Tag Archives: Britain

.IS, .NO and .UK Announce How They’ll Comply With the EU’s GDPR

The GDPR is coming and a number of ccTLD registries are giving registrars heart palpitations. It’s a month till the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into play and the Icelandic, Norwegian, Slovakian and United Kingdom ccTLD operators are only just announcing how they’ll deal with it.

For Iceland’s .is they will stop publishing names, addresses and telephone numbers of personal contacts by default from the ISNIC WHOIS database. For individuals who wish to continue to publish their information, they must log in, go to “My Settings” and select “Name and Address Published”.

ISNIC will however, at least for the time being, continue to publish email addresses, country and techincal information of all NIC-handles associated with .is domains. Those customers (individuals) who have recorded a personally identifiable email address, and do not want it published, will need to change their .is WHOIS email address to something impersonal. However the Icelandic country code top level domain isn’t happy with the new regulation. They note the GDPR “will neither lead to better privacy nor a safer network environment.”

For the sake of the internet community, e.g. Individual users, Service Providers, Hosting Companies, and many other stake holders, ISNIC will continue to publish email addresses and the country name of all contact types until further notice.

For NORID, the registry for Norway’s .no, they have made a few changes to their policies that come into effect on 5 May. NORID state they will “only collect data that we need, and that the domain holder shall be informed about which data is being processed by Norid. Starting on 5 May, we will collect less data about the holder than what we currently do.” Following consultation with the with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, NORID will launch a new version of WHOIS on 22 May.

And Nominet, the .uk registry, has announced their changes. Following a consultation period that outlined their proposed changes that were published for comment between 1 March and 4 April, Nominet have announced that:

  • Registrant data will be redacted from the WHOIS from 22 May 2018, unless explicit consent has been given.
  • Law enforcement agencies will nonetheless be able to access all registry data via an enhanced Searchable WHOIS service available free of charge.
  • Other interested parties requiring unpublished information will be able to request access to this data via our data disclosure policy, operating to a 1 working day turnaround.
  • The registration policy for all .UK domains will be standardised – replacing the separate arrangements currently in operation for second and third-level domains.
  • The .UK Registrar Agreement will be updated, renamed the .UK Registry-Registrar Agreement, and will include a new data processing annex.
  • The existing Privacy Services framework will cease to apply.

“We have taken a conservative approach to publishing data, to ensure that we do not fall foul of the new legislation,” said Nominet COO Ellie Bradley. “While, as a result, we will be publishing less data on the WHOIS – we have comprehensive procedures already in place that ensure that we will continue to respond swiftly to requests for information to pursue legitimate interests.”

The proposals also outlined an approach to replacing the existing privacy services framework with recognition of a Proxy Service offered by registrars. In response to the feedback, Nominet has decoupled this proposal from the bulk of the GDPR-related changes and will consult further on this topic in June 2018.

Nominet Add To The Registrar Nightmare As They Finally Announce Proposed .UK Whois Changes For GDPR Compliance

On 1 March Nominet finally announced how they’re proposing to deal with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, with a consultation to run until 4 April and then Nominet will have to finalise their plans with the regulation to come into place on 25 May. The situation is a nightmare for registrars who have to plan and implement changes for all top level domains impacted by the GDPR.

As EPAG’s Managing Director Ashley La Bolle told Domain Pulse (the blog) following the Domain Pulse conference in Munich in late February:
“The domain industry has been really late to the game on GDPR implementation. It’s already March and we are just beginning to see real progress regarding contractual and technical changes for the GDPR. We expect to receive a lot of last-minute changes from registries in the next couple months. Although we’re not thrilled about having to make last-minute changes to system settings, we still prefer registries to make those changes before May so we can ensure compliance.”

In case you don’t know what is the GDPR, it’s data protection regulation intended harmonise data protection laws across the EU and replace existing national data protection rules. The introduction of clear, uniform data protection laws is intended to build legal certainty for businesses and enhance consumer trust in online services. The new regulation applies to businesses within the EU, or any business in the world that collects data on European citizens, such as when someone is registering a domain name. With any data that is collected, it is imperative that those collecting the data have clear and freely given consent from the individual. Huge fines apply for any organisation contravening the GDPR of up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s global annual turnover of the previous financial year.

