Registering a domain name might become a lot more time intensive in the future.
Negotiations between ICANN and registrars to amend the registrar accreditation agreement are ongoing, and law enforcement agencies are asking for some pretty big changes to how domains are registered today.
Law enforcement proposals relate to verifying whois information and tracking more information about registrants. Law enforcement agencies that have been involved in consultations include:
Australian Federal Police
Department of Justice (US)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (US)
New Zealand Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Serious Organised Crime Agency (UK)
The latest recommendations from law enforcement agencies are:
* In order to register a domain name you’ll need to phone and email verify. First you’ll receive an email with a link to a verification page. When you go to the page you’ll enter more information including verifying your phone number. You will then get an SMS code or voice message to your phone with a PIN, which you will then need to enter at the registrar’s web site before your domain is added to the zone.
* Law enforcement wants your IP address recorded at time of registration/verification.
* For annual whois updates, registrants will have to take action by completing some sort of verification. If you don’t verify/confirm your details, your domain might be suspended. This verification step will also record the registrant’s IP address.
* An alternative suggestion from law enforcement agencies is for ICANN to run a central verification system.
The silly thing about all of this is it won’t stop a criminal from doing what he or she does today. Sidestepping these systems is very easy. Just ask anyone who has created a phone verification system how many bogus requests they get from Google Voice phone numbers.
Adding these verification steps will certainly increase the cost of domain registrations and lead to massive cart abandonment at domain registrars.
Of course, this is merely a wish list from law enforcement. We’ll see what happens. You can follow the RAA negotiations here.