Domain Registrars: Worst Spam Offenders Notified

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KnujOn, a project developed to respond to Internet threats (specifically email-based threats) recently announced the results of a cluster analysis of the top 10 worst domain registrars in terms of spam and junk content hosting domains. ICANN, the authoritative body which manages domain registrars announced that it has sent compliance notices and notices of concern to those registrars reported for the majority of websites advertised in spam emails.

More than half of those registrars named had already been contacted by ICANN prior to publication of KnujOn’s report, and the remainder have since been notified following an analysis of other sources of data, including ICANN’s internal database. Many of the 10 worst registrars are based outside of the US and Canada (two Chinese registrars took the top spots - Xinnet Bei Gong Da Software and BEIJINGNN) but there are several companies that are quite noteworthy if only in name alone (e.g. eNom and Moniker).

ICANN relies upon the Internet community to report and review what it believes to be inaccurate registration data for individual domains. A dedicated online system called the Whois Data Problem Report System (“WDPRS”) was developed in 2002 to receive and track such complaints. "ICANN sends, on average, over 75 enforcement notices per month following complaints from the community. We also conduct compliance audits to determine whether accredited registrars and registries are adhering to their contractual obligations," explained Stacy Burnette, Director of Compliance at ICANN. "Infringing domain names are locked and websites removed every week through this system."

If those registrars, including those publicly cited, do not investigate and correct alleged inaccuracies reported to ICANN, ICANN's escalation procedure may ultimately result in the termination of accreditation, preventing them from registering domain names in the future.

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