New ICANN agreement requires domain registrars to verify user identity

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icann, registrar accreditation agreement, raa, domain registration

The board of directors at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit group that governs a wide array of web-based technology, recently approved the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) which will soon have an impact on how domain registrars like GoDaddy and Dotster handle signups for web domains.

Under the new rule, domain registrars will be required to verify either the e-mail address of phone number of users that sign up for a new domain within 15 days of applying. If a user fails to do so after the allotted time, the registrar has been instructed to suspend the registration until verification is taken care of.

Furthermore, registrars will be required to keep detailed records on customers for up to two years after a registration has been canceled. This includes information like the credit card that was used to register the domain, we’re told. Also, registrars must keep a record of the IP address used to sign up for the domain for up to 180 days while users are required to update contact information within seven days of making any changes.

It would seem that ICANN is hoping to deter individuals from setting up websites that would contain unlawful material or perhaps sites that would facilitate the sale of illegal goods. The changes will also ensure that WHOIS data is more accurate and reliable but even still, these measures could easily be circumvented if someone simply puts their mind to it. After all, fake e-mail addresses and phone numbers aren’t that hard to come by.

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