For the changes Nominet is proposing for .uk, as with most ccTLD registries, they have allowed the domain name registrant information, also known as Whois, to be publicly available for their domain names. However in the new proposal all registrant information will be hidden. But Nominet’s concerns don’t just deal with .uk. They also manage .wales and .cymru, and Nominet, like all other generic top level domain registries have to wait until ICANN finalise how they will resolve the issue.

We have opened a comment period from today until 4 April on our .UK proposals to comply with GDPR legislation.

In summary, Nominet proposals are as follows:

  • From 25 May 2018, the .UK WHOIS will no longer display the registrant’s name or address, unless they have given permission to do so – all other data shown in the current .UK WHOIS will remain the same.
  • For registrants who wish for their data to be published in the WHOIS, we will provide appropriate mechanisms to allow them to give their explicit consent.
  • We will continue to work in the same way as now with UK law enforcement agencies seeking further information on specific domain names via our existing data release policy and via an enhanced version of our Searchable WHOIS service, available free of charge.  Those users will have automatic access to the names and addresses we hold.
  • Any third party seeking disclosure for legitimate interests can continue to request this information via our Data Release policy, free of charge.
  • The standard Searchable WHOIS will continue to be available, but will no longer include name and contact details to ensure GDPR compliance.  Those outside law enforcement requiring further data to enforce their rights will be able to request this through our existing Data Release policy.
  • The proposed new .UK Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA) includes a new Data Processing Annex.  This sets out terms for how we would work with our registrars when processing registrants’ personal data during the registering, renewing, transferring or managing of .UK domain names to ensure GDPR compliance.
  • The Privacy Services Framework will be replaced with recognition of a Proxy Service, within a new .UK RRA to allow registrars to offer proxy services to registrants who do not wish to have their details passed to Nominet.
  • Additionally, we propose changing the rules for the data we collect for domain names that end in second-level .uk domain registrations, such as example.uk. We will no longer require a UK ‘address for service’ bringing this into line with third-level .UK domains such as example.co.uk, example.org.uk and so on.

Further details including links to all redline copies of the relevant documentation are available here. You can find just the redline versions here. 

A webinar for Nominet members to hear more about our proposals will take place on Wednesday, 7 March from 2.00-3.00pm GMT.

These changes cover the .UK namespace. Pending outcome of ICANN discussions, and feedback from this comment period, Nominet will set out our proposed approach for GDPR compliance for .cymru and .wales domains.

Registries Aren’t Content Police, But Keeping Trust Is Reputationally Important: Domain Pulse

Registries universally said they’re not content police in a discussion on domain name take down processes involving legal counsels from the operators of 6 European registries, both generic and country code TLDs. However processes vary among the registries.

The discussion involved representatives from dotSaarland, DENIC (.de), SWITCH (.ch), SIDN (.nl), DNS Belgium (.be) and Nominet (.uk) at the Domain Pulse conference in Munich Friday, the annual event that rotates between Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

One registry that does make decisions on takedowns, or suspensions as they’re often called, and the content on the sites using the domain names, is SWITCH. Anna Kuhn explained how SWITCH was rather unusual in that they were both a registry and operated a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which gave them some additional expertise. However SWITCH still doesn’t make decisions on content, only on domain names involved in the hosting malware and phishing Combatting cybercrime, Kuhn explained, is one of the roles of the registry operator.

Volker Greimann from dotSaarland, the only new gTLD operator in the panel discussion, said .saarland is in a different position to the country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries as they have a direct contract with ICANN. Additionally, the Saarland regional government said they don’t want their new generic top level domain (new gTLD) to be a haven for crime. The gTLD for the German state has an anti-abuse rule in their terms and conditions that requires domain names to not ruin the reputation of the Saar region.

Horst explained the German registry's position of the German registry in this respect: “DENIC is not the right point of contact to which to turn when it comes to content. If DENIC were to evaluate content and delete, at its own discretion, domains through which websites with questionable content can be accessed, this would be equivalent to censorship. In a democracy based on the separation of powers, no one can seriously support law enforcement by the private sector. This philosophy of DENIC's is, by the way, also reflected by the unanimous opinion of the German courts.”

