IEDR chief maintains dot-IE domains will be protected under proposed changes

25 Sep 2017

Poulnabrone tomb at sunrise, The Burren, Co Clare. Image: Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

The IEDR wants citizens, organisations and businesses to have their say on the obtainment process for dot-IE domains.

The news came last month that the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) was beginning a public consultation to try and figure out if the rules around dot-IE domain ownership were too narrow in scope.

The organisation is asking one major question: should the need for a valid claim to the dot-IE domain remain, or can it be abolished, leaving only the need for an Irish connection as a requirement to obtain said web domain?

The change has already been conceptually approved by IEDR policy experts and other key stakeholders in the arena. In the first half of 2017, 20,255 new domains were registered.

‘Protecting dot-IE domain holders has always been IEDR’s first and foremost priority, and that has not changed’

Security is still a priority for the IEDR

Chief executive of the IEDR, David Curtin, said that if the change is made, every registrant will still need to prove their link to Ireland prior to application approval. This would involve photo ID for individuals.

He maintained that the proposed rule changes would not create insecurity in terms of dot-IE domain names.

“This process drastically reduces the chances of fraudsters and phishers using a dot-IE address for criminal purposes. It’s simply too much effort and expense for them, and too easy to get caught out.

“Protecting dot-IE domain holders has always been IEDR’s first and foremost priority, and that has not changed.

“Together with industry channel partners, law enforcement and regulatory agencies, we already have in place many protections to safeguard the dot-IE namespace against hacking and malware hosting, and we are constantly updating our own technology and best practice to ensure that the dot-IE namespace remains secure.

Curtin explained that there would be swift resolution of domain disputes if the new regulations were to come into action.

“In instances where consumers believe that a dot-IE domain has been unfairly or improperly registered by a third party, or where it impinges on a brand or IP right (perhaps for the sole purpose of ‘brand cyber-squatting’), IEDR operates an independent dispute-resolution service.”

Subject to final consensus, the regulation change could come into force in early 2018, and interested parties can have their voices heard here.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects