Domain ownership: ICANN must change its antiquated system ASAP!

This is not your father's Internet.

ICANN should adapt to the requirements of the 21st century.

ICANN has gained a lot of traction in its recent motion to enforce a globalization of Internet control.

The current focus seems to be reaching “obsession” status, with a large part of the ICANN conference agendas debating the “multi-stakeholder model” process.

ICANN’s antiquated domain ownership system, however, leads to dozens of domain thefts, most of which go unreported by their owners.

The current system, allows for the transfer – internal, or to another registrar – of domain names, without a verification of legitimacy, other than having access to the account’s credentials.

Domain registrars inherit the bureaucratic approach that ICANN dictates, and treat even blatant domain thefts as “legitimate” – as long as the thief managed to gain control of a registrant’s account.

What needs to be done by ICANN, is a complete redesign of the domain ownership process. Essentially, ICANN must redefine the terms of ownership of domains, and create a method that issues certificates of ownership.

While registrars can strengthen the security of their systems by enabling methods such as two way authentication, fobs or other means of verification, this is not enough in cases where the thief simply managed to bypass all of them.

A digital certificate of ownership would incorporate the registrant’s digital key as part of the title; no push or transfer would occur without that certificate to any other entity. Locks and other measures would be an extension of the certificate layer, not a substitute for it.

ICANN must implement this 21st century approach to domain ownership as soon as possible, particularly since it has expanded the number of TLDs by the hundreds.

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