The courts, Horst explained, have always sided with DENIC’s view that they also aren’t in a position to judge on what is illegal content and that complaints should always go to the registrant if they can be contacted.

SIDN’s Maarten Simon said SIDN will never just take down a domain name and that contacting the registry should be a last resort. However Simon also noted .nl domain names are much more trusted by Dutch people than any other TLD. And that this trust is both in SIDN’s interest to protect so that internet users continue to want to visit sites using the Dutch ccTLD and businesses want to register .nl domain names. Building trust benefits SIDN’s bottom line as more .nl domain names are registered. For complaints regarding .nl domain names, there is an independent appeals board with a number of judges and professors with the expertise to deal with complaints.

Peter Vergote from DNS Belgium also noted how .be has nothing to do with judging content hosted using a .be domain name, so to get a domain name suspended a complaint has to give necessary evidence such as a court order to have a domain name taken down.

Vergote echoed Simon’s views on .nl in that DNS Belgium deeply cares about the quality of the .be zone and it’s their sincere duty to do what they can without taking unnecessary risks. While they are more active than in the past on dealing with complaints, they will never evaluate content on a website. This position has been backed by a court order from a Belgian court that states deciding illegal content is up to the courts and can’t be done by DNS Belgium. When it comes to phishing though, DNS Belgium treats this differently and will take action without a court order if they are advised from a competent body that a domain name is used for phishing.

But DNS Belgium will never take it upon themselves to suspend a domain name that’s suspected of being used for phishing because that’s a content evaluation. Additionally Vergote said a phisher is unlikely to put their correct identity in Whois. DNS Belgium suspends around a dozen domain names per month with complaints largely driven by government agencies and rarely from private individuals or organisations.

So what about the domain names that are required to be taken down, or suspended? For SIDN, Simon explained the procedure starts with a form to be completed on the SIDN website where the complainant explains why the domain name should be taken and what they’ve done to date to complain. If the complaint is clear cut SIDN will go to the registrar and get the domain name taken down. SIDN receives about 20 requests per year and take down one, maybe 2, each year out of the 5.8 million .nl registrations.

Nominet’s Wenban-Smith commented on the futility of removing or suspending a domain name because even if they do, the content still exists. Nominet doesn’t allow child abuse or content that promotes criminal activity on .uk domain names. But Nominet doesn’t make decisions on what is illegal content but does cooperate with those who can such as law enforcement. For those wishing to make complaints, Nominet doesn’t take requests from those outside the UK. In 2017 Wenban-Smith said Nominet suspended 16,000 .uk domain names in 2017.

Nominet Shows What One Day of .UK Looks Like

Ever wondered what a day in the life of the internet looks like? Nominet has sought to answer that, looking at the .uk’s virtual visitors across just one day, the 5 April 2017, using powerful analytics tools they have built in-house to monitor the UK registry.

To get closer to actual visitors, as opposed to machine-to-machine traffic, Nominet filtered the data using Alexa Top Sites as it’s a list compiled based on visits from web browsers and so will tend to favour humanly-driven traffic over infrastructure lookups. The traffic seen in their animation is created from authoritative DNS queries to .UK domains over 24 hours. The source of the queries is the location of the IP address that the query came to us from – this is likely to be the ISP provided resolver rather than the actual client. In reality, the destination of the query is one of Nominet’s servers which are distributed worldwide, however to simplify the visualisation they have made the destination the location of the domain owner.

Across the day, you can see visits from right across the globe, from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, with the largest number coming from the US, followed by Germany and France. All in all, our infrastructure handled 2.2 billion DNS queries over the course of that day, hitting 37k queries per second at its lunchtime (GMT) peak.

The analytical tools the .uk country code top level domain (ccTLD) manager has developed can do far more than just create cool videos. They are used to constantly evolve and refine our processes and systems to best serve users of the .UK domain. Using this phenomenal power to analyse the DNS, one of the fundamental protocols of the internet, is the bedrock of the cyber security services Nominet says they provide to clients, helping them to monitor their networks for suspicious activity, and identify specific threats and trends.

