Association Pushes Strategies to Keep Domain System Healthy

With its new Healthy Domains Initiative, the Domain Name Association is getting proactive on issues of growth, credentials, and self-regulation.

Domain names are a hugely important part of what makes the internet the internet. And a trade group that supports domain owners is ensuring that the industry is doing what it can to keep the system working properly.

That’s where the Domain Name Association’s Healthy Domains Initiative (HDI) comes into play. The campaign, launched Wednesday, highlights the trade group’s recommendations for issues of intellectual property, growth management, and regulation around top-level domains.

The four main steps that the group plans to take, according to a statement, include:

  • Addressing online security issues such as malware and phishing through a set of 20 voluntary practices designed to combat domain name system abuse
  • Fighting child abuse through formalized systems that handle abusive imagery and notify the proper authorities
  • Taking on rogue online pharmacies by making it easier for domain registrars to handle complaints about unlicensed pharmacies
  • Handling copyright infringement by creating a third-party system that would address infringement complaints through a system similar to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) Uniform Dispute-Resolution Policy

In a blog post discussing the effort, Mason Cole—vice president of communications and industry relations at Donuts, a registrar for new-style top-level domains—notes that the initiative came about after a year of collaboration among many of the association’s major stakeholders. It’s an attempt to get ahead of problems lingering within the industry before they become more significant.

“While HDI is designed primarily to advance the safe and beneficial evolution of the domain name system, its secondary goal is to demonstrate to internet stakeholders the capability of industry operators to effectively self-regulate,” Cole wrote on CircleID. “HDI is not under the aegis of ICANN or any other regulator—it’s an industry-led program that operates independently, guided by the organizations that have the operational experience to keep the namespace healthy.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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