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SAC 038 | Registrar Abuse Contacts

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In this document, SSAC examines some of the difficulties law enforcement, CERTs, online reputation protection services, and others may experience when they attempt to contact ICANN accredited registrars to make inquiries regarding the possible involvement of a domain name in a malicious, illegal or criminal activity. SSAC concludes that currently available registrar point of contact information does not meet the community's needs in two respects: first, point of contact information is not readily accessible for all registrars, and second, the contact information that can be accessed does not always identify a party at a registrar who can handle abuse claims or criminal complaints.

SSAC recommends that registrars and resellers assist in the investigation and mitigation of abuses and illegal activities in cases where attackers exploit domain name resolution and registration services. Specifically, SSAC recommends that each registrar should provide an abuse point of contact and that the staff handling abuses should be responsive, empowered to take effective action, and that abuse claims should be auditable by the claimant.

SSAC further recommends that registrars should publish abuse contact information, that the information a registrar publishes for the abuse point of contact should reach staff able to process an abuse claim, and that registrars make the information available in a uniform, machine readable format. Lastly, SSAC recommends that ICANN maintain a public repository for registrar abuse points of contact and should periodically verify that the contact information is accurate.

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"""" is not an IDN."