Britain’s SOCA Wants ICANN to Improve Whois Data Accuracy

Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has welcomed a recent report that found more than three-quarters (77%) of all Whois records for five of the generic Top Level Domains (.COM, .ORG, .NET, .INFO and .BIZ) are filled with at least partially inaccurate information.The survey by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) for ICANN also found that while only 23 per cent of Whois data provided for domain name registration was fully accurate, around twice as many (46%) met a slightly relaxed version of the criteria tested meaning that successful contact could be made with the registrant.Now it is “ridiculously easy” to register a domain name under false details, said Paul Hoare, senior manager and head of e-crime operations for SOCA, told the e-Crime Congress 2010 in London.”Rather than responding to malicious domains, we should be making it harder for them to register in the first place,” said Hoare.SOCA’s e-Crime unit, with the support of the FBI and wider law enforcement community, has engaged with ICANN over the past 18 months to address issues around the inaccuracy of Whois data. SOCA has identified deficiencies in domain registration processes that they say are exploited by organised crime to mount major attacks on industry and individuals.Suggested amendments to ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement, submitted by SOCA and the FBI in order to resolve many of these issues, are supported by Interpol and the G8 cyber working group. These amendments were submitted at the ICANN conference in Seoul in October 2009 to the Government Advisory Committee, ICANN board and the ICANN Community for formal consideration.