Domain registrars look set to come under greater pressure to combat illegal activity conducted on websites they support.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has confirmed plans to enforce its contracts with registrars more effectively – ensuring they meet the higher standards of practice.

Concerns have been raised by a number of industry stakeholders – including the US Federal Bureau of Investigations – that ICANN has been too lenient on registrars providing a home for unscrupulous domains.

And in response, the not-for-profit internet watchdog plans to take a tougher stance on those supporting – knowingly or unknowingly – criminal activity over the internet.

Kurt Pritz, ICANN senior vice-president for charge of stakeholder relations, said there has been “some agreement on 11 of the 12 recommendations made by law enforcement authorities to the registrar accreditation agreement”.

“We will work to ensure agreement meets expectations and give registrars the incentive to accept recommendations right away,” he said, as reported by Computerworld.

Changes to ICANN’s domain registrar policies could potentially see more domain names seized around the world on the grounds of supporting criminal activity.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has seized a number of domain names over the past two years, and other countries could now adopt a similar policy.

Otherwise, ICANN may have cause to refuse renewal of their contracts.

Domain registrars ‘must tackle criminal domains’
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