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Fight against abuse: two public consultations to strengthen cooperation with the registrars

Home > Observatory and resources > News > Fight against abuse: two public consultations to strengthen cooperation with the registrars

From 16 October to 24 November 2023, Afnic is inviting you to give your opinion on two development projects for procedures linked to .fr and French overseas domain names. The first one concerns the processes of verification of holders’ data. The second one relates to the mechanisms for graduated sanctions in the event of non-compliance with the verification processes.

As stated in Afnic’s Naming Policy, data on holders of .fr and French overseas (.re, .pm, .tf, .wf and .yt) domain names constitute information that must be up to date and accurate at the time of creation and remain so (name, address, telephone number and email address). Responsibility for keeping data up to date and accurate lies with the domain name holder. As for the registrars that market and register domain names and provide associated services, they must make sure that holders fulfil this obligation.

With effect from 1 January 2024, Afnic will call on registrars to beef up their validation actions and the reporting of information to Afnic for each holder contact within one month of its creation.

This consultation, and the second one, have been initiated in order to fulfil a commitment made by Afnic in the context of the convention that it has signed with the State in its capacity as Registry Office for the national TLD, .fr. This mechanism also forms part of a wider process of reflection on meeting the requirements of the NIS2 Directive in the course of 2024.

The first public consultation launched today concerns the setting up of a common system allowing us to define a common procedural basis for verifying holders’ reachability and eligibility data while making best use of the existing procedures (‘substantiation’ and ‘validation’). The establishment of this common system will allow the quantity and the quality of the data validated in Afnic’s Registry database to be improved for both the .fr and the French overseas TLDs for which it is responsible.

The second consultation concerns the plan to apply graduated sanctions to registrars accredited for the distribution of .fr and French overseas domain names (.re, .pm, .tf, .wf and .yt.)

The aim is to tighten the checks on accredited registrars’ handling of instances of abuse detected in their portfolio of domain names and make sure they take action against such abuse, by means of a series of measures that may go as far as withdrawal of accreditation in the event of refusal to comply or unsatisfactory results.

To do this, Afnic will put in place a reference framework of good practices for managing abuse for its registrars.

The preparatory work done by Afnic has allowed us to identify a set of indicators for monitoring the quality of the portfolio of domain names and of the actions taken by accredited registrars to combat abuse. We have been able to set thresholds for these indicators so as that the application of sanctions will be triggered in a transparent manner.

Among the indicators subject to monthly monitoring, we would mention the rate of incidence of abuse in the registrar’s portfolio of .fr and French overseas domain names.

Each month, Afnic will use the data provided by databases that inventorise cases of technical abuse (spamming, phishing, malware, botnets, etc.); it will have the tools for exchanging with each registrar and for carrying out pro-active monitoring. Thus, the registrars will receive a monthly list of domain names in their portfolio associated with instances of abuse reported in the various reference databases used by Afnic, which will allow them to act in the certain knowledge that the domain names concerned do indeed pose problems. Indeed, a recurring difficulty for the registrars, with whom Afnic has worked on this system, is to qualify the problem posed by a particular domain name.

Depending on their responsiveness, but also on their ability to adopt good practices, it will be possible to put a system of graduated sanctions in place. Accredited registrars will indeed be expected to participate actively in the fight against abuse.

These two consultations have arisen from rich and constructive discussions between Afnic and its members, in the governing bodies of the association. As is always the case, the changes proposed are the result of consultation, and will be implemented in a spirit of cooperation between Afnic and its registrars.

Afnic Public consultations Fight Against Abuse. From 10/16/2023 to 11/24/2023 "Common system for verifying holders’ data” and "Graduated sanctions on registrars who do not fullfil their commitments regarding the fight against abuse”

Read and respond to both consultations by visiting the links hereunder. Your opinion counts!

About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.