When IT Meets Politics

Mar 17 2009   3:53PM GMT

Cleansing the Augean (ICANN) Stables of Malware distributors

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo

Domain Name System

It is said that only ten registrars issue the domain names used to organise 80% of the world’s current malware operations: from the fast-flux hosting of child abuse subscription services to botnet herding, spam, phishing and denial of service attacks  Last week, at a meeting in Mexico, ICANN agreed a 30 day consultation on proposals to amend its Registration Accreditation Agreememts.



These are the legal basis for the domain name system. They provide the framework within which civil action (including disconnection) can be taken, including under “breach of conditions of service”, against malpractice in the issue and abuse of domain names.    

Some of you may think that a 30 day consultation, of which you first learned in a blog entry from me, is a strange way to consult on changes to the governance of the addressing structures at the heart of the global communications infrastructure of the world.

ICANN is a, however, democratic institution: albeit one designed by engineers who needed working solutions for their peers: with decisions determined by those who replied quickly.

Now is your opportunity to take part in a crash course in some of the realities of digital democracy: cruelly described by one semi-luddite as “dictatorship by the sys-admins and other nerds who not only understand the systems, but are interested enough to withstand boredom levels that make the late night sessions at a 1980s council seem fascinating”.

Remember, however, the other lesson of the 80s – the silent majority gets what it deserves; ignored. 

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