TLD Updates: ICANN ccNSO Seeks ccTLD News Speakers, .ZA Registry Up For Tender, DomainTools Debut Domain Discovery Feed, .SCOT Turns 7 and .PL 31, Donuts July Trend Report, Indonesia Seeks To Introduce Local IDNs and CZ.NIC Contributes To Flood Relief

ICANN is seeking speakers for their next (virtual) for their pre-ICANN72 ccTLD News Sessions on 6 and 7 October. ccTLDs with a best practice, project solution or case study to share with the broader community or even a market development, or perhaps legal or operational news that is engaging, relevant and informative to other ccTLDs from across the world are requested to put their hands up and nominate themselves.

The sessions are organised by the ccNSO Meetings Programme Committee (MPC). Deadline for submissions is 13 September. For more information, click here. This will be the second ccTLD News Sessions with the first held at ICANN71 with speakers from .ke, .jp, .uk, .ca and .us and chair from .fo.

The .za (South Africa) ccTLD manager, the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) is to begin the competitive tender process for a new contract to operate the .za registry.

Part of this process involves notice of terminating the current registry operating agreement with the current registry operator, ZA Central Registry (ZACR). The current contract between ZADNA commenced in 2012 and expires on 1 April 2022.

“When the agreements are about to expire, the ZADNA always embarks on a fair, transparent and competitive process that is open to all interested parties to acquire the necessary services,” ZADNA said in a statement on their website. “This is no different with the agreement with ZACR. ZADNA is following due process, ensuring that good governance principles are adhered to.”

Following the notification to the ZACR, ZADNA notes “the next step in this process is to issue a Request for Information (RFI) that will be open for an appropriate period. Once the information has been received from the interested parties and assessed, the Authority will then issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for eligible Registry Operators to submit their proposals to offer registry services.”

DomainTools has debuted their Domain Discovery Feed, a daily list of all newly-registered or newly observed domains that can be cross-checked against domain names seen in web proxy or DNS resolver logs to reveal traffic to new, and thus potentially harmful, infrastructure. The Domain Discovery Feed is a simple text file of domain names.

While it may not be true that most young domains are malicious, DomainTools note, most malicious domains are indeed young. Since malicious infrastructure is regularly added to blocklists, and therefore “burned” from the malicious actor’s point of view, a constant stream of new domains must be created in order to continue nefarious operations. This is why more and more network defenders are looking to identify new domains as a signal of risk the company explains in a blog post.

The new generic top-level domain for Scotland and Scottish culture and people around the world, .scot, turned seven in July. Scotland’s community domain is used by the country’s government (gov.scot), parliament (parliament.scot) and many more organisations, businesses and individuals at home, but is also available to anyone who has an affinity for Scotland wherever they live or work. dotScot is the only top-level domain that works in exactly this way.

A few headline stats provided by the .SCOT Registry are:

  • Growth in new domain sales of 45% since Pandemic began
  • Over 25,000 domains registered with 13,300 active
  • Donated to 5 charities in the last year and helped many others
  • Operating in 57 different countries
  • Outselling .com in rural Scotland
  • Place-names now available along with 2-character domains and other high-value names.

The .SCOT Registry also provides an email service with over 15,000 users and 11 country-specific versions from India to New Zealand to USA and Canada as well as Europe. There’s a secure email platform as well as their regular one. @mail.scot is the most popular with @blether.scot close behind.

Celebrating a bigger birthday is Poland’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD), .pl, which turned 31 on 30 July. The .pl domain is the first-choice TLD in Poland and the 6th largest ccTLD in Europe. Currently there are around 2.5 million .pl domain names, down from 2.7 million in 2016, and over 1.1 million registrants.

Donuts’ most recent Trend Report for July 2021 finds that in July second level domains registered among Donuts top-level domains “were 22% shorter and were hyphenated 1% less than .com domain registrations.”

The Indonesian ccTLD registry PANDI is working towards introducing local Internationalised Domain Name scripts for up to seven local scripts: Sundanese, Balinese, Bengkulu’s Rejangnese, Bataknese, Buginese and Makassarese scripts. An attempt has previously been made to introduce local IDNs, however these were rejected by ICANN because, for example, the scripts need to be officially registered and widely used within the country.

The CZ.NIC Association is contributing CZK 1 million (US$46,300) to help residents of the Břeclav and Hodonín regions, which have been hit by a devastating tornado. The money shall be donated through the public Czech Radio Endowment Fund (CZK 500,000) and the Via Foundation (CZK 500,000). The donation will then be distributed among the inhabitants of the affected areas.

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