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What an Internet Provider should be.

The recent scare about domain transfers;

Nov 11, 2004, by Tom Brown:

(Note: This does not apply to .CA domains, and probably not to most (any?) other country code domains.)

ICANN has introduced some new rules regarding domain transfers. The rule that is causing some concern is one which stipulates that the registrar losing the domain name is not allowed to deny a transfer request "by default".

This rule was implemented because many registrars had "transfer away" policies which were confusing or nonsensical. I believe it is the same group of registrars which is raising all the fuss about the new rules, and I am not sympathetic.

There has always been an obligation on the new registrar to authenticate a transfer request. The new rules formalize the acceptable methods for authentication, and provide penalties and remedies for transfers which are submitted without proper authorization. This should shutdown organizations which specialize in domain slamming. (In my opinion the Domain Registry of Canada was a classic example.)

For those who are concerned about possible bogus transfers, most registrars allow you to mark your domains as "locked". This will deny registrar transfers automatically. In effect it allows the domain owner to specify a "default deny" policy.

For domains registered through, "locking" can be done by following the 'manage domain' link on our homepage.

Thank you for your attention, I hope this helps address some people's fears.

-Tom Brown, President, Inc. (Nov 11, 2004)

Follow ups and supporting information:

I'll quote part of a 'Live Reseller Update' from OpenSRS/Tucows (nov 11, 2004):

Contrary to some reports, this new transfer functionality will reduce fraudulent transfers by requiring all Registrars to obtain explicit approval from domain owners before initiating a transfer. The new ICANN policy is similar to the one Tucows has been using for several years.

Perhaps we should also point out, that the only "new" thing about these rules, which were published back in July (see the 'new rules' link above) and formulated earlier, is that they are finally coming into effect (Nov 12, 2004). One would think that if this was a legit issue, folks raising a fuss would have started doing that back in July!

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