E-Shops Selling Counterfeit Goods Often Use Re-Registered Brand Domains, European Study Finds

Companies letting their domain names expire are often finding e-shops are re-registering their domain names and using them to market trademark infringing, or counterfeit, goods. But there’s no correlation between the use of the domain name prior to the e-shop and what the e-shop sells.

The study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) [pdf], through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, was on online business models used to infringe intellectual property rights. The study found when domain names were available for re-registration the entities operating the e-shops would systematically re-register the domain names and shortly after set up e-shops marketing goods suspected of infringing upon the trademarks of others. It was a characteristic that the prior use of the domain names was completely unrelated to the goods being marketed on the suspected e-shops. There were examples of domain names previously used by politicians, foreign embassies, commercial businesses and many other domain name registrants.

The study was conducted in 2 phases. Phase one looked at .dk (Denmark) from October 2014 to October 2015. During this period 566 .dk domains were re-registered by suspected infringers of trademarks immediately after the domain names had been given up by their previous registrants and became available for re-registration. Phase 2 looked at Sweden, which as a Scandinavian country would be assumed comparable with Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, which have very well-developed and large e-commerce sectors, and a country with a large e-commerce sector in southern Europe, Spain.

Phase 2 found the same phenomenon previously documented in Denmark also occurs in the Swedish, German, British and Spanish ccTLDs.

According to the study, the “total number of detected e-shops suspected of infringing the trade marks of others using a domain name under the ccTLD” ranged from 2.9% in .de (Germany) to 9.5% in .se (Sweden) while the “total number of detected e-shops suspected of infringing the trade marks of others using a domain name under the ccTLD where the domain name had been previously used by another registrant” ranged from 71.1 % of suspected e-shops in .uk (United Kingdom) to 81.0% in .es (Spain). The average was 5.41% across all ccTLDs in the study and 75.35% respectively.

Based on the research, the researchers believe it must be considered likely that the same also occurs in other European countries with well-developed e-commerce sectors.

An analysis of the 27,970 e-shops in the study identified a number of patterns including shoes were the product category most affected, accounting for two-thirds (67.5%) of the suspected e-shops and then clothes, accounting for 20.6%, while 94.6% of the detected suspected e-shops used the same specific e-commerce software.

Additionally, 40.78 % of the detected suspected e-shops in Sweden and the United Kingdom were registered through the same registrar, 21.3 % of all the e-shops used the same name server and a quarter (25.9%) of the suspected e-shops had the hosting provider located in Turkey, 19.3 % in the Netherlands and 18.3 % in the United States.

Even if the domain name was previously used for the marketing of goods, the study found the current e-shops were marketing a different type of product at the time of analysis. The study examined 40 case studies that indicated the sole reason for re-registration of the domain names is to benefit from the popularity of the website that was previously identified by the domain name. The benefits would include search engine indexing, published reviews of services and/or products and links from other websites that have not yet taken the current use into consideration. The case studies used also indicate a high degree of affiliation between the e-shops is likely. The research seems to indicate that what on the surface seems like thousands of unrelated e-shops are likely to be one or a few businesses marketing trade mark infringing goods to European consumers.

The 140 page study is available for download from:
https://euipo.europa.eu/tunnel-web/secure/webdav/guest/document_library/observatory/documents/reports/Research_on_Online_Business_Models_Infringing_IP_Rights.pdf

Verisign Report Shows Significant Slowing of Domain Registration Growth

Once upon a time not that many years ago, the growth in domain name registrations each year was like growth in the Chinese economy – well over 10%. These days the growth rate overall is nothing to be sneezed. In the year to the end of March, registrations around the world grew by 3.7% (11.8 million) to 330.6 million across all top level domains (TLDs) according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief. It was only in the preceding year, to the end of March 2016, that registrations had grown 11%.

OK, Verisign add a proviso when looking back on registrations for registrations to the end of March 2016 for the .tk (Tokelau) country code top level domain (ccTLD) with a significant re-estimation downwards of its zone file size. As a result total global domain name registrations were changed from 326.4 million to 318.8 million. However these 10%+ annual registration increases were standard for several years.

