NABP Issues Public Comments to ICANN in Support of Registries That Verify Website Relevance, Authenticity, and Security

May 26, 2017

NABP has responded to a call for public comments from two working groups of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) relating to consumer trust and subsequent procedures for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). One group, the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review Team, recommended in its report that ICANN “[c]reate incentives to encourage gTLD registries to meet user expectations regarding: (1) the relationship of content of a gTLD to its name; (2) restrictions as to who can register a domain name in certain gTLDs based upon implied messages of trust conveyed by the name of its gTLDs (particularly in sensitive or regulated industries) and (3) the safety and security of users’ personal and sensitive information (including health and financial information).” As stated in its comment to ICANN, NABP believes this recommendation is in the best interest of the internet community, as it supports the creation of a trusted online environment that is user-friendly and free of bad actors and cybercrime.

Registries that already meet these consumer expectations by operating as verified TLDs – such as .pharmacy, .bank, and other TLDs composing the Verified Top-Level Domains Consortium – contribute to improved consumer protection through registrant verification prior to domain name use and through ongoing monitoring of the domain space for compliance with registry standards. Internet users can trust websites within a verified TLD to display content that is relevant to the subject matter implied by the TLD.

NABP also sent comments to the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group, addressing matters concerning consumer safeguards, community-based objections, community priority evaluations, ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee advice, and string similarity and confusion.