[GTLD-WG] [CPWG] [ALAC] SSAC2019-07 towards implementation of the new gTLD round

John McCormac jmcc at hosterstats.com
Mon Sep 16 00:04:37 UTC 2019


On 09/09/2019 22:06, Holly Raiche wrote:
> Thanks Andrei and Bastiaan
> 
> And Jonathan - perhaps this should be part of our larger discussion on subsequent procedures?  I know the SSAC report 105 (??) on the rate of delegations has been discussed in that WG - and by the CPWG. But has this been canvassed?
> 
> The issue of domain abuse and new gTLDs formed the backdrop of some of our concerns arising from the reports on the CCRT report


One of the big problems with the CCRT report was that with "parking", it 
hadn't a clue about what it was trying to measure, hadn't a clue about 
how to go about measuring it and got it all very, very wrong. As for the 
"awareness" surveys, the numbers of registrations, the zombie TLDs and 
the wastelands of some new gTLDs don't quite support those glowing 
endorsements.

The estimates of "parking" in the CCRT report were, not to put too fine 
a point on it, rubbish. It classified redirects as parking! The attempt 
to try to estimate which categories of usage delete most based on using 
two completely different sets of domain name data from different years 
was pure pseudo-science with a thin veneer of mathematics to make it 
appear plausible. It was so stupid that it wasn't even wrong. To 
properly measure which categories are most prone to deletion, one has to 
track domain name usage from registration to deletion. It should not 
have been included in the report which, apart from getting the whole 
"parking" issue massively wrong and including happy-clappy, feel-good 
"awareness" surveys, did contain some good and well-researched information.

Heavy discounting and free domain names simply attracts bad activity to 
a TLD and it eventually drives out any real development in a TLD because 
the TLD gets a bad name. It also locks the gTLD registry into a boom and 
bust cycle of based on discounting promotions. This did not start with 
the new gTLDs.

One of the new gTLDs that supposedly had only "70% parking" really had 
over a million adult affiliate landing pages and only around 1K of 
active websites. It currently has less than 500 active sites. There was 
a Dutch report quoted in the CCRT report suggesting that a lot of spam 
activity moved from the legacy gTLDs to the new gTLDs purely because of 
the low cost of registrations. That new gTLD went from around 2 million 
registrations at the start of 2019 to around 35K registrations today. 
The new registry management decided to increase the wholesale 
registration/renewal fees in August 2018. So much for those 30% of 
non-parked websites! It highlights the abject cluelessness of the CCRT 
report on dealing with stuffed zonefiles.

Normal registration and renewal fees cause problems for the economic 
model of webspam and e-mail spam. Free and heavily discounted 
registration fees enable it. Restricting the use of discounting 
promotions would be one way of solving the problem for subsequent rounds 
of new gTLDs.

The webspam issue is a problem because there is even some quite 
sophisticated software available to generate seemingly convincing 
websites by scraping other websites, blogs and search engine results. 
These can generate thousands of websites at a time. The other part of 
the equation is the low price of registrations. It does not affect gTLDs 
with normal to high registration fees but is a feature of gTLDs were 
heavy discounting and freebie promotions are used to stuff the zonefile.

Without discounting, most of the leading new gTLDs would have difficulty 
maintaining their number of registrations. Discounting is a highly 
cynical numbers game in which the registry bets that a percentage of 
discounted domain names will renew at full fee. However, it is cheaper 
for a bad actor to drop the discounted domain name and register a new 
one. Some of the heavily discounted new gTLDs have a completely 
different domain name length spectrum to normal gTLDs due to the use of 
programatically generated domain names.

SSAC's letter is quite good but it does not go far enough. If the same 
people are making the same mistakes in the new round of gTLDs then the 
same thing will happen leaving ccTLDs to take over the market that once 
was that of gTLDs. (This is already happening in many country level 
markets and .COM has plateaued and growth has shifted to the local 
ccTLDs.) This does need action by ICANN to prevent the same problems 
arising again with the new round. Before there are any concrete moves on 
the next round, the problems with the current round need to be addressed 
and fixed.

Though it may be difficult to discern from the registry reports, some of 
the new gTLDs have rather dire renewal rates. This is a classic 
indicator of heavy discounting and declining demand. It would also be a 
good thing not to rely too heavily upon the rather sunshine and 
lollipops views of "awareness" in the CCRT report because the new gTLDs 
didn't quite turn out like that.

Regards...jmcc



> Holly
> 
>> On Sep 9, 2019, at 10:02 PM, Bastiaan Goslings <bastiaan.goslings at ams-ix.net> wrote:
>>
>> Thanks, Andrei - I find the last part of particular interest:
>>
>> 'it remains a significant concern for the SSAC that the last round of new gTLDs appears to have introduced the phenomenon of TLDs with exceptionally high rates of abusive registrations. It is also not clear if the ICANN Community is effectively addressing these potential threats and risks or what kind of deliberation will occur on how to mitigate them through consensus policy or contractual negotiation. The SSAC continues to be concerned that a further round of new gTLDs could be delegated prior to comprehensive metrics and mitigations being put in place to prevent such a recurrence. To assist the community, the SSAC is planning to study this issue and provide advice accordingly.’
>>
>> regards,
>> Bastiaan
>>
>>
>>
>> ***  Please note that this communication is confidential, legally privileged, and subject to a disclaimer: https://www.ams-ix.net/ams/email-disclaimer  ***
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>> On 9 Sep 2019, at 13:21, Andrei Kolesnikov <andrei at rol.ru> wrote:
>>>
>>> Dear colleagues,
>>> The letter regarding ICANN org's preparation toward implementation of a new round of gTLDs
>>> <https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/ssac2019-07-30aug19-en.pdf> has been published and also been sent directly to Cyrus Namazi, Senior Vice President, GDD.
>>>
>>> Thank you, --andrei
>>> --
>>> Andrey Kolesnikov
>>> RIPN.NET
>>>
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