The change in of annual registration increases of below 5% though are likely to be standard for some years to come as the significant growth is coming from ccTLDs in developing countries and within new gTLDs, although even here due to some new gTLDs such as .xyz having hugely discounted promotions, renewal rates are very low and even declining. However in total new gTLD registrations have stabilised around the 27 million mark for the last 6 weeks according to nTLDstats.com. As of 31 March new gTLD registrations were near their peak of 29.1 million. They peak at 29.4 million in mid-April.

For the quarter, registrations grew only 0.4% (1.3 million) to 31 March, which indicated an even greater slowdown in registration growth.

The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of approximately 143.6 million domain name registrations in the domain name base in the first quarter of 2017 – 128.4 million for .com and 15.2 million for .net. This represents a 0.8% increase year over year, almost entirely due to increase in .com.

Among ccTLDs, .cn (China) has regained the crown of the largest and now has 21.4 million registrations to be the second largest of all TLDs while .tk has 18.6 million with .de (Germany) next with 16.2 million. Following in the top ten TLDs is .net then .uk (United Kingdom – 10.6m), .org (10.4m), .ru (Russian Federation – 6.4m), .nl (Netherlands – 5.7m) and then the largest of the new gTLDs, .xyz (5.6m).

Growth in ccTLDs was only 0.3% for the quarter, or 408,242 registrations, and 1.7% (2.4 million) for the year. Without including .tk, ccTLD domain name registrations increased approximately 568,242 in the first quarter of 2017, a 0.5 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 and ccTLDs increased by approximately 4.6 million domain name registrations, or 3.9 percent, year over year.

At the end of the first quarter there were 294 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 64.7 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.

For the new gTLDs registrations totalled 25.4 million as of 31 March, 7.7% of total domain name registrations. The top 10 new gTLDs represented 64.1% of all new gTLD domain name registrations.

Volume 14, Issue 2, of the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief is available for download from:
http://www.verisign.com/assets/domain-name-report-Q12017.pdf

An archive of recent reports is available from:
http://www.verisign.com/en_US/domain-names/dnib/domain-name-industry-brief-reports/index.xhtml

Nominet Sees 0.0074% of .UK Domains Disputed in 2016 as 3rd Level Registrations Drop, 2nd Level Rise

Nominet saw a small drop in complaints in 2016, with 25 fewer complaints for the 12-month period than in 2015. The 703 complaints related to 785 domain names, according to their 2016 annual summary of domain name disputes brought before its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS). The disputed .uk domain names in 2016 were 0.0074% of all domain names under management (DUM), or registrations.

In the same period total registrations dropped marginally by 44,882 from 10,637,764 at the end of 2015 to 10,592,882, or 0.4219%. Interestingly, and not unexpectedly, third level .uk registrations have been shrinking (from 10,140,436 to 9,972,226) while second level registrations have been growing (from 497,328 to 620,656) in the same 12-month period.

Of the complaints, over half resulted in a domain transfer, which was the same as the previous year (53%). 2016 also saw a 10% increase in the number of summary decisions made by DRS independent Experts, who support the DRS by giving their time and professional expertise to help resolve disputes when needed.

“While only a small proportion of domain names overall – 0.0074% of the .UK register – resulted in a dispute in 2016, the DRS continues to provide an efficient and cost effective way of resolving those that do arise,” said Russell Haworth, Nominet’s Chief Executive. “In fact, we should not underestimate the value of the service as £7million could have been saved on legal fees last year alone, thanks to the efficient process in place and the many volunteer Experts who generously offer their time and expertise.”

Brands such as Facebook Inc, O2 Worldwide, Jaguar Land Rover Limited, Virgin Enterprises Limited, JD Sports Fashion Plc and Anne Summers Ltd used the DRS in 2016.

Other users of the service included Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, The National Council For Voluntary Organisations, the National Council For The Training Of Journalists, Wembley Primary School and PAGE, a campaign against gravel extraction in South Oxfordshire.

