Domain registration rules could be tightened

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Domain registration rules could be tightened

Less than a quarter of sites compliant.

Less than a quarter of people who have registered domain names have given fully accurate information, according to a report for domain name register operator Icann.

And eight per cent of registrants failed to give a single piece of accurate information about themselves.

The report was commissioned after concerns were expressed to Icann from law enforcement agencies which often ran into a dead end when trying to track down criminals online.

Many criminals set up web sites that can be used as a front for criminal activities, to launch phishing attacks, or to install viruses on the computers of those who visit them.

"There is no question that there are people who register domains without disclosing their full or real identity," says the Icann report.

The report found that most of the "barriers to accuracy" can be tackled but this will lead to a rise in costs for those wishing to register domain names.

"Co-operation among all registrants and other Icann constituents will be needed to eliminate any commercial disadvantage accruing from enforcing greater accuracy," it says.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency's (Soca) e-Crime unit welcomed the report and said the findings chime with its own experience of tracking criminals online.

"We have identified the deficiencies in domain registration processes which are exploited by organised crime to mount major attacks on industry and individuals," Soca said in a statement.

"We maintain an expectation that changes to policy and operating procedures will significantly impact on organised crime’s ability to operate freely. "

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