RRSG : #ICANN group advising registrars to focus on all new #Coronavirus #domains

RrSG is the Registrar Stakeholder Group within ICANN. Citing current domain registration trends involving terms related to the Coronavirus pandemic, the group has shared its guidelines in a document titled, “Registrar approaches to the COVID-19Crisis.

Says the ICANN document:

“Given the severity of the current global COVID-19 pandemic and in view of potentialmalicious registration of COVID-related domain names and technical abuse at the DNSlevel, the Registrar Stakeholder Group is sharing some approaches to identifying domains and  assessing them for potential harm.”

The ICANN group document is instructing its members to filter new registrations made after December 1, 2019, that involve specific terms, and then manually review them:

“For those registrars who opt to search, a suggested list of terms with a reasonably high rate of identifying COVID registrations is (currently): covid, corona, korona, kovid, virus, and pandemic.”

Of course, false positives are bound to exist. But what power do Registrars have over domains, even when they contain keywords related to the Coronavirus?

Quite a bit of power, it seems:

“The primary concern is that the sale of a fraudulent test could result in a false negative for someone who then spreads COVID-19, endangering many lives.For websites that purport to sell such things, one approach is to reach out to the registrant directly, asking for proof of legitimacy and authorization to sell. Where either cannot be provided, the Registrar may consider limiting the use of the domain. If the Registrar has recommendations or guidelines from their national health regulators, they should follow.”

Here’s the full document from the ICANN RrGS group:

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