TLD Updates: EURid Continues Monitoring .EU For COVID Misuse; Changes in .FR and .DK T&Cs; .FR Turns 35, Internet in Afghanistan; ZADNA Release RFI For .ZA Registry

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the European Commission has asked EURid, the .eu registry, to continue monitoring new .eu domain name registrations using their APEWS – Advanced Prevention and Early Warning System – platform for Covid-related keywords until 31 December 2021. The initial measures for these checks were set in early April 2020 in order to protect end-users from possible misuse of domain names.

Registrants of domain names containing detected keywords will be required to validate their data and to submit a statement confirming their domain name was registered in ‘good faith’.

In other EURid news, the .eu registry has released a video of Giovanni Seppia, their External Relations Manager going on a journey on the future of Internet, sharing his deep knowledge of internet governance built over 20 years of work in this field.

Afnic Introduces New T&Cs For .FR

There are changes in the registration rules for .fr domain names being implemented Afnic has announced. The first is the registration of domain names ending in <-gouv.fr> will be prohibited, including IDN versions, due to their similarity with gouv.fr, the second level domain for government websites.

In announcing the changes, Afnic also note they have “transcribed into its Naming Charter the new provisions of Law No. 2020-1508 of 3 December 2020 (known as the DDADUE Law), which strengthens the powers of the DGCCRF (French General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control) in the event of offences or breaches of the rules protecting consumers’ economic interests and the rules on the compliance and security of Internet products.

Consequently, upon receiving an injunction from the DGCCRF that falls within the compass of this Law, Afnic will henceforth block, delete or transfer to the competent authority the domain name concerned within 48 hours following receipt of the injunction.

French ccTLD .FR Turns 35

September also saw the .fr ccTLD celebrate its 35th birthday. As of the French ccTLD’s 35th birthday there were 3.82 million .fr domain names under management with a market share of all domain names registered in the republic of 38%, continually reducing the gap to .com, which has a 44% market share in France.

On 2 September 1986, .fr made its first steps at INRIA (National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology); then mainly used by academics. In 1997, as the number of users and sellers of .fr grew, INRIA and the French Ministries of Industry, Telecommunications and Research created Afnic, which received delegation to administer .fr.

First reserved for French companies, the .fr domain began its revolution in 2004. It became more accessible, without losing any of its reliability. Registration was opened up to individuals in 2006. As with many ccTLDs that research into registrant and internet user behaviour, Afnic has found .fr is trusted, with 91% of French Very Small Entities (VSEs) and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) considering a .fr domain is a guarantee of trust.

90% of the profits from .fr domain name registrations goes to digital inclusion projects throughout France via the Afnic Foundation. In 2020, over one million euros were distributed to 69 projects in 13 metropolitan regions as well as in Guadeloupe, Guyana and Martinique.

Danish ccTLD .DK Introduces New T&Cs

The Danish ccTLD manager, .DK Hostmaster, has new terms and conditions as of 6 September. DK Hostmaster says “with the new terms, the legal foundation has been cast so that a registrant in the future will be able to leave more of the administration of .dk domain names to their registrar and webhost. DK Hostmaster calls this registrar management. It is also possible for the registrant to choose to be responsible for the administration via DK Hostmaster’s online self-service.

The new terms and conditions are available here.

Wired on Internet in Afghanistan

Wired has published a look at the internet in Afghanistan and the future of the global companies that underpin it. When it comes to the country’s ccTLD, .af, the article notes “Currently, Afghanistan’s 6,000 or so .af domains are given DNS services by US not-for-profit Packet Clearing House and Czech registrar Gransy – the latter of which also provides DNS services for South Sudan’s .ss top-level domain name.”

“‘Who is the ccTLD operator for .af is not a matter for us to interpret,’ Gransy has said, adding: ‘politics has nothing to do with our daily work, and we are a 100 per cent apolitical organisation.’ The company says it follows procedures laid out by ICANN, the American non-profit that helps keep the internet online. ICANN has said it ‘defers decision making to within the country’ in question – here, Afghanistan and its Taliban rulers.”

To read the look at all of the internet services in Afghanistan, see the Wired article here.

ZADNA Issues RFI For .ZA Registry Services

Recently South Africa’s ccTLD manager, the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) issued a Request For Information (RFI) for the provision of Registry services for co.za, web.za, net.za, org.za Second-Level Domains (SLDs).

ZADNA issues the RFI as the first step of many crucial steps that it is embarking on to ensure that the appointment of the next Registry Service provider is a fair, transparent, and competitive process open to all interested parties. Currently registry services for the .za SLDs are provided by ZA Central Registry. There is no indication the RFI is anything but a periodic request many ccTLD regulators do.

Submissions are due 13 September 2021 and more information is available from: zadna.org.za/content/page/tenders/

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