Purpose: This draft report explores methods for measuring the effectiveness of safeguards against Domain Name System (DNS) abuse that were implemented as part of the New gTLD Program.
Current Status: The draft report is open for public comment.
Next Steps: Staff will collect, collate, analyze, and incorporate public comments into the next draft report upon close of public comment proceeding.
Section I: Description and Explanation
In accordance with section 9.3 of ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) to promote competition, consumer choice, and consumer trust in the Domain Name System (DNS), this report is intended to aid the work of the review team on Competition, Consumer Choice, and Consumer Trust (CCT-RT). It will do so by:
- Providing an overview of the state of DNS abuse following the roll-out of the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program in January 2012
- Discussing options for measuring the effectiveness of nine safeguards put in place to mitigate DNS abuse in new gTLDs
- Proposing a research model to help assess the effectiveness of the nine safeguards in mitigating DNS abuse in new gTLDs
Section II: Background
In preparation for the potential expansion of the DNS, ICANN solicited advice from its expert constituencies to examine the potential for increases in abusive, malicious, and criminal activity in an expanded DNS and to make recommendations to pre-emptively mitigate those activities through a number of safeguards. The effort to identify steps for mitigating potential abuse began with posing four questions to experts in a diverse array of groups including the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), the Registry Internet Safety Group (RISG), the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and members from the banking, financial, and Internet security communities. Those questions were:
- How do we ensure that bad actors do not run registries?
- How do we ensure integrity and utility of registry information?
- How do we ensure more focused efforts on combating identified abuse?
- How do we provide an enhanced control framework for TLDs with intrinsic potential for malicious conduct?
After extensive consultations, the expert groups arrived at the following recommendations to address each issue area:
Measuring the effectiveness of these safeguards is a central aim of the work of the CCT-RT. To aid that work, this report presents an in-depth examination of each of these safeguards, proposes potential means to measure their effectiveness where possible, and puts forward a research model to analyze their effectiveness in a scientifically rigorous and comprehensive manner. Note that this report is meant as an aid to the CCT-RT. It is meant to offer possible methods and to provoke discussion within the team about how best to approach their study of DNS abuse and the safeguards put in place to mitigate it in the context of the New gTLD Program.
Section III: Relevant Resources
- New gTLD Program Safeguards Against DNS Abuse Draft Report [PDF, 1.17 MB]
- New gTLD Program Explanatory Memorandum, "Mitigating Malicious Conduct," 3 October 2009
- Registration Abuse Policies Working Group Final Report, May 2010 [PDF, 1.73 MB]
- ICANN Operations and Policy Research, "Reviewing New gTLD Program Safeguards Against DNS Abuse," teleconference proceedings, 28 January 2016