a link to a company or persons account and state fake profile? Tearing down a legitimate company and it's reputation? I will give you an example of your negligence in that department. By defaming the standing of a few companies that have registered with you. and the damage you caused by using this link as if to say Neo Blue was a fake profile .. Neo Blue - ICANN https://www .icann. org/ profiles /neo- blue Biography. http:// neoblue. com/ We are a transcription company that puts our customers first. Neo Blue specializes in transcription across many different ...Perhaps litigation would best serve the boards here....feel free to contact us at the following :Toll Free (855) 374-2951

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."