Nominet provided a number of statistics on the 2016 disputes:

  • In 2016 there were 5 appeals, with 4 original decisions being upheld. One appeal overturned a No Action decision to a Transfer decision.
  • The most common industries were automotive and Internet (14 each); retail (12); software and sports (7 and 6 respectively).
  • The year saw cases brought by complainants from 28 different countries, led by the UK (570) followed by the US (46), France (13) and Germany (10). Respondents were widely dispersed, coming from 35 different countries. Again, the UK leads with 570 respondents, with the US second (22) and St Kitts and Nevis third (16).
  • Mediated cases by Nominet took an average of 47 days to resolve in 2016, compared with 41 days in 2015, and 47 days in 2014. Cases being resolved by an Expert decision also took slightly longer to close than in 2015.
  • The majority of cases (91%) involved .co.uk domain names, with 4% of cases involving a .org.uk domain. The .uk domain names, launched in June 2014, made up 4% of cases in 2016, an increase on the 3.5% in 2015 and 1.6% from 2014.

“Almost 12,000 Complaints have been made to the DRS since 2001 with more than half of these resolved between the parties directly, through mediation, or an Expert. With millions of small businesses and individuals now in possession of a domain, it’s also important to bear in mind that the DRS recognises a wider class of rights than simply trademarks,” said Nick Wenban-Smith, General Counsel at Nominet. “So, if someone has the rights in a name which is the same as or similar to a .UK domain name they are concerned about and they can provide proof that the domain name has been registered or used in a manner that has or might cause unfair detriment, then the DRS is a good first port of call to address those concerns.”

 

CENTR Survey Finds European Share of New gTLD Registrations Well Below Global Rates

Domain name registrants in Europe are increasingly favouring ccTLDs over gTLDs, and have shown comparatively little interest in the new gTLDs, the most recent CENTR survey has found.In the third DomainWire Global TLD Report for 2016, CENTR found new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) have on average a smaller share (2.5%) of the European market compared to a global share (6.8%) as of the end of September. And they are most popular in Armenia and Russia where .top and .xyz respectively are both popular.Over the past 12 months, the report finds the average TLD share in Europe has moved in favour of local country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs – 46% in July 2015 to 51% in July 2016). ccTLDs (based on local registrants) have effectively been growing at higher rates than gTLD registrations across Europe.The report also found legacy gTLDs such as .com grew a combined 0.6% in the third quarter to over 163 million domains – a similar rate to the previous quarter. Most of the growth in legacy gTLDs comes from .com. When looking at statistics on RegistrarStats.com, it shows a number of legacy gTLDs have been declining in registration numbers, either commencing with the release of new gTLDs or the drop off being exacerbated with their commencement.New gTLDs have on average a smaller share (2.5%) of the European market when measured against its global share (6.8%). New gTLDs have made the most inroads in Armenia and Russia which has had increased registrations from .top and .xyz respectively.Growth rates for the new gTLDs are also tapering off. The report finds that with the bulk of new gTLDs now delegated, their high initial growth rates are beginning to converge toward comparable median rates of legacy gTLDs and ccTLDs (monthly growth rates of 0.43% and 0.58% respectively for the third quarter). There are currently around 25 million domain names registered across all the new gTLDs that have been delegated, with over 500 brand gTLDs, where there are very few domains due to their closed nature, and 1,139 new gTLDs delegated by ICANN.Global distribution between TLD categories is weighted toward gTLDs (legacy and new combined). ccTLDs (including IDN ccTLDs) have a combined market share of 43% – a reduction of 2% over the quarter due to a decline in .tk (Tokelau) registrations. New gTLDs have attained almost 7% of market share at the end of the third quarter; however, it’s worth noting this is calculated over almost 1,200 unique TLDs.Among European ccTLDs there are around 69.2 million registered domain names with a growth of 137,000 (0.2%) over the quarter. The largest of the European ccTLDs is .de (Germany) with 16.14 million domains currently registered followed by .uk (United Kingdom) with 10.02 million registrations.Median ccTLD growth in Europe has averaged to 0.3% over the past 12 months. This is slightly above the global legacy gTLD median; however, the two generally follow the same pattern. High percentage growth ccTLDs were .am (Armenia), .cy (Cyprus) and .pt (Portugal).Over the past 12 months, average TLD share in Europe moved in favour of local ccTLDs (46% in July 2015 to 51% in July 2016). ccTLDs (based on local registrants) have effectively been growing at higher rates than gTLD registrations across Europe.The report is available for download from:
https://www.centr.org/library/library/statistics-report/domainwire-global-tld-report-2016-3.html

