What’s Been Happening At… EURid: Q4 2021 report, Greek Character .EU Domains to be Deleted, Continuing Checks for Nefarious COVID registrations, Dynamic Coalition on Data and Trust Annual Report, Surfrider Foundation Europe Support, Extra Registrant Verification Method and Vacancies

Catching up on what’s been happening at EURid is the focus of today’s post. Over the last three months EURid has released their 2021 fourth quarter report, released 48,000 .eu domain names that were previously registered to British registrants, announced Greek character .eu domain name registrations will be deleted (Greek character domains should be registered under .ευ), continued COVID-related domain checks for nefarious registrations to March with their APEWS, published the first annual report of the Dynamic Coalition on Data and Trust, published results of their 2021 Registrar Satisfaction Survey (positive), continued support of the Surfrider Foundation Europe, they currently have a vacancy open for Legal Counsel while the CEO position has closed and announced an additional verification method for providing evidence of a registrant’s identity. Phew!

EURid Records 217,000 New Registrations in Q4 2021

First up. EURid published its Q4 2021 report [pdf]. According to the report there were 216,830 new registrations recorded in the quarter, the highest number of new registrations since 2021. Portugal was the top country with 23.4% growth. The quarter ended with 3,713,804 .eu, .ею and .ευ domain names registered

Most significantly the quarter, the European Commission selected EURid to continue as the .eu TLD’s registry manager through to October 2027.

The fourth quarter also saw EURid celebrate the second anniversary of the Greek .ευ extension with 2,694 registrations to date. There were also 43,947 internationalised domain names under .eu and 1,254 IDNs under .eu in Cyrillic. The top country for .eu, .ею & .ευ registrations remains Germany with 1,014,165 registrations followed by the Netherlands (470,392), France (309,927), Italy (279,883) and Poland (227,160). The country with the most EURid accredited registrars was Germany followed by the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Belgium. In total there were 721 EURid accredited registrars.

The quarter 4 report included an update on the Know Your Customer project with new verification methods for domain name holders with a valid bank account and the 7 winners of the 2021 .eu Web Awards were announced during a spectacular hybrid gala viewed by 350 people.

48,000 British .EU Domains Released

Brexit continues to impact EURid and on 3 January the 48,000.eu domain names registered to British registrants that entered “withdrawn” status on 1 July 2021 were released on a first come first served basis to eligible registrants. To be eligible to register a .eu domain name one must be an entity in the European Economic Area (European Union Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), an individual who is a citizen of a country in the EEA regardless of where they live in the world or are resident in an EEA country.

Greek Character .EU Domains To Be Deleted

On Valentine’s Day EURid issued a reminder to registrants with a .ευ domain name. Following a three-year phase-out period, on 13 November 2022 any Greek character domain names using the .eu TLD will be deleted. From 14 November 2022, only Greek domain names with the Greek .ευ extension (Greek.Greek) will remain registered.

EURid’s .ευ guidelines explain in detail the cloning of Greek .eu domain names to .ευ, which took place on 14 November 2019. As part of that process, a three-year script adjustment phase was launched, which allowed for both Greek .eu domain names and their clones in .ευ to coexist until 13 November 2022.

The phase-out of Greek domain names with the Latin .eu extension is being done to follow the ‘no script mixing’ best practice for Internationalised Domain Names. The objective of the ‘no script mixing’ best practice is to avoid confusion about domain names that look similar.

In December the European Commission invited EURid to prolong the COVID-related domain name checks until 31 March 2022. The initial measures for these checks were set in early April 2020 in order to protect end-users from possible misuse of domain names.

EURid’s APEWS platform contains COVID-19 related keywords and scans all new .eu registrations with the purpose of preventing the registration of suspicious domain names.

Registrants of domain names containing certain COVID-keywords are invited to validate their data and submit a statement confirming their domain name is registered in ‘good faith’.

First Annual Report of the Dynamic Coalition on Data and Trust

On 10 February EURid announced the first annual report of the Dynamic Coalition on Data and Trust [pdf], established in September 2020 by EURid and Oxford Information Labs to encourage an inclusive policy dialogue among all stakeholders who are interested in exploring issues of data and trust in the online environment.

2021 was the first full year of the DCDT’s operation. Activities were taken forward at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and beyond. Their 2021 Annual Report reflects the action plan of 2021 and highlights the successful sessions held throughout the year including:

  • The IGF meeting, which brought in 50 participants and focused on data management, data accuracy, and the upcoming NIS 2 directive discussions between different perspectives.
  • The EuroDIG session in Trieste which brought together stakeholders from European law enforcement and the EU Intellectual Property Office, with speakers from the DNS industry, civil society and youth representatives.

Coming up this year the DCDT will continue inclusive discussions on issues relating to data and trust. Shortly they will be consulting with members for their input on a proposed 2022 action plan and will continue to explore ways of raising the profile of the DCDT and to engage with a wide range of stakeholders. A dedicated website is also being considered.

Results of EURid’s 2021 Registrar Satisfaction Survey

EURid announced the results of their 2021 Registrar Satisfaction Survey [pdf] on 7 February with 96% of respondents saying they felt “overall satisfied” with the .eu registry’s services. Further 84% of the 81 registrars in 23 countries responding were satisfied with the way EURid delivers information 74% of registrars would recommend .eu to their customers. EURid will continue to work on improving both metrics.

On 12 January EURid published the results of the European Commission’s biennial report to the European Parliament and the Council, covering the period April 2019 to April 2021.

The report concluded “The focus on quality of service and the actions taken to enhance security and data quality, to mitigate abusive and speculative registrations, and to cooperate with partners in the fight against cybercrime and IP-infringing activities contributed to the EU objectives of increasing trust and security on the internet, providing an example to follow for other DNS operators”.

EURid Continues Support for Surfrider Foundation Europe

In December EURid announced they will continue to support Surfrider Foundation Europe in order to protect oceans and restore the balance between nature and human impact.

EURid Vacancies

EURid currently going through a recruitment process to replace their CEO Marc Van Wesemael who has announced he is stepping down from his position once a replacement has been found. Van Wesemael has been CEO since it was founded in 2005 when it won the contract to run .eu. Applications have now closed. But the .eu registry currently has a vacancy open for a Legal Counsel, which currently has 43 applicants through LinkedIn.

EURid Adds a New Verification Method

In March 2021 EURid introduced a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) project that allows domain name registrants to provide evidence of their identity using speedy automated systems.

From late November registrants can use three verification methods to confirm their identity or request a Statement of Holdership. In addition to verification via MRZ scan and SMS, and electronic identity card, they can now also choose to verify via a bank transfer.

The third method is suitable for registrants with a valid bank account in one of the European Union Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, which is registered to the same person and address as the domain name.

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