Global Domain Registrations Grow 7.9 Million In Q2 Driven By New gTLD Growth

There were 334.6 million domain names registered around the world as of 30 June, an increase of 7.9 million, or 2.4 percent, over the previous quarter with three quarters (74.7%) of the growth coming from registrations in new generic Top Level Domains, according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief.Among the new gTLDs, there were 22 million domain names registered as of 30 June compared to 16.1 million as of 31 March, an increase of 5.9 million for the quarter. Domain registrations in new gTLDs account for 6.6 percent of all domain registrations compared to 4.9 percent at the end of the previous quarter and two percent a year ago.The ten largest TLDs were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .xyz, .ru and .nl. The biggest change for the quarter was .xyz’s inclusion in the top ten, the largest of the new gTLDs and the first of the new gTLDs to break into the top ten. The largest TLD of them all, .com, now has 127.5 million registrations, an increase of 900,000 registrations for the quarter and 9 million for the year, while .net has 15.8 million dropping around 100,000 from the previous quarter, but overall up 800,000 registrations in the past 12 months.Total ccTLD domain name registrations were approximately 149.9 million in the first quarter of 2016, with an increase of 1.4 million domain name registrations, or a 1.0 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2016. ccTLDs increased by approximately 11.7 million domain name registrations, or 8.5 percent, year over year. Without including .tk, ccTLD domain name registration growth quarter-over-quarter was 1.2 percent and growth year-over-year was 10.7 percent.During the second quarter of 2016, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was approximately 130 billion queries per day across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of nearly 179 billion queries. Quarter over quarter, the daily average query load increased 4.9 percent and the peak decreased by 5.0 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased by 17.0 percent, and the peak decreased by 1.5 percent.

Domains Reach 326 Million With New gTLDs Now 5 Percent Of All Registrations

There were 326.4 million domain names registered across all top level domains (TLDs) around the world at the end of the first quarter 2016, an increase of approximately 12 million domain names, or 3.8 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign. Registrations have grown by 32.4 million, or 11 percent, year over year.As of 31 March, new gTLD registrations totalled 16.1 million, which represented 4.9 percent of total domain name registrations. The top 10 new gTLDs represented over half (54.8%) of all new gTLD domain name registrations. The largest of the new gTLDs were .xyz and .top, which accounted for 16.5 and 11.1 percent of all new gTLD registrations respectively.Total country code TLD (ccTLD) registrations were 148.2 million domain names, a 2.6 percent increase quarter over quarter, and an 8.2 percent increase year over year. The top 10 ccTLDs as of 31 March were .tk (Tokelau), .cn (China), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .eu (European Union), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth, reaching a combined total of approximately 142.5 million domain names in the domain name base in the first quarter of 2016. This represents a 7.1 percent increase year over year. The base of registered names in .com equalled 126.6 million names, while .net equalled 15.9 million names, the latter figure having being static for around three years.New .com and .net registrations totalled 10 million during the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2015, new .com and .net registrations totalled 8.7 million.There has also been a large jump in the growth of .com and .net domain names redirecting to popular global social media and e-commerce sites compared to Q1 2015. Weibo had the largest growth of 49 percent followed by LinkedIn (35%), Etsy (30%), Facebook (27%), Amazon.com (25%) and Twitter (23%). Verisign don’t give total numbers and for most at least it is likely to be growth from a comparatively small base.Combining gTLDs and ccTLDs, the largest by zone size were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .ru, .nl and .info. There were 291 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDN), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 67.4 percent of all ccTLD registrations.Regarding .tk, Verisign quotes from a Freenom news release that the Tokelauan ccTLD is a free ccTLD that provides free domain names to individuals and businesses. Revenue is generated by monetising expired domain names. Domain names no longer in use by the registrant or expired are taken back by the registry and the residual traffic is sold to advertising networks. As such, there are no deleted .tk domain names.It also means that while .tk is the largest ccTLD, it’s numbers are very misleading when it comes to actual usage and demand.